Reindeers, Skiing & Everything in between :)

I haven’t been keeping you guys updated and I apologize for that. I guess “feeling homesick” is really a thing and I’ve kinda experienced it for the first time in such a hardcore way. So I’ve been quiet here, but I have still been going on adventures and I’m here now to tell you all about the fun stuff I got up to recently.

I went to a museum ❤️

Anybody who really knows me, will know that I love museums. This love of museums was heavily influenced by my father, who exposed me to them at a young age and continued to do so until the feeling of walking into a museum became my happy place. Thanks Dad.

The museum I went to here in the city center was so beautiful. They are so interactive and are almost built on the fundamental fact that young children will visit the place to gain knowledge and insight. It’s built in a fun and interactive way that facilitates kids learning. If we want our children to learn anything at all, we must make it fun and attractive to a young mind. The museum appealed to almost all your senses. There were buttons to press in order to hear sounds, there was a dark room and you had to take a torch in and shine it on the walls to read the info or see the pictures. There were moving visuals projected on the ground and this was so awesome to watch because the little ones react so well to all this stimuli. I’m really learning a lot about how to approach teaching and learning.  


Melody turns 30!

My friend Melody celebrated her 30th birthday here in Norway around the middle of February. Our friend Ingrid organized an amazing party to celebrate this and it was my first experience at a Norwegian party. So, apparently clubs are really expensive – entry fee & alcohol. What people do here is : Pre-Party. It’s basically drinking at home with a whole bunch of your friends before actually going into a club. This party included some girls from our class at University, and some of Ingrid’s friends and then ended up being a huge gathering and it was exactly as it is in the movies. People just rocking up at the door. Friends of friends showing up. Roommates of friends and the roommates friends too. Hahaha. It was just like those house parties you see in American movies. Drinking games, music, conversation, laughter and a waffle cake! Wow. I had fun.


The real snow experience ❤

Up until this point I had only been exposed to little and few flakes of snow. Then all of a sudden, out of the blue – everything turned white! Thick, big and heavy flakes of snow fell from the sky and it was the most wonderful experience. You don’t think about the cold when you’re experiencing magic. Little kids as young as 3 years old, had skiis on and were ready to go skiing. I then heard someone say “Norwegians are born with skiis on their feet”. Haha. Must be true. This 3 year old had all the confidence in the world and skiied like a pro. The trees hung low and heavy. Being a South African and having never experienced snow like this before, was really breathtaking. The kids still have 2-3 hours of outdoor play at kindergarten, even when it’s snowing like this. Absolutely incredible. 


Reindeers at Røros 🦌🦌🦌

The university took us on an outing to Røros. It’s a few hours drive out of Trondheim. There was a festival happening and there were little stalls that created a market like vibe. The festival was in honor of the Sami people (the indigenous people of Norway). The stalls sold everything from Reindeer meat burgers, to typical Norwegian mittens and honey-coated almonds. Meat, leather, fur hats, woolen jerseys, stuffed toys, and so much more were on sale. The best part of Røros was the part where I got to see an actual Reindeer!!! What a beautiful, mystical creature. I went reindeer sleighing and it was totally cool guys! I feel like the stuff that’s been happening to me recently is straight out of a movie. I still can’t believe that I’m so blessed to be able to experience all of this. 

We had a pizza night here at the apartment 🍕🍕🍕 Homemade pizza! Yum 👅


Oh! Oh! Oh! I got a new piercing too!


Science center 

The University organized a trip for us to visit a science center and learn about how to incorporate science in a simple way, into our teaching. It was pretty fun. We experimented with different materials and using household or easy to find items. We made bombs, volcanoes and tried to mix oil with water. Sad story – oil and water never mix. 😔 They just never do. The coolest of the experiments was actually using a plastic pipette and trying to fit as many drops of water as we could onto a coin. We actually reached 87! How cool? Go try it please. It sounds childish but it’s actually the most fun thing.


Roommate Movie night 🎥😂❤

So let me just say, my roommates and I have become quite a little family. We have meals together, talk about how each other’s days went and we also talk about deep stuff too. These girls have become a family away from my family. I can’t actually remember who suggested the idea, all I know is this : one night, we dragged a mattress onto the kitchen floor and watched 50 shades darker on a laptop. We giggled and passed comments all throughout the movie. I have never read the books or watched the first movie, was never and will never be interested in the whole “50 shades” thing. But something about this night brought us closer together. Haha. We bonded that day. It was cozy and lovely. Here, have a look for yourself.

And girls, if you’re reading this – Then please know that I appreciate all the time you spend with me and the love and support too!


Oh! Oh! Oh! I got my residence permit! I’m officially a Norwegian citizen til August! The picture on my card looks hideous but that’s beside the point. I’m a resident homies! 

Trip to the woods

The kindergarten I’m at, took the little ones on a trip to the woods. I’m not even an outdoorsy person, but man, those woods were beautiful and Mother Nature is splendid. 

I baked a cake. From scratch. No premixed store bought fakes here. The real deal. Icing too! (Thanks to my friend Tamara -Tams Treats- for the recipe). Guys, my first attempt was a success ❤️🎂 yippee. Got my foot in the door with cooking and cleaning, now I can bake too. Wifey material right here 😂. Jokes. I’m taken.

But actually, it’s an achievement for me because I tried to make brownies (store bought premix) and they failed so hard. I put like 1 whole liter of water into the mix and it was just such a fail! So I’m gonna not so humbly brag about the deliciousness of the cake I baked! Need a picture for proof? Here you go. 

Boom!

Northern lights

A group of us girls went up to Moholt hill to see if we could spot the northern lights. We did get to see them but unfortunately my phone couldn’t capture the phenomenon. My friend Iffy did manage to snap some shots. Here’s what we got. 

Skiing 🎿 

I was really hoping to find an undiscovered talent in skiing. Lord, was I wrong! Ha! I fell down about 6 times in the first 5 minutes. And I kept sliding backwards. And falling. Backwards and falling. That was the total sum of events on my first attempt at cross country skiing. I went with my roommates Jennekke and Debora, and a friend of mine, her name is Annamária and she’s from Hungary. It was so funny getting on the bus. Literally every single person on the bus had skiis with them. Ladies as old as what looked to be 80 were kitted out and ready to ski. We got up the hill and the people on the bus got of. We entered this space of open land and I watched in awe as I saw little kids, 1 year olds, on skiis. Pregnant women, old people, young people, dads with babies strapped on their backs, people even skiing with their dogs! It was great. But there I was. Falling flat on my ass every two minutes 😂😂😂😂 I was a sight for sore eyes. 

Aaaaand, that’s it folks. Oh wait, before I forget, let me add some pictures of me at college with all my cool friends. The diversity amongst the group of exchange students is something to marvel over. We are all from different parts of the world, from different cultural backgrounds and have such different lives, yet we find common ground and build and forge meaningful friendships. The experience here is so rich and fulfilling. 

I also just want to show you my little humans climbing trees and constructing their own sandwiches ❤ They are seriously the cutest. My mentor made cocoa  and took his guitar into the woods, we made a bonfire and sang songs whilst sipping on hot cocoa 😍😍😍.  
I know the tone of this post is upbeat and happy, and I really don’t mean to be a downer here but I want to conclude on a serious topic. For those of you who may not know, I’m a very vocal spokesperson/supporter on Mental Health Awareness. It needs awareness because there are so many misconceptions around it. If you have someone in your life who is suffering from a mental illness, take care of this person. Try to understand even if you don’t. Because I can promise you this, it’s not fun for the person who has it. Nobody just wakes up and decides to be depressed for fun. These are serious things and people need support and love. You never know what you could say or do that may trigger the person, so always take care with your words and actions.  I’m hoping to bring awareness to a topic that people feel uncomfortable discussing. What’s worse is the people who are sufferers of mental illness feel embarrassed for having it, as if it was in their control or as if they had a choice in the matter.  If you know anyone who is battling from any sort of mental illness, give them a hug today or just say a few kind words to them. I promise you that it makes things just a bit better for them. And if you are reading this and you have some sort of mental health issue, imagine me wrapping you in my arms and giving you the tightest hug! You’re not alone and you matter. You are valued and you have worth.
That my friends, concludes this issue of MindBodySona.

As always, I wish you love, light and peace ✌🏼 Be strong my people!

If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.” – Lecrae

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10 Days In Norway: A Simple Memoir

Okay, so I have to start with an apology. I’m sorry that I did not keep my word and post on Sunday. I am sure you were all eagerly awaiting my post LOL.

Basically, the structure of this post follows the same type of format as my last one. I will give you a recollection of the past 10 days.

Let’s get right to it then!

 

Monday (06/02)

This week started with a bang. We were given pictures and told to make a drama performance using the picture as inspiration. Our target audience would be children aged 1-6. Our group chose Vincent Van Gogh’s piece called “Bedroom in Arles”. Our vision was to have someone play a little boy in the room, about to go to bed and falls asleep to his mom reading him a story. The “dream” or story we chose was a popular Norwegian fairytale. We chose “The three billy goats gruff”. Guess who had the role of being the big, bad, ugly troll? Me! Hehe. I love it! (Pictures to follow)

 

Tuesday (07/02)

This was an Arts & Crafts day. The skills we were to learn here had to aid us in making our set props for the drama performance. The theme was “Eco-Art”. As I may have mentioned before, Norwegian people are extremely fond of Nature and try to incorporate this into their daily lives. That’s great and I love it because I am also a nature lover….But… it was -8 degrees and we had to build props outside using bamboos and elastic bands. Yeah, you stopped reading at -8 degrees right? My brain stopped functioning properly at -8 degrees! Hahaha. Guys, the weather is savage here. My fingers were freezing numb trying to fasten the rubber bands and bamboo together. Overall, the International class of 2017, managed to make a tall structure out of smaller built tetrahedrons. img_1296img_1300img_1303img_1370img_1377img_1379img_1381img_1282

Snuck in a sneaky selfie there. Hehe.

 

Wednesday (08/02)

Music Day! We got to learn a bit on how to integrate music into the children’s lives at kindergarten level. We sang, we used instruments and we also had a chance to create musical pieces whilst using a scarf as a prop. We needed to use the scarf as anything we imagined it to be. I really would have loved to upload the videos of us making music, however, I’m having some trouble doing that here.

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The college has fully functional recording studios as well as instruments of all types and sizes.

OH! Also, I did some cleaning on Wednesday. Yay Mom & Dad, now I can clean a bathroom & toilet! Aren’t you proud? hahaha. I still look like a queen though!

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Thursday (09/02)

Okay, so we had our story, we learnt how to build props using nature and we learnt some music to add flare to the performance. All that was left to do was to rehearse. We worked on our costumes and set outdoors to do run-throughs of the play before our actual presentation on Friday. Also, on Thursday, I went to IKEA. South Africa, why you no have IKEA??? Lol. Somebody needs to bring an IKEA to South Africa like ASAP. Ergh,  we need it!

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Friday (10/02)

More like FriYAY! Performance day. Woohoo. As an ex-drama student in High school and University, I love getting the chance to perform again. Although life is my stage and I’m the protagonist of my life’s play, I still enjoy getting into character and just performing. You know?  First look at pics of my cute beanie! Then the transformation into my Troll character, the music players, the troll with the 3 billy goats and the whole class at the end of our performance. img_1495img_1496img_1589img_1590fullsizerenderblog

Saturday (11/02)

This was my day to relax and unwind from the week that passed. I had been outside mostly all week and it was COLD. So, I slept in and later in the day I went into town with my roommate and her friend. We did a little shopping then came home and made tortilla wraps for dinner.

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Sunday (12/02)

Sunday is laundry day. So that’s what I did. I did my laundry. And in the evening I hosted a dinner party. I invited my two Norwegian friends: Ingrid and Isabel, and Melody joined us too. And my roommates Julia & Debora were present as well. Even Debora’s mom was there, all the way from Italy. I wanted them all to try my newly acquired cooking skills and taste some South African curry. I made chicken curry, Julia and Debora’s mom helped me too. Then I set the table and waited for my guests to arrive. I bought candles as a center piece for the table, just to add a nice touch. OH-MY-WORD! My guests waited til all the way after dinner to tell me that the candles I purchased  (The main centre of attraction on the table) were candles for a graveyard!!! Apparently, the candles are specific ones that people bought and placed at graveyards to pay their respects to lost loved ones. I completely missed that memo. I’ve actually never been to a grave-yard to be honest. As a practicing Hindu, we believe in cremating the body of the deceased. So it really wasn’t my fault that the ambiance I created for the dinner party was a morbid one.

 

You will see pics of my bathroom and just know that all the roommates decided to do their laundry on the same day. All our clothes were hanging on rails in the bathroom, it was actually quite hilarious at the time. fullsizerender-1fullsizerender-2fullsizerender-3img_1645img_1646img_1648fullsizerender

The grave-yard candle center piece debacle will haunt me forever!

 

Monday (13/02)

We made ice cream out of yogurt in class! So cool! I also found friends who love Harry Potter equally as much as I do (Alana & Tessa, I’m talking about you!). Melody and Anke, we heard you talking smack about Harry Potter, not cool guys, not cool. Hahahahaha. Connecting with people, finding common interests or just communicating with people from all over the world who share the same passion for education and teaching is really an amazing feeling.

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Tuesday (14/02)

Basically..I spent all of Tuesday drinking tea in lectures and waiting to go home because I was tired. But I still looked cute though. See!

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I’m really digging the pink flower orb vibe, can you tell?

Wednesday (15/02)

Today I went to my Barnehage (kindergarten) to do practical training. I love being there. My mentor is such a good leader and role model. The more time I spend here, the less I want to go home (Back to S.A). This place is amazing. Here are some pictures of the outdoor and indoor areas at my school. The dressing room is where the children put on their outdoor clothes, this usually means woolen tights and tops and thick padded onesies, cute little beanies and cute boots. They are so independent and do their dressing up and down themselves. They lay the table for their lunch time and use glass crockery and real knives. They all know how to share, they all have manners and they all are treated with equal respect. The rights of the child are very important in the Framework plan (the educational system kindergartens adhere to in Norway). Children are taught using these 7 learning areas:

  1. Art, Culture & Creativity
  2. Communication, Language & Text
  3. Body, Movement & Health
  4. Nature, Environment & Technology
  5. Ethics, Religion & Philosophy
  6. Local Community & Society
  7. Number, Space & Shape

The kindergarten works in close collaboration and understanding with the home and safeguards the childrens need for care and play. It promotes learning and formation as a basis for an all-round development. The kindergartens are based on fundamental values in the humanist heritage and tradition. Values such as respect for human dignity and nature, intellectual freedom, charity and forgiveness, equality and solidarity are taught. There are wide open spaces for the children to explore and build their motor skills as well as places to go to peak their curiosity. The atmosphere and environment revolving around this setting is truly magnificent.

My mentor is male. He bakes bread. He does toilet routines. He tends to children who are sick or have gotten hurt. There is equality in the workplace and the children have good role models from both genders. Both male and female are shown as a nurturing and caregiving role model. This is so refreshing to see and the children really thrive on this.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt so far is the equality and solidarity amongst the Norwegian people and it’s such a wonderful thing to witness. It really is. 123458aceffullsizerender-2giimg_1842jlmnou


Believe it or not, I actually felt quite warm in today’s weather. I’m starting to become more Norwegian as the days go by and I’m loving it.
As always, thank you for reading. Thank you for your support and well wishes. Thank you. ❤️

I wish you peace, happiness and light.
 

Got lost. Found myself. 

To say I had no direction in life, is a gross understatement. I was so desperately lost that it seemed there was no hope for me. 

And then…

One day, I woke up and said “I want to be a teacher!”. 

Those who knew me (the old me), knew that this was completely out of character and passed it off as one of my many phases. But I persisted. 

It was this overwhelming feeling. This light. This buzz. It had finally dawned on me, and I was about to make some serious life changes. 

I started by shedding all the negativity from my life. A complete detox. Everything needed to be fresh and new. 

I shed unhealthy friendships, drinking habits, negative thoughts, I shed it all. 

I kept with me only the hope that I would one day be able to impart knowledge to those needing it. 

That’s when my journey began. 

Since then, I have changed tremendously and my growth has been rapid. Realizing my true passion in life and following that dream has led me onto the path to knowing myself and realizing my higher state on consciousness. Knowing the true potential of my higher self. This in itself is a humbling experience. 

Ever since that realization, that spark, I have been highly blessed. 

I have been given opportunities to explore, acquire knowledge, grow and mostly find myself. I found myself. 

I found myself.

Okay, so now you know I was lost and have been found. Let’s get back to the Norway fun! 

(I just think it’s nice to sit back and reflect on what was and what is. Constant reflection and constructive criticism on your behavior is necessary in order to grow. And if you have things to be thankful for, then hey, BE THANKFUL. Be happy!)
Where were we again? Oh! Yes! Norway!

So, I found myself being blessed with the opportunity to study abroad and gain teaching practice experience in a Scandinavian country. (Wow, God is good. My parents are amazing. And life is dandy!) 

I have never traveled to Europe before, let alone Scandinavia, so I was not aware of what I was stepping in to. 

My observations so far on the Country and its people are as follows:

  • Most people lead a healthy lifestyle (this includes regular walking and eating habits as well as going to the gym etc).
  • The people respect nature and connect with it. 
  • They are solid, stable people with strong values. 
  • They are well organized.
  • They are self-sufficient.

These are just a few of my personal observations so far. 

The public transport system is so efficient and the people here respect the resources they are granted and do not abuse them! 

This country is clean and safe. The people here abide by the law and follow the rules and that makes staying here such a pleasure! 

I was a spoilt little princess in South Africa. My parents gave me everything and I never felt the need to learn how to cook or clean, because those things were always done for me. In all honesty, I should be embarrassed for being 25 years old and not knowing how to cook or clean. Buuuuuut, as I said, I was spoilt.

Being here for a week now has already taught me so much independence. I’ve learnt how to cook, clean my apartment (bathroom included) and take care of myself. I’ve managed to integrate myself into a class of international students and I’ve survived it so far! 

If you know me, like I mean, really know me. You will know how much of an achievement just this one week has been to me. 

From doing laundry, to cleaning windows, making my own breakfast,lunch and dinner to just being able to communicate and integrate myself into something much bigger than my own little comfort zone is HUGE! 

I am part of a student exchange program for 3 months along with 24 other students from various countries. The countries are: 

  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Belgium 
  • Finland
  • Hungary 
  • Ireland 
  • Tanzania 
  • The Slovak Republic 
  • And South Africa 

We have all come together in Norway to learn about the Norwegian Educational system with particular focus on Early childhood development, education and care. 

This beautiful country I will be calling home for the next 3 months, ranks as one of the best education systems in the world. Actually, hold up. It ranks as one of the best for healthcare, quality of life and per capita income too! 

Like seriously Norway? How efficient are you? How perfect can one country be?

The emphasis on the “welfare state” (please look it up if you don’t know what that means- it’s actually really interesting), the emphasis on mutual respect for people and the emphasis on humanity itself is astounding. 

We have a lot to learn from the Norwegians! 

I know I sound like a bias critic because I am only giving a view of the good. Guys, trust me, I would tell you if there was something bad. There just isn’t. Everything is seamless, ordered, consistent, ideal, flawless, harmonious, smooth, logical and absolute.

That is my personal opinion and observations of this country and it’s people so far. 

The view on education is so mind blowing that you will have to wait for my next blog post to read about it!  

Just know, that if you have ever invested in me, be it with your time, energy, friendship, finances, love, anything- just know that this experience (and whatever part you have played in my life to get me where I am today) is being absorbed and  cherished. 

I am growing. I’m learning. I’m socializing. I’m opening myself up to new ideas and systems of thought which were not possible until now. 

And thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your contribution to me and my life. 

My next post will discuss my observations on the Norwegian Educational system for early childhood development. 

But for now, I will leave you with a few pictures of my adventures over the past week. 

My flat mates from Italy and Holland. 


The flat mates and I had a candle lit pasta dinner on Friday night.  (How cute?!)


First sight of my college, in all her glory. 


The library ❤


Wearing ear warmers made for me by Debbie (Find her on Facebook: Keeping it Krosha!). Absolutely love my beanie and ear warmers made by her, with all her positive energy, especially for me. 


That’s just me being weird in front of college. Haha! Can just tell that I’m a tourist. 


Got an unlimited 3 month bus pass! Yay. Public transport is actually really functional and effective here so it’s exciting for me to ride the bus here. Also, there’s pics of me being a tourist and walking around in the city (Freeeeeeezing).


Catholic Church in the city. So beautiful.


A few selfies because, duh, it’s me. Haha. 

The international students 2017! 


This was just before I could give my first presentation. And while I am representing my country which is South Africa, it was also important for me to express my Indian origins because my culture is something I hold very close to my heart. 

South African of Indian origin in Europe! Note the huge shoes! It was cold haha! 

The Norwegian saying is :”There is such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.


Riding at the baaaaack of the bus! And in class too. 

I’d like to leave on this thought:

Whatever you’re doing, do it with all your heart. Wherever you’re going, go without any fear and always have courage in your convictions. 

Believe in yourself. Dreams do come true! Mine did. 🙂 
Peace, love and light to you all ❤❤❤