Saturday, April 29, 2006


Dugnad means a voluntary communal work. It’s an old tradition here in Norway. It can be done in the area where you live, in the kindergarden or other places. Many people come to work together. Some people repair or fixing something, some other cleaning the street from rubbish or painting. And some other makes food and tea or coffee for everybody. So today is dugnad day for Storhaug communal where I live. It starts at 12 pm til 3 pm in the afternoon. My husband works together with other people and he takes Bella with him. I can not take part because I have to look after my other daughter.

We have this kind of tradition also in my home country and I think this is a very good tradition. Especially in the western or European countries where many people are busy with their job or their business that they have no time to socialize with other people even with their own neighbours. With this kind of activity not only the neighborhood become clean and nicer but also everybody has time to chit chat with each other.

Here is the picture of few people doing dugnad that I take from the balcony of my house.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Min Familie

In my previous post I talked once about my Norwegian course (norskkurs). One of my friends wanted to know what this language sounds like. So this time I post the story in Norwegian language. Here it is. For Norwegian readers, pardon me if you find many mistakes. I’m still learning.

Jeg har en stor familie. Jeg har tre brødre og to søstre. Mine foreldre kommer fra Vest Sumatra, en av de fem store øyne i Indonesia. Jeg levde min barndom i Nord Sumatra men jeg gikk på skole fra barneskolen til universitet i Bandung, hovedstaden av Vest Java. Min far er 73 år gammel nå, og min mor er 70 i juli i år. De er gamle, og jeg savner dem mye. Min eldste bror bor i Jakarta, hovedstaden av Indonesia, også min søster bor der. Begge to er gift. Jeg har to yngre brødre, og en av dem arbeider på et cruiseskip. Han vil komme hjem i oktober. Min andre bror og min yngre søster bor i Bandung med mine foreldre. Jeg har tre nieser og to nevøer. Jeg elsker min store familie og jeg håper at jeg kan besøke dem igjen snart.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Pink Dress

There was this little girl sitting by herself in the park. Everyone passed by her and never stopped to see why she looked so sad. Dressed in a worn pink dress, barefoot and dirty, the girl just sat and watched the people go by. She never tried to speak. She never said a word. Many people passed by her, but no one would stop.

The next day I decided to go back to the park in curiosity to see if the little girl would still be there. Yes, she was there, right in the very spot where she was yesterday, and still with the same sad look in her eyes. Today I was to make my own move and walk over to the little girl. For as we all know, a park full of strange people is not a place for young children to play alone. As I got closer I could see the back of the little girl's dress. It was grotesquely shaped. I figured that was the reason people just passed by and made no effort to speak to her. Deformities are a low blow to our society and, heaven forbid if you make a step toward assisting someone who is different.

As I got closer, the little girl lowered her eyes slightly to avoid my intent stare. As I approached her, I could see the shape of her back more clearly. She was grotesquely shaped in a humped over form. I smiled to let her know it was OK; I was there to help, to talk.

I sat down beside her and opened with a simple, "Hello." The little girl acted shocked, and stammered a "hi"; after a long stare into my eyes. I smiled and she shyly smiled back. We talked until darkness fell and the park was completely empty.

I asked the girl why she was so sad. The little girl looked at me with a sad face said, "Because, I'm different." I immediately said, "That you are!" and smiled. The little girl acted even sadder and said, "I know." "Little girl," I said, "You remind me of an angel, sweet and innocent." She looked at me and smiled, then slowly she got to her feet and said, "Really?" "Yes, you're like a little Guardian Angel sent to watch over all people walking by." She nodded her head yes, and smiled. With that she opened the back of her pink dress and allowed her wings to spread, then she said "I am." "I'm your Guardian Angel, with a twinkle in her eye. I was speechless -- sure I was seeing things. She said, "For once you thought of someone other than yourself. My job here is done". I got to my feet and said, "Wait, why did no one stop to help an angel?" She looked at me, smiled, and said, "You're the only one that could see me," and then she was gone. And with that, my life was changed dramatically. So, when you think you're all you have, remember, your angel is always watching over you. Share this to everyone that means anything at all to you.

Like the story says, we all need someone...
And, every one of your friends is an Angel in their own way. The value of a friend is measured in the heart. I hope your Guardian Angel watches over you always.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

School Memento

Got tag from Rahma and Amellie about my school memento. Here is the story.

1. How many schools did I go to?
My family moved few times so … let me see. First TK (kindergarden) was in Pariaman, where I was born. Second SD (elementary school) still in Pariaman but only until first grade coz my dad was moved to Kabanjahe in North Sumatra. We lived there for 5.5 years before moving to Bandung. Third was still SD at SD Ciujung II Bandung. Then SMP (junior high school), SMA (senior high school) and the last STBA (sekolah tinggi bahasa asing) formerly known as ABA (akademi bahasa asing). I got my S1 (bachelor degree) in 1992. So total 6 schools.

2. Was I the studios nerd, or the last minute hero?
From TK until graduated from STBA, I always become a good student. Sometimes I wanted to be naughty or doing something bad or making a trouble in the class like everybody else but I couldn’t. I didn’t know why, I just couldn’t. Sometimes my bad side told me to do this or that but my good side always winning. Alhamdulillah.

3. Was I the class ‘taiko’ or the teacher’s pet?
I never became the class ‘taiko’ but I think I was the teacher’s pet when I was in TK and SMP. And I think I was the teacher’s pet because I behaved and smart. I was a very quiet and an introvert person when I was young. I didn’t care with everybody and never sosialize with other people. I didn’t know why I was like that at that time but I understand now the reason. And I promise myself that my children will have a much much better treatment than I had.

4. What was the biggest rule I broke in school?
Not any.

5. Three subjects I enjoyed
Kesenian (art) especially singing. I like singing although my voice is not so good. Just love to sing whenever I want to, while I’m cooking, ironing or even when I’m in the bathroom.
Biology, both theory and experiment

6. Three teachers that inspired me
Nobody inspired me but I do admire one lecturer when I studied in STBA. He had a wide knowledge about the subject he taught. He was not a text-book teacher. And he was a very good muslim. He passed away few years ago because he suffered a stroke.

Well, that’s my story. Not interesting though but still good to be remembered.