I don’t have a lot of time to write today; there is a lot to do, and tonight the townspeople are throwing us a party.
I drew Berkano this morning; the birch, renewal, new growth, fertility, Freya’s rune. I will be on the lookout for the relevance of this. The weather is amazing today, we are down by Storfjord filming interviews and stuff. While waiting for my turn I took a walk down the coastline, and I found the jaw of what looks like an anglerfish! It is in great shape, I am very excited about it…I am going to try to bring it back home with me. I also found an Alder tree, that may not seem like much but it is the first one I saw in Norway. It is significant because it reminded me of home…where alders grow like weeds.
This morning I drew Algiz; the elk or antler, a protection rune, I definitely feel safer in the elimination today…
It is now 2130 pm,what a day it has been! We who were on the blue team and up for elimination had to be ready to go at 0900….which wasn’t all that easy because last night we were up late at the party the wonderful people of Stranda threw for us. It was a great party though; there were local meats and homemade beer, the entire cast and crew were there and there was no cameras, it was quite wonderful. Then, my new brother Vebjørn presented all of us cast members with the official pin of Stranda! I will wear it religiously for the rest of my time in Norway. So anyway, I consumed just enough beer to give me a pretty good headache, and I was very sleepy when I got up, but most everyone else was too. I drank a lot of water and I felt good again in no time.
So we all gathered and met Henriette to find out what our challenge would be. It turned out that is was kind of a race; the theme being everyday Norwegian life. We would all go one at a time and we would be timed, the person to complete the course in the longest time would have to leave Alt for Norge. The order was decided and Todd would go first, followed by me, Jessica, and Barbara.
There were 5 check points, at each one we would have to perform a task, answer a question, or both. All of the tasks and questions were supposed to pertain to everyday life in Norway.
It took quite a while for all of us to get done, because the cameras had to follow us around everywhere we went, finally though…we were done. I was a little nervous after the competition because I had had to guess at two of the checkpoints, both of them involved food. One question was what is the most common ingredient in a mattpacka, or Norwegian sandwich. The other question was what is the most common ingredient in Norwegian dinners. I did not remember ever receiving that information. I chose round sliced meat for the mattpacka and salmon for the dinner…after I thought about it I then thought I should have chosen white cheese and ground beef…but, nothing I could do then except wait and see. Finally, after an excruciating long period of waiting the results were ready.
Everyone made mistakes, no one was perfect, but Jessica did the best, followed by Todd, that left me and Barbara on the hot seat. Henriette read the times, and one was over a minute faster than the other. At that point both me and Barbara figured it was her that was going home…and we were correct.
I thought she handled it really well, it wasn’t as sad as some eliminations because of the way she was taking it. That is until we all said goodbye as she drove away, she was crying then, and so were others.
(Bye for now Barbara)
So I am safe for another week, thank the Gods! It felt like a very close call, I don’t want to repeat that experience. Tomorrow is Friday, we will leave early to be on the bus all day back to Oslo, then Saturday we fly out to our new location…wherever that is. Sunday we start filming episode 6, no rest for us this week.
(Me and the wonderful Skog family)
I have really, really enjoyed this week. I am deeply touched by the genuineness and hospitality of Vebjørn and his family…the whole town of Stranda for that matter. They are all beautiful wonderful people, I will come back to this place one day, I don’t know exactly when, but I will be back.