It is said it you can´t beat them join them, that has finally dawned on me the hard way. Just two weeks back I wrote this blog post I am so fed up with the Winter and I am sure most Norwegians were cursing and probably saying “ If this Kenyan girl is fed up with winter, let her go back, we like it that way”.
Norwegians love winter
They love it for a number of reasons, they like it when it gets all white, of course it looks so beautiful, the children love to make snow balls, which I have also learnt and I have actually become a pro in making snow balls. Norwegians love the snow, they love to go skiing.
We have been watching the World Ski Championships being held in Oslo and you can be sure I watched them simply because my fellow Kenyan Philip Boit was participating. I tried to gather a few tricks on how people do it and still I couldn´t imagine myself being in a position to give it a trial.
“Patience, you know why you are fed up with the winter, you are not making maximum use of it, you should try out skiing,” said Eva. Then, at work everyone seemed to ask me if I have tried out skiing and most of my colleagues were volunteering to go with me for skiing, so I thought, probably I should give it a try. If Philip Boit did it, then I can try it out and maybe get better and replace him now that he has ended his skiing career, ha ha ha ha, dreams and visions keep me alive!!
Hellen Hillevi is an Norwegian exchange journalist living in Nairobi, Kenya and after reading my cry about being tired with winter she wrote me an encouragement. “ Sweetie! It will be over soon. I don’t know if you can see the beauty of the snow. At least it lights up in the darkness! Kristin, Håvard and I are missing the snow. It’s funny how we miss the things in Norway and you miss the sun and the hassle of Nairobi. I hope you are still enjoying your stay. ”
This kept me thinking, actually people miss Norway because of Winter? Then, I have to find a reason to like Winter instead of fussing and making noise about it. So I ventured into skiing last Sunday and honestly, I need more snow because I need to go skiing every weekend.
One of my girlfriends had told me long ago, “Should you need to go for skiing, please feel free to borrow my shoes, skis and skiing sticks.” On Saturday evening, she was at home to drop them to me and I was so excited, ready to give it a trial! So when my colleague Sigtor Kjetså volunteered to take my housemate, Annette and I for skiing 101, we agreed and he was here to pick us on Sunday after church.
Skiing lesson 1
The three of us drove to Sandrip, about 30 minute drive from Kristiansand Sentrum. We met many more Norwegians skiing and I realized this is actually a family outing. Husbands, wives and their children, family and friends were all gathered here to give it their best. Sigtor carefully took us through all the basics, like preparing the skis, how to position them on the snow and how to avoid falling.
“Do not be so worried about falling; the more you fall the more you learn. This is fresh snow, so you shouldn’t be worried about being hurt, have fun and enjoy the moment” he said. We started and barely did we go 10 meters before the first fall. Then you learn the tactics of picking up yourself while the skis are on, oh this was tough. But after a few falls, then you become an expert.
“I have finally learnt how to pick up myself after many falls, guess I am falling more than I am actually skiing, this is good experience ha haha”, said my housemate! We laughed at each other, made fools of ourselves and made friends with the other Norwegians we met at Sandrip. I would imagine, NO, the truth is I was actually better than Annette so we named ourselves after Norway and Sweden. Of course I was representing Norway, remember I was told, “In Norway, we really do not care whether we win or not, as long as the Sweds do not beat us,” so I worked hard not to let her beat me. And of course I won, representing Norway! Ha haha ha!!
Then, I remembered one of the FK administrator´s advice, “Your name is what you have to take solace in when it comes to the Norwegian winter. PATIENCE. And stubbornness. And endurance. And perseverance. And optimism,” commented Nita Kapoor on my blog post. This enough kept me going.
Excited about my first skiing experience, I have been shouting about it everywhere and one of my best Norwegian friends called me and I went like “Hey, I had a great day, I went for skiing and I did 600 meters for my first lesson and fell down four times” expecting to hear congratulatory remarks, all I got from the other side was a hearty laughter and laughing he did. “Patience, you are not even ashamed to tell people you went skiing for 600 meters on a flat land, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! ” he laughed!
But I consoled myself and said, just some more snow and I will become an expert soon. Philip Boit is my inspiration, so maybe I will be replacing him soon. “We recognize him as a role model trying to ski for 15 years now, this experience is special enough especially because he comes from Kenya” commented Norwegian Ski Champion Bjorn Dæhlie on Boit´s zeal. At work, my colleagues were watching the videos Sigtor took of us and there was good feedback, so I am excited.
Skiing, here I come, more snow please!!!