Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
We are an Australian family of four living in Trondheim, Norway because of my expat assignment. We arrived in Norway towards the end of the summer and we have been observing with great interest the rapid changes in the hours of daylight. The day after we got home from Italy I flew to Kuala Lumpur for a last minute meeting. It was wonderful to be in Malaysia and the tropics and wear singlet tops, swim and drink gin and tonic. Two nights was long enough for me to forget about cold, snow and ice and it was a shock to return to cold, snow-covered Trondheim.
I knew that the Spring equinox meant that we were headed for 12 hours of daylight by 20th March but it’s still surprising after having only 4 hours of weak as dishwater light in December. It’s thrilling living in Trondheim from that perspective. The beautiful snow has gone and now there is lots of run off and piles of dirty snow. I went to Kuwait for a week and it rained and rained while I was there and the snow melted away.
To celebrate the arrival of Spring we arranged for our family a welcome to Spring day on the equinox. We started with play at a local playground (jogging for us adults) and kicking the football around – all activities we haven’t done since Autumn because of the snow and ice situation until now. Next we played Carcassonne and then we had Wii for the kids and yoga for us two. We finished the day with homemade pizza and movie night. It was lovely to spend a day together with minimal bickering.
The low oil price is causing trouble in Norway. Some people have lost their jobs including both parents of one child at the school. What a desperate situation for them!
I received a bonus which was very nice, and happened to be about the same amount that we spent on our trip to Italy. Now we are in Finland for Easter. We are spending every dollar that I earn with our crazy travelling but it’s part of being expats to travel a lot. We came to Finland to visit a woman I met on Heron Island in 2003 at a conference then saw again in Prague 2 years later for the same conference. We’ve exchanged emails sporadically since then. I hope that we all get along!
After arriving late at night to our lovely apartment in central Helsinki, booked through Air BnB, we had a slow start on Wednesday morning. My hectic travel and work schedule this year left me without backup resources and I needed to rest. After lunch I took our daughter to the Yrjönkatu Swimming Hall.
Opened in 1928, the swimming hall is open on alternate days for men and women. In 2001, swimming costumes were allowed for the first time. My daughter and I choose to follow the example of the other women and swim naked. It was a different experience to swim laps wearing nothing but swimming goggles.
After warm showers and relaxation in the sauna, we walked to the church in the rock and marveled at the exposed granite walls and beautiful copper dome.
I wandered around the granite hill behind the church while my daughter played at the playground. Later we met my husband and son at a cool coffee roastery behind the church before heading home to a cosy dinner in our warm and beautiful apartment. We had intended to eat out for dinner but considering how exhausted I am and the cost of dining in Scandinavia, my dear husband offered to cook dinner for us at home.