Stockholm- Sweden 🇸🇪 A tale of two days ❤

I’m no jet setter. Well not yet anyway. But this world is so big and I want to know everything and soak up as much as I can. Allowing positivity in and keeping negativity at bay. 

The world. 🌎 Wow.


My parents (God bless their pure hearts) gave me an amazing 26th Birthday present. They gave me a trip to Stockholm. That’s the capital of Sweden 🇸🇪 just incase you didn’t know. 

Talk about best parents in the world. Truly believe in miracles when I think about the family I’m blessed with. It’s a privilege and an honor to be your daughter, Mom & Dad. An absolute, sincere and pure honor. 

My roommates (the coolest friends I’ve made during my stay in Norway 🇳🇴😎) decided to make the trip a girls weekend away and join me on this trip. I was ever so grateful to have these amazing souls with me. They are so well-traveled and knowledgeable. I learn from them daily. 

So we booked our flights. And we booked accommodation. It was an airbnb. My first time using one of those. 

Friday (24/03/17) 

We left Moholt and took an airport transfer bus which took 45 minutes to get to the airport. We got to the airport and for some weird reason, I kept thinking we were doing an internal flight. But it wasn’t. It was international. Once I wrapped my head around that, it was A for Away! We went through the security control, on our way to the boarding gate, we found a grand piano. One of us knew how to play the piano. And really well too! So Julia took the stage and played a beautiful song which attracted people to the piano area to listen to her and video her and even give her cheers and applause after! Stunning. Beautiful. Sweet. 


We took the 6pm flight and arrived on Stockholm just around 7pm. We then had to take a bus to the city center and try to find our way to our apartment. It wasn’t cold. Spring had definitely sprung. Jennekke looked at a tree with tiny little green buds and she told us she wants to see the leaves before we leave. Julia and I were skeptical as to whether the leaves would bloom in the 3 days we were there. By the time we had reached our apartment (10 minute walk from the city center), we were all actually really tired and decided to retire for the night to make an early start the next morning. Guess what? The leaves did bloom. We saw them on our way out on Sunday.

Saturday (25/03/17)

We woke up, got ready, had breakfast and set out on a little adventure. We walked to the city center and the sun was shining. It was around 10 to 12 degrees. The highest I’ve felt it so far, here in Scandinavia. We had our sunglasses on and walked through the most beautiful parts of the city. Cobble stone roads, tiny shops selling anything and everything, street venders selling candy apples and churros and quaint little cafès which looked just too divine. There were tourists everywhere. The architecture and design of the buildings were so stunning. 


I doubt my pictures do justice to the splendor that is Stockholm, but these pictures are for YOU to see what I was seeing on the amazing little walk. 

We were trekking to the Royal Palace. On the way, we found an amazing canal/body of water which had the best view, so obviously I got some pictures there. Here’s me, looking all touristic and shit ❤✌🏼


Oh before I go on. My roommate Debora, from Italy 🇮🇹, she had also booked to come with us however due to unforeseen circumstances, she had to go to Italy urgently and couldn’t come on the Trip.  We missed her so much. 

So we get to the Royal Palace and WOW, what a Palace it was. There was a room dedicated to the bridal gowns worn by the queens and princesses. There was a throne which was gifted to the queen. We had little electronic devices provided to us by the museum and basically you just point it at the information sign beside the item of interest and of gives you a brief history on the item. Pretty hi-tech stuff. Interactive and fun. Just the things I love about the museum. ❤


The bridal room and throne room ❤


Other parts of the palace looked like this: 

Royal marching band.​

We then ventured through these cute little cobble stone streets and walked past thousands of other tourists. Souvenir shops, clothing shops, candy shops, cafès, people walking their dogs, people sporting all types of amazing fashion and even a Hare Krsna group singing in the little alleys. Listening to the Krsna songs made my heart so so warm. Everything was beautiful. 

Here, see for yourself : 



We stumbled upon a body of water and it was just glorious. We also hiked up to this viewpoint to get a better look at the city. So beautiful! 

Clear blue skies. Sun shining. Perfect. 

Next stop was a cosy, quaint little cafè, I had some tea (#TeaAddict). 

As we walked outside the cafè, I heard familiar music and was immediately drawn to it. Music that made my heart beam and my face light up. Music from my culture, my religion, my life, being played on the streets on Stockholm. 



We saw some cool pirates along the way and came across a group of people doing yoga at the edge of the water. It was so transcending to see the sun shining on the ripples of water and the shadows of the people doing yoga. 

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a little bit obsessed with candy apples. So, I got myself a chocolate covered one and had a blast eating it in the sun! Felt kinda cute to be a kid again. 


Here’s more stunning buildings. 


Next stop : Limericks Pub. Nachos were shared and beers were consumed. Nice relaxing stop from the fast pace of the day. 


After the exhausting day, we headed “home” or back to the apartment. The girls and I were amazed at our sense of direction. We acquainted ourselves with the city so well that we didn’t even need a map to find our way back. 

We got “home” and got comfy. We sunk into the couch and curled up to watch 📺 TV. It’s been a while since any of us sat on a couch or watched TV for the matter. So we  relaxed and chilled out before going to bed. 

Sunday (26/03/17)

The day of Museums 😍😍😍🙏🏼

We went to the Stockholm Historika museum which depicted how the Swedish lived through the centuries. I love how interactive the museums are and you’re encouraged to touch everything and interact with all the items on display. They also appeal to all your senses which is pretty cool! 









Then we went to a dance museum 💃🏻 

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The multimedia screen featured videos of different dance forms and I was so pleased to see Bollywood dancing featuring too. 


We stopped at another cosy cafè for some chai lattes before it was time for us to head to the city terminal. Pretty cool to see the gay pride flag 🏳️‍🌈  represented too! 


We got out luggage, got to city terminal, hopped on a bus and 45 minutes later, we were saying goodbye to Stockholm.


Our flight took us to Oslo International Airport. Oslo is the capital city of Norway 🇳🇴. At Oslo our flight was delayed by 2 & a half hours to Trondheim and we only reached Trondheim at 11:55pm 😐😫. I was SO exhausted. At Oslo airport Julia & Jennekke played quick cards on the floor whilst I buried myself under a sea of jackets and tried to get some sleep.

With the bus transfer back to Moholt, we only reached home at 1:30am on the morning of the 27th. I had to wake up at 5:30am for school the same morning and boy was I tired! But it was so so worth it. 

It was a brilliant trip, I had great company and got a little glimpse into more scandic life. I will definitely be going back for more. 

Just a little thought on people for your Tuesday motivation. Let go of the toxic people and embrace the good people in your life. If someone loves you, they will never hurt you. Remember that. 
As always, I wish you peace, love and light. 

Thanks for reading! 

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

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.
 

And the fun continues…(Week 2)

Norwegian Adventures

 


I know in my previous blog post I mentioned that the next post (which is this one) was going to focus on the Norwegian Education System, however, I feel that I should rather keep you up to speed with the happenings of this past week and focus on the Education System in a future post. The reason for this is because there’s just so much I want to say about the Education and I need to do more observation and research before presenting the information to you.

Let’s go through my week now, shall we?

On Monday and Tuesday, I attended lectures and these are part of the course I’m doing. My subjects include:

  • Social Science (A short overview of the welfare state and early childhood development)
  • Norwegian Language (learning how to communicate in Norwegian)
  • Pedagogics (Society, children, and childhood – comparing childhoods and comparative perspectives on growing up)
  • Drama
  • Art
  • Music
  • Natural Science
  • Physical Education

These subjects are highly interactive as we are always doing comparisons to our own country and giving feedback (which is awesome!). We get to learn about the Norwegian systems and way of life, but also insight into other countries systems through the various students in our international class.

On Wednesday, I got to finally go to the school (Kindergarten translates to Barnehage in Norwegian) in which I will be doing my 35 days of teaching practice. I have to take 2 buses (15 minutes each) and walk for 15 minutes before I get to my school. I have a male mentor teacher and the age group I am working with is 3-4-year-olds. I have 9 children in my class. I promise to tell you more when I’m giving you my thoughts and findings on the Education system! Promise. You don’t want to miss that post.

On Friday after school, I came home to a beautiful view and I decided to attempt to make chicken curry.

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The curry turned out pretty good for a first attempt, however, it was a bit spicy. I had a heavy hand when adding the masala (spices).

Saturday

On Saturday, The international class (25 students from various countries doing the same course as me) went to an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet! It was at the Egon Tårnet revolving restaurant. It gave us a view of the whole city of Trondheim. It was 110 krone and unlimited pizza. So delicious. I’ll add pictures below.


After filling our bellies and getting the best of the sunset, we decided to take a chance and chase the Northern Lights. We went home, put on all our warm gear, bought some beer and set off to Kristiansten Fortress. We were told that this viewpoint was great for looking at the Northern Lights as well as seeing the city of Trondheim at night. The girls and I took two buses and did a 20-minute hike/walk up the hill to the fortress and WOW! The place was beautiful. We sat on a hill, cracked open a beer and just watched the little sliver of green in the sky. The Northern Lights were not as bright, but you could definitely see it, however, I could not capture it with my camera. A friend from my class caught a few great images and she will email them to me soon, then I’ll put it up for you to see! Pure magic.  Absolutely beautiful.

On our way back home, at around 10:30 pm, we stumbled across a frozen lake. The girls had a ball skating on it. Of course, we did not have ice skates with us, but we were slipping and sliding with our normal shoes. Making snow angels and just having a great time. I am from sunny South Africa and walking on the ice has been challenging for me here in Norway. I keep slipping and feel like I am going to fall because everything is glazed with ice and I feel I have no balance. So I stood at the edge on the snow, whilst everyone else played on the ice.

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My friends were not having it. They held my arms and supported me and took me out onto the ice so that I could also experience it. I really am glad they did so. I got comfortable with being on the ice, and soon after, I too was gliding on the ice and doing little tricks. It’s so good to be surrounded by people who include you in everything and want you to step out of your comfort zone to experience something new and exciting. I’m grateful for the new friends I made because, without them, I would have never had the confidence to try something new and conquer my fear of the ice. My first time on ice and it was fantastic! Here are also some pictures from the top of the fortress overlooking the city and more of us on the ice.

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Shew! What a day. I was beat. But I must say that I had the most awesome time trying out new things and connecting with my classmates in a setting other than our classroom.  Friendships were formed and it was a great opportunity to step out of my little comfort bubble and get going with this Norwegian lifestyle.

Sunday

On Sunday, I had a relaxing day in. I slept til late and woke up and did some cleaning. A few of my new friends invited me out to the movies with them. Alana and Emily from Ireland and Anke from Belgium wanted to go to the cinema and watch “Split” (Go watch this movie!!!). This is a movie about a man with Disassociative Identity Disorder (DID). It’s so interesting and my favorite genre of movies are Psychological thrillers, so DUH, I was definitely amped to go to the movies. The four of us set off at about 5:30 pm and reached the cinema in time to buy our popcorn and tickets.

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Everything pretty much works on a self-service basis and you get your popcorn from this heated glass oven type thing and go over to the pay point and just pay for it. The layout is really cool.

We watched the movie and were at the edge of our seats the entire time. It was THAT GOOD! I mean, come on, M Night Shyamalan is just a genius director. The movie was epic. It was so good that whilst on the bus, busy engaging in conversation about how good the movie was, we missed our stop! Three stops later we realized, whoops, we’re lost. So we got off and waited for another bus to take us back into the city and then catch another bus back home. We ended up getting home pretty late but it was fun and an experience to remember none-the-less.

 

All in all, I had a fantastic weekend.

I would like to make this blog more structured and I think from now onwards, I am going to try and blog every Sunday, to give you a run down of my interesting week.  How does that sound? Good? Good!

I’d like to leave with this thought:

There is a  Japanese concept called “Ikigai” (生き甲斐) meaning “a reason for being”. Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an Ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self.

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I believe once you find your “Ikigai”, your life will be filled with bliss.

Go out there and find your “Ikigai” my little embodiments of light. Go out there and find your reason for being. And live the best possible life that you can!

 

Love and light to you always,

Sona

*I’m adding the serenity prayer here, for any of you who might need it. This prayer has helped me through some of my darkest days and I’m sure it could help others too! Spread the love, spread the light, spread the peace.*img_1044

Hello Norway 🇳🇴❤️

Wow. 

Just wow. 

So let me start with the travel diaries and tell you about my flights and the journey. Then I’ll get to the pictures and beauty that is Norway. 

I left Johannesburg at 7pm on the 18th January. Had the longest flight to Dubai, reaching there at 6am on the 19th January. I didn’t sleep at all on the plane. There were crying babies and people coughing so bad (I felt like Kate Winslet in the movie Contagion 😷). It was bad. 

So, I bumped up the volume on my earphones and listened to Eminem all night. 

 I then boarded a flight from Dubai to Oslo. This was at 8am on the 19th January. 

I reached Oslo at 12pm on the 19th January. But we had been traveling for 7 hours and a bit. 

Hahahaha! That time warp struggle was so real. My body just went into this crazy shock because I hadn’t slept or eaten properly in forever and the blood circulation to my legs was like non-existent due to the fact that I was sitting all the time! Ergh. What a mission. 

My best friend told me that the worst part about traveling, is the traveling. Crying babies, coughing & sneezing sick people and some really rude air hostesses. I just prayed to God that I didn’t have to sit next to anyone creepy.  


We prayed so hard and thankfully, God answered our prayers. We ended up sitting next to each other (My travel buddy and one of my best friends:- Melody Luthuli) and always had a space in between us. Yay for the small pleasures in life. 

So anyway, somewhere over Moscow, the temperature outside the plane was -55 degrees!!!! I kid you not!  Look! 

Icy! Cold! Snowy! Pictures of the view from the plane do absolutely no justice to the actual beauty of seeing it with your own eyes! Anyway, I’m trying to create a visual for you, but even words fail me at this point. Have a look at the pictures I captured from the flight. 

How incredibly beautiful?!?

Back to my story…

Got to Oslo at 12pm and waited til 4:20pm to board the flight to Trondheim. At this point I was just plain down tired. 

We were greeted at the airport by our international coordinator and she was all smiles. 

We then drove for about 30minutes to our apartments in Moholt Alle. It’s the student village here in Trondheim. Well there’s lots of student villages, but ours is Moholt. 

We got a sneak peak of the stunning Queen Maud University! Oh my, what a sight to behold. The building looks like a castle. I will put up pictures when I go there during the day and can actually get a good picture for you guys. 

My apartment block is right next to a convenience store. I share my flat with 3 other exchange students. We share a communal kitchen and bathroom and we each have our own rooms. The rooms are pretty spacious and I have a single bed, desk and chair, huge window and wardrobe. I love my window because it’s beautiful to just sit and watch the goings on outside. Students walking up and down. The hustle and bustle of it all. I woke up on my first morning here to find it had been snowing that night. 
Day 1

Look at my excited face! Look how happy/sleepy/excited I am to see the snow! 

Now, I’m usually the person whose wearing a jersey in Durbans heat. But something clicked within. And I knew I was not gonna be set back by the cold. This experience is far too amazing to be wasted because it’s “too cold” to go out. 

So Melody and I decided to go in to town to get some Norwegian SIM cards and data bundles etc. We walked to the bus stop, hopped on and rode into town. The bus system is so organized and simple here. Once you get used to it, you realize just how easy it is and driving then seems unnecessary. Like, why emit all those carbon fumes in your own cars when you can just get on a clean bus and reduce the bad impact on the earth! Smart and practical. I like it a lot! 

I was really impressed with the busses. Can you tell? Hahaha. 

We got to Trondheim Torg – the biggest mall in Trondheim and wow wow wow. I wanted to buy everything. The stores had such beautiful winter clothes and I was just enamored by the beauty and splendor of it all. The people are really nice and if you’re new to the place and you need to ask questions, they are ever eager to help you out. Really sweet. 

Oh wait, I forgot to tell you about my room mates! 

  • A girl from Italy doing her masters in Civil Engineering 
  • A girl from Germany studying here (not sure of what she is studying yet, because she went on holiday and we didn’t get to talk much)
  • A girl from Holland studying Chemistry.

Women are taking over the world! I love being around strong and powerful people. They raise your frequency and vibration and almost always inspire you. Living life being inspired daily is a beautiful thing indeed!

On that first night, my Norwegian friends Ingrid and Isabel came over and cooked dinner for Melody and I. They made tacos and it was delicious. They also brought us a whole lot of warm winter stuff for when the weather really dips (like -20 degrees).


Day 2

Melody and I needed groceries. So we decided to go to Rema 1000. It’s a grocery store kinda like checkers. There’s also Bunnpriss and kiwi. Like pick n pay and spar.

So we start our trek and Mel says we should turn right. I said no it’s left and then right at the traffic light. 

HAHAHAHAHAHA. I need to stop being a know-it-all because I actually don’t know it all. I forced my poor friend down the wrong road for about 3 hours. We just kept walking and walking until we were so lost we needed to use GPS to navigate our way back. We got some cool pics of the day though.  

Here they are: 


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Finally, SUCCESS! We found Rema 1000. And guess what? We walked out and realized we were on the same street as our apartments. If I had only listened to Melody, we would not have gotten so lost and wet from the drizzle!
All in all, a great first two days and fun too! Loving this place, it’s people and the general vibe here. 

I feel safe, mentally prepared for the next three months and amped to have so much support and love from all of you who read this blog. Thank you all and much love and light to you. 
Bye for now! 

❤️❤️❤️

Getting Cultured

Just a few days left before I leave for my BIG ADVENTURE TO NORWAY. 

I decided to go explore a little bit around Durban with my significant other. 

I’m one of those people that absolutely loves going to Museums! So we went to the Natural Science Museum in Durbans CBD. 

We pressed all the buttons and walked around like little kids admiring the displays. Now, I’ve been to this museum twice a year, every year, since I was about 6 years old. It still never ceases to amaze me. 

I’m going to add pictures below of our little expedition. 

I’m afraid I can’t credit the artists because I forgot to take down their names. However these are the pictures from the Art gallery on the highest level of the museum.

Welcome to Kruger National Park

So, during the December festive season, my family and I decided to do a road trip.

We traveled with close family friends who very soon became family ❤️. One of which planned the entire thing and he was so meticulous in his planning! You should have seen our itinerary. It was  OCD heaven!

Our trip spanned over quite a few provinces and we traveled in a 3 car convoy.

We checked in at Daans Place in Mpumalanga for the first three days where we went trekking to find the awesome panoramic view and the breathtaking, serene waterfalls. Bourkes Luck Potholes were my favorite, though…

I’ll add all the pictures below 😉


We then stayed at Hlumu Lodge in Badplas which is a rehabilitation shelter for animals that have been abandoned by their families because they were too weak or maybe not the same as the rest of the pack. We met a well domesticated Nyala whose name is Dexter and he has one horn. He was such a delight. The cabins had a beautiful rustic feel to them and the large, open space of land made me want to migrate to a place more in tune with nature.

We then drove to Rustenburg to complete the last leg of our journey. We enjoyed New Year’s Eve at Sun City before heading back to have a family braai. After all, family is everything!

After two nights in Rustenburg, we made our trek back to Johannesburg, not before stopping at Hartebeestport dam to take pictures with the miniature version of the Eiffel Tower and the Love Lock bridge.


We drove in the sunshine and in rain. We drove around mountains and in the middle of the animals playground at Kruger. We experienced it all.
To top it all off.

I SAW ALL FIVE OF THE BIG FIVE!!!

  • Saw 2 leopards up in the trees
  • An adolescent lion chilling alone under a tree
  • A pride of lionesses after killing a hippopotamus (four to six lionesses)
  • Four Rhinoceros (the black and white)
  • Plenty buffalo
  • Elephants for dayyyyyyssss!!!

Elephant skeleton 
Also spotted:

  • Hyenas
  • Porcupines
  • Hare
  • Impalas
  • Blue Wildebeests
  • Warthogs
  • Zebras
  • Giraffes
  • Wild dogs
  • Steenbok
  • Literally all types of Bok
  • Hippopotamus
  • Baobab Tree
  • All types of cool AF birds

Also!!!!! The Ellie’s really stole the show. What personalities on those beauts. Gods creation really is wonderful.

We so happened upon a herd of Ellie’s having a midday splash in a nearby watering hole while we were eating lunch.

It was spiritually uplifting to reconnect with nature like that.

The waterfalls, the views, the clean air, the animals. My word. I was in total awe of it all. What a breathtaking experience.
More pics: Teaching mom to pout and some other randoms from the eventful and spiritually uplifting journey.