Hard to say goodbye

(Posted by Anjanette)

Its official – I’m in love – with my host family!  Today was a very sad day in terms of the fact we are leaving Sande and our new friends and on to our next stop in Stokke.  Many of us cried but I think Krista and I were the sob queens!  I am excited to meet my new host family and have communicated briefly with Thomas.  But Arne and Ranveig have been so wonderful and they will always have a place in my heart!  A part of me was left in Sande for sure!  And they gave Cindy and me a beautiful sitte underlag (seat cushion) that was made in Sande to use to sit on when camping, etc.

My vocational visit on Tuesday was so inspirational!  I met with Even, Erik’s (the Sande Rotary President) son at the high school in Sande where he teaches Media Design.  I thought it was so amazing that they offered such a program at the high school level.  If I had that kind of opportunity, I may have found my passion before already obtaining one college degree!  He even teaches Photoshop to middle school kids and he showed me some of the movie posters they made last year (which was one of the assignments I had in Photoshop at the NMC college back home!)  But a big difference here is that high school is optional.  You are only required to complete school up to age 15 and then its up to you if you want to continue.  The media program is something that is fairly new there and you have to apply for it.  Even said its a little frustrating because many of the students take his courses just for fun and its rare to have a student who is dedicated and wanting to continue onwards at the college level and goes above and beyond.  Erik and his wife also work at the high school.  Here is the website where you can also look at some of the completed assignments from the media students.  www.morganwaage.com/sande/work.  Its in Norwegian but on this page you can click on the different student names to access the work.  This assignment was to design a new look for the Sande Rotary.  The work will be judged next week and a winner announced and that design actually used – pretty cool!  They also designed a new look, including a new menu, for the cafeteria, which was impressive!  I haven’t even worked with a client yet and don’t do that until my last year at NMC!

Then I met with Eivind, a graphic designer that is from Oslo but works and lives in Sande.  I also met his two assistants, Helene and Synne and I met his wife, who is an artist herself!  They were all so wonderful to visit with and I had Norwegian brown cheese “Brunost” for the first time, which is delicious and sweet!  It was AWESOME meeting him because all day in Oslo I kept seeing an ad for the Eurovision that will be happening at the end of the month in Norway and he designed that ad!  He also designed the cover of the kids travel guide for Oslo, which I saw everywhere too!  And that was neat because the whole thing was made out of candy and then a photograph was taken of it!  Here is his website – www.madebyhandverk.no.  The “Share the Moment” and the blue “Danmark” are what I saw in Oslo.  He and his partner, who is Norwegian but lives in Australia, still does work for the company and he does a lot of 3-D type designs so now I can come home and explain to my roommate, who complained about our 3-D design class we just finished, the purpose of the class!  So cool!  One thing I thought was interesting is that they also do title intro for Norwegian movies and I am not aware of any design firms in US that does that – I thought it was solely film students who do that.  They also don’t do any printing, just design because he wanted to stay away from charging clients for design AND print.  He says many times companies that do that charge so much for the printing, it devalues the time, effort and creative skill of the design process – I admired that!  This also allows his partner to live in Australia because its all just file transfers!  I was also given a gift of two onsies that they designed for my friend who is due in July!  I was offering to pay and only requested one, but he gave me a bonus gift!

Like I said, everyone has been so nice, welcoming and generous!  Processing it all has been difficult and I have to look at my pictures to remind me I was actually there doing and seeing all these amazing things!  Sande is a beautiful place with beautiful and kind people.  I am already planning a visit to Chicago when Arne and Ranveig will be visiting their son and new grandchildren (who will be born in August).  Although I am very sad to leave here, I am looking forward to the rest of our amazing trip!  The hospitality has been exceptional!

(Post by Anjanette Merriweather)

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