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Bflyw asked me;

As a Norwegian, growing up in Enebakk's neighbor municipality (Rælingen), I am curious.... you told me once (If I'm not remember this wrong) that you were au-pair or exchange student in Enebakk/Norway when you were young(er). Would you like to tell us a little bit more about that experience? :-)

It was in 1986 and I was 17 years old.
I worked as an au pair from January until June.

It was in Ytre Enebakk on a hilltop – it felt liked a hill for me ;)

There were Mum and Dad; he was Swedish, and two small children, Helena 3 y/o and Henrik 1 Y/o. The kids were the main job, but it also included cleaning and shopping. (I included cooking too, as the Mum hated to cook and after we had fish soup 3 days in a row, I asked if she wanted me to cook too)

I got a nice room in the house and earned some money. Not a lot but more than I have ever had before ;)

It was one of the worst winters in Norway in 25 years I was told, so we spend most of January and February inside the house.
I had a blast with the kids, taught them Danish children songs, told them fairy tales, and read to them. We made a lot of playdough, drawings and baked a lot….

When I cooked dinner, Henrik was sitting in his high chair and Helena helped me cook. Her biggest job was the gravy (I was never good at gravy, but you could get a lot of different gravy’s in packages to add water and warm. She would watch over it a whisk it when it boiled.

Later when the weather got better, we went into the woods and collected flowers, acorns, and all things that we brought home and made funny stuff off.

I got letters and packages from home and one of the greatest things was leaven for rye bread. The family loved the bread so much so at the days I baked, they actually invited their friends over so they could have fresh baked rye bread.

There were many other kids around and they loved to come and spend time in “our” house, maybe because we always made many fun things. Some evenings the kids called around to see if I would come out to play with them…..so we skipped ropes, played ball, ate cookies and had fun.

When the Norwegian Independence Day May 17 came, some friends invited me into Oslo, but I had promised the kids that I would come to their school arrangement. So I took the bus with Helena and Henrik and went to the school, where there was a show and a flee marked, soft drinks for the kids and we had such fun.

I turned 18 in April and the family threw me a party, and invited all my little friends. It was so cute and I got presents from Helena and Henrik, cards and drawings from the other kids and a nice dinner.

It was sad when I had to go home. I was supposed to stay for longer, but the Mum was fired from her job, so she was home, and they didn`t have money to keep me.

I found a little book where I got everyone I knew there to write in. The family, all the kids and their families and everyone else I have met there.

One of the kids wrote this I remember:“Jeg er ikke Bjørnson eller Bull, så det jeg skriver er bare noget tull”
I don`t know how to translate it.

I had six wonderful months there and I will always remember how great it was.
I guess that kids liked me even then ;)


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2016 08:58 pm (UTC)
That sounds so wonderful! You are so good with kids! The whole idea of working away from home and going to work in a different country has always intrigued me - you were very brave at only 17!
*big hugs*
Jan. 27th, 2016 04:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words here.
I so love kids and I am great with them, I will admit that ;)
I think the job helped me grow up. I went to a school for six month before going to Norway, like a house holding school. I learned about all the things you need to keep a home. Cleaning, cooking those sort of things. It was the same school where my Mum was in 1966 and my Grandmother in 1944, during the war. I wanted to get out and try my new skills, and when I got home from Norway, I was a grown up and never had the fight with my parents.
I don`t know if I was brave, but I learned a lot about life and what I could handle at that time.
Big hugs back
Jan. 26th, 2016 09:14 pm (UTC)
This is marvelous!! How interesting! And it sounds like you had a blast and made yourself a home within theirs! Lovely!

Jan. 27th, 2016 04:56 pm (UTC)
Ohhh thank you dear,
I am glad that you like to read about my life…and if you have any more things you would like to ask me feel free to do it.

I loved that six month there in Norway. The family was amazing, and I learned a lot about myself. What my limits were and what I liked in life.
Like children and cooking, caring for others and making people feel good.
When I got back home at 18, I was “grown up” and I never had that big fallout fight with my parents many kids have to get independent.

Jan. 26th, 2016 09:39 pm (UTC)

Thank you for sharing this!

It's weird to think that for a few months, when I was 12, you lived only about 35 km away from me. I remember ONCE in my lifetime, that we've had a snowday (school closed because of winter), and that might have been that winter. When school was closed for one day because they couldn't get the heat up enough in the classrooms. (So it wasn't because of snow per se)

OMG - that line has been written on a few cards that I have received as well (usually by grown men with no fantasy lol.)

I'm sure you were a wonderful aupair.  I'm never been a kid-person and have never had that interest - but I really admire you people that are really good with kids!

Jan. 27th, 2016 05:08 pm (UTC)
You are welcome hon.

It really is, I wonder what would have happened if we had actually met at that time.

As I remember, we went to Norway at January 10, and the weather was so snowy and cold, that as one point, we went into some small diner for coffee and my Dad didn`t turn the motor of the car, as it would never start again if he did…

I do remember it was a boy at ca. 11-12 year old, which wrote that ;)

I had a great time there; I have been babysitting from the age of 12, so I knew that being around kids was my thing.

I just remember that the town where the kids went to school was named “Knullestad”.
I was told it was kind of a “dirty” word from some of the kids.
Do you know that town?

Jan. 27th, 2016 05:42 pm (UTC)
I am such a bad adult - I laughed out loud reading that name!
No, I've never heard of it :-)
Jan. 28th, 2016 02:11 pm (UTC)
As I remember the kids giggled a LOT when they told me what it meant ;)

Edited at 2016-01-28 02:12 pm (UTC)
Jan. 27th, 2016 09:24 am (UTC)
You never told me that before! That sounds amazing. I'm so glad you got to do that at that age! Thinking back, I wouldn't have been able to do it, the world was still so big back then. And I had no mind for stuff like that. I wish I would have.

Did you keep in contact with them? :)
Jan. 27th, 2016 05:27 pm (UTC)
Ohh noes I didn`t?
Then we have something to talk about next October then.

I went to a house holding school for six month before Norway, a school where you learn cooking, cleaning and everything you need to run a household.

I never had a big fallout with my parents about growing up or being independent. I went to Norway for six month, and when I got home, I was “grown up” and never needed those big fights that many other teenagers do (Like SIS and BRO that turned that into an art form)

Therefore, I just wanted to try to be independent and do my own thing. I learned a lot about myself those six months.

Well you are the one that goes to Hawaii, Thailand and an education in Mallorca no, where I am the one staying home. It is not the age that is important; it is that you do what you want to do at the time you do it.

I kept in contact with them for two years, then the parents got divorced and Mum moved away with the kids. Therefore, I have no idea what is going on with them…

Jan. 28th, 2016 09:31 am (UTC)
I don't recall it at least. I'm looking forward to learning more :)

Well, yes, I am, but that's not the same :D Now you have to make sure everything else is running smoothly while you're away, when you're younger you can just go without much thinking about anything else :D and it's probably way more impressive when you still think the world is such a big and scary place ;)

Do you remember their names? Maybe there is a chance you can find them on facebook?
Jan. 28th, 2016 02:37 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you had a great time, I think that's the most important thing with experiences like that. Not the money, but the people you meet and that in the end, you can say you'd do it again :).

Haha, sounds like something I could write ;).
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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