Thursday, September 4, 2008


I think i process allegorically, this all seemed to make sense to me =)


Imagine yourself as a stone,
picked up from a pond,
thrown perfectly back across it.
You bounce over the surface when all you want
is to just plunge straight back in.

At first it seems alright,
a quick hit of the surface,
the moment before immersion,
enough to remember the waters touch.

All that you have known, returned,
familiar friends, faces and family waiting there
in the water;
it’s as though you’ve already plunged back in,
ready to swim about as you please.

Yet time moves on,
realization dawns,
and attempts to swim are awkward, useless.
Flying through the air would make it feel that way.

Just waiting to hit the surface again,
maybe next time, next time
you might hit and dive back in,
returned to all that you know

But what if you were actually meant to fly?
To swim is no longer enough.
Maybe we were created to fly,
yet somehow along the way
we found this pond and learnt to swim.

As time wears on memory fades.
We forgot how to fly,
that we were made to fly.
Some have even stopped swimming.
What if some of us sunk like stones?
What if we’re all just too lazy,
or too scared,
or too content to remember how to fly?
Maybe we have taught ourselves
‘There is freedom in my pond’
and forgotten the life above that was given to us freely.

So this is my choice.
Do I wait it out?
Bouncing until I sink back in,
free to swim again.

Or, do I take up the challenge and learn to fly?

Monday, June 16, 2008

something New

Europe, for all its cultural history and magnificent beauty is, i feel at times, all the same.
Its not to say that each country doesnt have its own unique cultural differences and quirks but, as one coming from Australia is nothing really new.
Tunisia, on the other hand, is, and i realised how much so when i stepped off the plane.

A little nervous as i was out on my own again, a little bit more nervous as i was staying at my first couchsurfing hosts place that night, made only worse being stuck behind immigration slowly getting my visa arranged (although tunisian immigration people may be the friendliest in the world, even more so than the aussies, so that was nice) but wondering if my host would wait around or think I had given her the wrong details, it was ticking past 1am.

Just walking down the street the next day i realised how far out of the norm i was. I have found that walking down the streets of a European country, even though i dont know the language, is no problem, I dont wonder if i will do something wrong or offend someone by accident or provoke a fight... nor in asia, I know these cultures, they are part my own. But here, here it was a little different. Everything was so alien, the dusty streets baking in the hot sun, people wandering about, speaking french or arabic. Its just a place i have never been. Delighfuly, everyone is friendly, so much so you wonder if they are wanting something from you but it seems that all they desire is a chat, to know whereyour from and be helpful if they can. I think im a bit of a prized posession over here, special treatment all round, a glass with ice in it at a restaurant (normally its just a straw in the can) people inviting you into their resaurants, people just going out of their way to hunt down someone who will peak a little broken english so they can help you! its great, its strange but i love it.

SEems as though theres much more to tell, about Pamela our wonderful host and about the adventures me and will have had, sitting and drinking coffee by the road watching chickens fight, stray cats, old carthage, and an awesome taxi driver (probably got a little ripped off though.. but its ok... ) but im out of time, internet cafes are like that...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Life after...

After leaving everyone behind in Norway, each heading off in their own direction, most towards home, I've had a bit of a whirlwind tour of Denmark and Czech Republic.
Traveling with family that wants to see as much of europe as possible in the few short weeks that they have to spare doesnt really lend itself to a relaxing time. Especially when traipsing through large cities, full of history and monuments. Not to mention having just spent 9 months in a small out of the way town in the north of norway amongst the mountains the the fjords.

It was strange to say Goodbye to everyone, one by one they trickled off at different times and by different means, the base got bigger as we became fewer and it started to feel a little surreal. It doesn't really hit you that you're leaving 20 odd people behind, 20 close and amazing friends, maybe to never see them in person again, until, i guess, you're sitting at your gate, alone, waiting to jump on a plane. But even then it doesn't seem all that real. Now it does though.

So, Prague, ill skip copenhagen as I was kind of exhausted and spent alot of the time snoozing or hoping i could snooze soon, lovely city though. But prague, amazing. I dont really know what to say, its great. Old buildings, like older than my country {most of europe seems to be that way though, i should get used to it!} the archetecture is amazing, the food is cheap and good {that's one yay for not being in Norway anymore}, the beer is cheaper than water. Sun was out, soo hot, i think I've lost my tolerance for the heat, Tunisia is going to be a killer, as is melbourne this coming summer. But its nice, I guess it spells the end of my perpetual winter.
Did i mention I've been travelling with my family for the last week? im not sure and too lazy to re-read what I've written... They came to base for the last few days and graduation, it was nice, one good day of weather, the others were horrible, i guess they got lucky though, 1/3 days being good in Engavaagen is pretty decent at times! Well they left a day before me, giving me a chance to pack my stuff finally and say goodbye, and i caught up in copenhagen with them, we parted company again today...
Been in chesky cromlov for the last three days, old medieval town with a nice running river and castle. It's nice, check it out some day...
well... i geuss the Beer from dinner is getting to my head, hence the disjointed blog... nice and lethargic...
and probably full of mistakes {crazy czech keyboards...}

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Times Up.

Everything in the last nine months has gone so fast.
Everything in the last two months seems to have gone even faster.
After arriving back in Norway, home from my trip through China, so much has happened.
Snow caving, a trip to Fauske to hang out with a crazy norwegian snowboarder and help run his youth programs, a few weeks of teaching, a trip up taukeheimen (one of the most beautiful cabins I have had the privilage to stay in), sea kayaking, my birthday (complete with a solo night) and 17th of May celebrations.

I guess i should probably go a little more in depth to some of that...

My time in the fog:
Taukeheimen is a small cabbin, the hom of the Fog, if you translate the name. It sits on a ridge that climbs up the side of the tallest peak in the area and is located above Svartesen, a glacier, that for the last 2000 years has been etching its way down the side of a mountain carving itself a cradle of streaked, multicoloured rock.
For us, this place was the home of the rediculous wind. Hiking up the ridge we leaned into the wind, letting it hold us up so we wouldnt get blown off the edge. Moments of calm would come sporadically, moments only long enough to let us hear the next gust of wind racing towards the group about to smack hard enough in the face that we could feel it like a heavy slap.
At the top the wind didnt cease, but at least it blew away the clouds, the rain, the snow, the fog, everything. The skies were clear and blue, the sun shined down brightly and warmed us all, and the ground was still blanketed in a cover of snow. There isnt much else to do in times like that but revel in its beauty and have fun. Fighting for a ridge as others tried to climb the overhung snow cliff, and then jumping off, falling 4m and sinking into the snow to your thighs.
The cabin was beautiful, a warm oasis of peace in that windy place, but we still wanted to go for the peak. Unfortunately, however, we only made it half way, but we worshiped and praised none the less where we were.
In a land covered in snow the downward trip is always more fun. What took us an hour and a half to climb up, gave us a descent of about 5mins as we slid down at high speed. As i was flying down the hill on my butt, getting a face full of snowy, icy spray i glanced to my right; Nick, being the ever optimistic adrenaline junky came speeding past, face first, penguin style, down a slope that was too steep to see down and that we didnt actaully hike up. He managed to dodge all the rocks luckly.
So that was my week amongst the clouds that had left.

My birthday!
22, sounds old to me, makes me thing i should be responsible or something, i guess some friends are getting full time qualified jobs this year or next, scary thought...
May babies are plentiful here at base, Nick on the 2nd, Madara on the 7th, Me on the 8th, Arslan on the 16th, Lars on the 17th, Oystein on the 18th. It's crazy and feels like a big long party that coming to an abrupt end in a week when we all leave...
I guess my birthday was an interesting one this year, we were kicked out of base, into the wind and the rain. Given a tarp and some string and whatever else we chose to bring to wear we were dropped off along the side of a road and told to be back the next morning. great way to spend your birthday aye? alone in the bush, with the rain coming down, not hard but light enough to drench you without noticing too much until its too late. But it was fun, a night alone hearing the rain come down, a suprise visit from the staff bearing freshly backed brownies and coffee! Not to mention a great time just hanging out with God, just chilling, chatting and watching the world go by as sheets of rain came down.

Floating about in a piece of plastic:
We went down south the other day, to paddle around the scattered islands in a fjord next to ours. It was nice, reminded me of my rowing years. The weather, as always, we a little bit messed up, bright sun shine, then over cast, the snowing big fatty flakes as the Anne, the alaskin calls them. then right back to sunshine, all in the space of 15 mins. Things wernt looking to promising for the trip as we arrived at the launching spot. Fortunately, as always, well amost always, the weather was on our side and the skes cleared and the rest of the day was bright and warm.
We ended up on a small island with 3 inhabitants who harvest down from a bird, they spend half a year collecting 1kg of down thats worth about $4000 and make quilts worth $10,000. The down is so special and so light they use to make -60c expedition sleeping bags and what not. we got to hold a ball of the stuff that was about the size of a footy, it was a strange experience, as you could feel it in your hands but it had next to no weigth and felt like nothing was there.
Our last two nigth were spent on lovan, the home of the puffins (small with brighly coloured beaks.), where each summer hundreds of puffins return home to their nests, find their mate (they have the same one throughout life) and make a single baby, then fly off again. the rest of their lives is spend at sea, when they're home most of their time is spent circling the island, again, and again, and again until about midnight when they dissapear, strange birds...
more crazy weather as we hiked to the peak, it was snowing but the skies were blue and the sun was out, it was nice.

So, i've tried a quick catchup on all the things i've done, i could sit and write for hour but its my last week and i would prefer to be outside! hope this satisfies, anyway, ill be home soon and can tell you all in person!

have a good one!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

snow... lots of snow...

Once upon a time God made Norway,
As one of the first places made by God, Norway cant really be blamed for its squiggly outline, I guess God needed to practice His drawing skills somewhere.
Despite this, however, it was a beautiful country, full of mountains and wild animals, warm and green in the summer, draped in the glow of the sun, yet a cold forsaken place during the winter, dark and depressing. The darkness could be seen by some, as an act of grace by our creator, to hide the squiggly outline from the eyes of a cruel world for half a year. On the other hand, others would see this as a cruel joke, as the other half of the year, bathed in the spotlight of the sun, there are no times of relief.
You can call the snow that falls here, a bit of a concession, to blur the outline in the spring.
Its with this lovely carpet of white where all the fun begins here in the spring.

You can do a number of things with it, some of it God has to do for you before you can have fun.
- you can roll it in a ball and throw it at someone
- pile it up and jump off it... errr
so i geuss God had to do most of the work for us to have fun with it.
Dropping it on a big hill was a great one. Sure it takes a bit of work to get the most fun out of it, but hiking 3 hours up a steep hill with a board strapped to your back, feet sinking in each step, sliding back step after step but slowly moving forward.
If you make it to the top, you're rewarded with a) an amazing view b) a bite to eat c) great soft powder and d) 900+ meters of mountain to descent as fast as you can. Strangly a 10-20m ride down is well worth the gruelling 3 hours walk up.
If it happens that God made a pile of the stuff for you to play with you have a few options.
- Grab a peice of plastic, find a steep patch and go for it. A 40m slide over in a few seconds, grab some air in the middle, just watch out for the landing.
- If you have a shovel you can dig a hole, cut some shelves, light a candle and you have a glowing cave to sleep in. A -20c night is quickly forgotten inside as you crash with some friends in your brand new glowing home. A silent tomb sheltered from any storm that rages outside.
- Grab a saw and build yourself a castle, carving brick by brick.
If all you have is undulating white hills in all directions just grab some cross country skis. Sure, at the bottom of every single hill you will probably face plant, we did, but the hope that we didnt was enough to grit our teeth and go straight down. Completely out of control, dodging and weaving, well following the bumps of the hill down and hoping you dont end up squished against someone in the snow, a giant heap of tangled people and skis.

When all else fails, due to the fjords, there are alot of bridges, go find one, grab some rope, and jump!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Back to norway!

I'm back in Norway!
-I can write all i want without worrying about the crazy chinese government restrictions,

-I can go to (you cant load it in China) - and a whole bunch of other sites that are "restricted"

-I can talk about God and not guard my words, don't need to protect the Missionaries.

Free to speak now.

If you havent found it yet, i wrote a separate blog in China so check it out here, or just click on the link on the right that says "outreach"

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I had a moment of realisation the other day.

My mind is a constant battleground.
It's my head verses my heart.
The head is armed with Logic and reason, the heart with emotion.
Neither is more valuable than the other, I understand, they're both equal.
I just think my head is a better fighter.