Dugnad is a norwegian word which means getting together and working for a common cause or to help a person. It is an unpaid work and voluntary. It is very usual in local communities and organizations. A dugnad can also be helping a neighbor or a friend painting or renovating his house (in exchange for some beer. Heheheh)

Last Saturday, we went to a dugnad at Skjeberg. Everyone who own a boat parking space were there. It is also a very social thing. Going around talking to the neighbors. I enjoyed it very much but I did not stay very long because I was not dressed well. The wind was fierce that day.



The kids find something to do while the parents work and socialize….



Dugnad is synonymous to filipino “Bayanihan”


If I would sum up all the hours I have spent in line, it would probably be months or even years. I do not mind standing in line and waiting for my turn as long as I have the time and I do not have any appointments or anything important to do. Otherwise, I prioritize.

My husband and 2 colleagues are going to Kaliningrad, Russia on the 22nd of April. I arranged for their stay and coordinated with a travel agency in Kaliningrad. After we got our visa support and hotel vouchers from Nocturne Travel, we went to the Russian consulate in Oslo yesterday. We were there at 11:00 am. There was a long queue and the processing of each applicant were not that fast so we were not able to get to the counter by 12:00nn. (Visa applications and claims are entertained only until 12:00nn). There was nothing to do but to go back today.

We decided to go to Oslo earlier today. We left Jessheim at 8:00 thinking that we would be able to get to the embassy by 9:00. Unfortunately, the traffic was very slow when we entered Oslo due to a bus that had some motor problems. Some people are just too impatient that they used the bus/taxi lane to get to their destination while others stay in line very patiently. We finally got to the embassy a little after 10:00. The line was longer than yesterday.

While waiting for our turn, we chatted with some people who were there and hoped that we would be able to get to the counter on time this time. There was this lady in front of us who kept on complaining all the time. She was there from 9:30am. She was complaining how slow the assessment was … that there should be a queue stub … and that there should be more counters.. that there should be a system…etc.etc. One guy had enough of her complaining and said that maybe she should go and visit the Norwegian embassy in Moscow and see how the Russians stay in line outside the embassy when it is -20 degrees Celsius. I agree with this guy.

There is a system at the Russian embassy. We are most welcome to see this wonderful country but we have to abide by their system. There is no use complaining. The smartest thing to do is to get to the embassy early enough to get ahead of the others.

Each embassy/consulate has there own system. I can tell you that the Norwegian embassy has their own system too. For example at the Norwegian Embassy Manila, one has to wait minimum of 4 weeks to get a tourist visa approval. And let me not talk about the visa application process at the US embassy in the Philippines!

Anyway, at 12:00nn when the counters were closing, they announced that those who are leaving tomorrow for Russia and those who wanted their visa (especially those leaving in the weekend) within 24 hours could stay on and would be served.

It was not that bad after all.

Easter Break

For the first time, my eldest daughter, Angelika Jane, went on a trip alone. Not very far away, though, just Denmark. Although, she was going to my husband’s family, I could not help but be worried. Even if she is 15 years old, in my eyes, she is still my baby. I guess, all parents never really get pass the point where kids grow up. Or is it just me?

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The right photo is Oslo Gardermoen Airport’s ATC tower. It is considered one of the most advanced in the world. I call the left photo – the star of Gardermoen. Hehe. If you happen to see this star as you drive by E6, you are about 2 minutes away by car to my home.

Let me tell you one thing about norwegians, they are renovation maniacs! LOL. Norwegians spend so much money on their homes. And I think I got this disease. Instead of doing something during the easter break, I decided to paint the bedroom, for now. We are intending to do something more later on.

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The room is about around 23 square meters with a wall making 2 separate small rooms inside the bedroom. I painted 10 walls. You can just imagine why I do not want to see another paint brush for awhile. It used to be yellow and I painted it Cafe Late (between brown and creme) this time. For those who know me, it would probably be a surprise since I usually choose lively colors. Maybe, I’d change my mind later.

On Easter Sunday, my daughter, Tatyana, and I went to St. Magnus Catholic Church in Lillestrøm. I like this church very much. The size of it gives me a feeling of belonging to the community. It is a small church. The simple and modern architecture and interior design of the church gives me the feeling of serenity.
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After the mass, we went to Shiela’s home, a fellow filipino, for Easter Dinner. We were served Pancit, Reindeer Steak, Embotido among others.

Minnesund Bridge
The view from Shiela’s Kitchen window. Mjøsa River. Minnesund Bridge