Tellus

Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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From left to right: Marianne, Cecilie, Me, and Nils (not pictured: Henrik)

During my time in Sweden I traveled to Norway to see some extended family. I stayed for 10 days in Oslo with my third cousins once removed, Marianne and Nils, and their kids (my third cousins) Henrik and Cecilie, who were about my age. I got to go to Holmenkollen and explore downtown, but by far the best part of the trip was going to their cabin in the mountains and going skiing. This picture was taken before heading back to the car on our first cross country ski trip (my first ever) we stopped after the first 10 Km for lunch at a scenic outlook and made a bench in the snow. We had prepacked sandwiches and hot drinks. It was such a simple but incredible experience sitting with my relatives in the Norwegian mountains and having lunch.

What I could see from where I was sitting

The view was just like this picture for almost 360 degrees around me.

Myself, Marianne, and Nils

At the top of the mountain on our second day at the cabin we went downhill skiing, something I haven’t done since I was 13. The sky was totally clear, and I could see for miles around.

Henrik, Myself, Nils, and Cecilie

Here we all are on our last day at the cabin, back on cross country skis. despite how sore i was from the last two days, I didn’t complain, and it was totally worth it.

How to build a fire in the snow

For lunch on the last day, we took some fresh pine branches, lay them out on the snow and build a fire to roast hotdogs over. After hotdogs we had Lefse S’mores. Lefse is a traditional Norwegian food made from potato flatbread, butter and cinnamon sugar. Needless to say, it was delicious.

I had such a great time, and I reconnected with distant relatives who had visited the U.S. once before. It was so great to see them again and keep the connection between the state side and home country families alive.

~Ethan Berg

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