From Trondheim to Geilo
Trip Start Dec 16, 2007
28Trip End Jan 11, 2008
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an excellent cook and makes the food look so good. We're getting to know each other better. K Paw Gay asked when we're coming back. I am hoping to have an all Norway/Sweden/Finland meeting somewhere centrally located in Scandinavia. We do have a good possibility of doing that and we'll be pursuing that for two days of meetings on a long weekend in July. We pray that that will work out as these scattered people really need to get together every so often. The visits that we have made going from one to another have certainly been helpful, but the next step is for some common gatherings. A Festival site in this area is going to be a big boost to all.
After breakfast Nini, Bev and I walked up in darkness to the bus stop about eight minutes away. We would have never figured out the right bus without Nini. We were to take the number 7 bus, but it was not the "right" number 7 bus. We were in the morning rush hour. Again, it's atmosphere for me surreal as you see so many people clogging a four lane road into Trondheim for work and school. We got into the center of town and Nini was trying to get us to the change bus, but we decided to just walk to the train station which was about ten minutes.
This is first of two trains for the day. This will take us about 400 miles south to Oslo. We are beginning to become more familiar with this route as it takes us across spectacular valleys, mountains and rivers. The seven hour ride went fast.
I was able to use a free table to update our Russian and Estonian databases for the Bible Study course. Johnnie Lambert will be going to Estonia January 14th and I wanted to get the latest to him as soon as I arrive home. It took about two hours to do and I got it done just after passing Lillehammer. A train is a great way to travel. You can walk around, work or simply look out the window.
We got into Oslo at 1513 and our train to Gailo leaves at 1607. I run to an Internet café to write a few critical emails arranging the last 24 hours of our visit before returning to the United States. Bev buys some flowers for the people we are to visit and then we jump onto the train headed for Bergen.
On the trip we meet and talk to Ivan, a Norwegian university student going back to school in Bergen after the holidays. He has been to the United States visiting Chicago and seeing relatives in California. While we've had lots of time on trains, we have also found them relaxing and don't feel wrung out - even after many hours of travel. On this train we were able to get a Komfort class upgrade for $5. Finally, a bargain! We get free coffee or tea, too! We are overwhelmed. Coffee at the restaurant car costs $5 a cup so this upgrade pays for itself. On the Trondheim - Oslo train the lady serving asked if I wanted a large or small cup? I wanted to know the price. She brought out two cups....one small and one large and explained the one was large and the other was small. I was not going to get into a discussion earthly matters such as cost in Norway. For two more ounces of hot water I paid 50 cents more.
We look forward to seeing Monday Doh in Geilo. They have been assigned to this city by the by the Norwegian government. They arrived here in August. Htoo Doh is Klogay Doh's brother and also Elsa's parents. Monday is a member of the United Church of God and we are looking forward to this visit very much. Geilo is a town halfway between Oslo and Bergen in the high point of the railway. Bev and I took this trip in 1994 when we attended our last Feast of Tabernacles in the Worldwide Church of God. I remember it being spectacular and look forward to seeing this beautiful mountainous part of Norway again. Then tomorrow afternoon we come back to Oslo and will stay at the airport the night before flying back to the United States.
Our train had some technical problems. We are told that because of large snowstorms in the mountains that they have problems getting trains between Oslo and Bergen. We had to stop unexpectedly a few times. We were told that we hit some kind of animal and stopped for that, too. But, we arrived in Geilo only 20 minutes late. We had called Elsa who is in Geilo now and asked if someone could meet us at the train station because we had no idea where to go. As it turned out we didn't have their correct address, so we would have gone to the wrong place. There was Monday and Elsa waiting for us at the train station. There was deep snow everywhere. I asked how they got there and they said that they walked about three miles from their home! I felt badly that they had to do that, but they said that they enjoyed the walk. From the train station we see lit ski runs. I guess they have to be lit up because there is hardly enough daylight hours for skiing. It's such a sharp contrast in the summer when there is constant sunlight and one golf course was advertising 24 hour tee times.
We took a taxi back to their home. There was only one at the train station that was now closed. The driver wasn't sure what Monday and Elsa were saying for an address. But, they asked the taxi drive to just follow them. It was an extra size mini-van which was just what we needed to get the four of us and luggage to the Doh's.
They live in a basement apartment of a home. Elso'a sister Anita was there, too. She emigrated with her parents to Norway from the Ma Lai refugee camp in Thailand.. We spent time getting acquainted. Anita's English is very good. She had gone to an English School and it shows. The problem with English for all the immigrants is that that is not that language they use here. They are learning the language of their country, whether it be Norwegian or Finnish and don't' have much practice and upkeep with the English.
Anita was married last year. Her husband will be arriving sometime in the not-too-distant future. She is now pregnant and delivery is scheduled in March.
They fixed us a dinner and we talked some more. Anita showed us a video of their weeding back in Thailand.
The name back in Thailand that they all keep mentioning was Mr. Ryan, meaning Ryan Foster. They have a special place in their hearts for him and how he was of service to them. Monday told us that he helped with their Passover service.
We were very happy with our visit and finding ways to help them. Communication between and with these people is essential. Through LifeNets we are going to get them a computer so that they can have contact via Skype, video and other VOIP options. We were amazed how much the Doh's in Kemi, Finland use their computer as a communication vehicle among the immigrants in Scandinavia, to relatives back in Thailand and other scattered family in the United States, Canada, UK and other places.
It's hard to imagine how these people are having to adjust to such a different environment from where they've come. The town of Geilo, Norway is a ski resort town like Aspen or Vail, Colorado. Why the Norweigia government chose this place for them is a bit beyond me. There is about two - three feet of snow outside. That's quite a change from the tropics of Thailand.
Our train for Oslo leaves at 10:58 am so we will have some of the morning to talk and have a Bible Study.