Who are we?

We, the divers, are two Colombians and two Norwegians seeking to look under the surface of what diversity means and its implications to peace education. We are also seeking to improve the organizations relations between the two countries.

This is the third exchange project, funded by Fredskorpset (FK). We will be working on the theme of Diversity; the one on 2012 managed a better understanding of Sustainable Development and the one that ended this summer focused their attention in Human Rights. Hopefully next year a new cooperation project will start working on the CISV’s fourth content area: Conflict-Resolution.

During these eight months, we want to develop useful tools by doing research, workshops, interviews and arranging local activities.

We would like for everyone to participate and get involved in this exchange and in the activities we will be facilitating. At the end of this eight months, we hope to be able to publish a book as a result of our cultural experiences and research.

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Out on a Wednesday!

Last Wednesday we were invited by our coordinator Eirik to go check out his band Kameleon Orkesteret at this local bar called Biblioteket Bar. We, at least Anita & I, had never seen Eirik play the piano so evidently we were wondering what his band would sound like, even though we had met other members of the band. Finally, full of expectations and tons of curiosity we went there at 8:15pm. I must admit I was 15 minutes late but still, when I arrived and heard the music playing, I rushed into a room full of soft lights on and some cozy sofas. Yeah, that’s right, a perfect place to sit down, drink a beer or even a hot cup of tea and listen to some live music.

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Under a huge chandelier were the 5 guys we were expecting to see. They started singing this “oldie” songs but somehow they managed to change them from their original versions and give a “jazzy” ring to them. I’ll just tell you that it was a groovy experience and I genuinely loved listening to Are’s & Alf’s amazing voices, Eirik enjoying himself so much playing the piano as well as having fun rapping, which I must say never thought I would see him doing.

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In the end, it was a great evening that Anita, Mikkel & I enjoyed very much. Can’t wait to go back for some more of their music!

Host Family Weekend

Last weekend us, the two Colombians, were supposed to spend the whole weekend with a host Norwegian family in Bergen. They picked me up at the CISV Office on Friday at about 5:30pm and from then on I spent 3 days with them and had the best time.

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Since the very beginning I felt as if I was at home. The first day we played ‘Cluedo’ –a board game- and they showed me some Norwegian maps (a good start to get to know this culture!). After that, we had a great dinner together!

On Saturday we went to Ulriken, which is the highest mountain in Bergen. To get to the top we took the aerial tramway and I could see the city and everything that was around it. We walked for almost 4 hours, surrounded by the beauty of nature: so inspiring! I definitely loved that place.

Finally, on Sunday we spent most of the time at the “Bergen Matfestival” (a street market for organic food), and there I tried different types of Norwegian food which included cheese tasting, jam, honey, ice cream and so on. Undoubtedly, it was a nice weekend.

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I am glad I had this experience; because I learned so many things and met an amazing family who shared their time and their lovely home with me. Now, all I can say is that I feel very happy and thankful for that weekend.

Our new office!

The first week at the office was a bit messy. The room who was supposed to be our office is having an extreme makeover! The walls were yellow, the furniture was old and the carpet floor was worn.. The members of CISV Bergen has done a fantastic job by removing the old carpet from the floor and painted the walls. Tora, Anna and I went with the president of CISV Bergen to IKEA on friday for getting some new furniture, while “the floor guy” was laying a new carpet floor. We had an exhausting, but an amazing day with a lot of ideas and solutions for our new office!

At monday afternoon the IKEA transport passed by the CISV house, and dropped off our new fancy shelfs, tables and chairs. We were so excited and started to assembly it as fast as possible. Unfortunately we didn’t have all the tools, so we continued on tuesday with the rest. By now its looking good, and we are all happy to start working in here.

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Getting to know the team

While Mikkel and Tora were busy representing the team at the FK Camp, Anita and I were busy trying to get everything ready for our trip to Norway. Running around in Bogota and waiting for the Norwegian Consulate’s call finally paid off when we arrived to Oslo, just in time for the LNU (Norwegian Children and Youth Council) Camp.

Indian Restaurant

On the 23rd Anita arrived to meet the other members of our team and spent a wonderful evening with the other Norwegians and Kenyans from different projects –that were participating in the camp with us– at an Indian restaurant. The night went smoothly while meeting the first Colombian.

On Saturday morning the guys took the bus to Uvdal and started working on the first team-building activities together as well as socializing in the evening; the activities were fun and interesting and some of them even managed to test the group’s patience. During those first days the whole group shared their expectations as well as the projects they would be working on for this year.

Team-building

On Sunday, I finally arrived to Uvdal, ready to meet the group and especially the CISV team. After being received by Aurora (from LNU) with a piece of paper and an envelope telling me to participate in the activity they were all working on, the “getting to know the whole team” began.

It was crazy to see how everyone was so inviting and welcoming to the new Colombian of the CISV project but then again, the tough part was yet to come. The next morning the work got harder but more excited by the minute and we, the CISV team, started a bunch of brainstorms trying to figure out many of the main questions we thought could help us discover what this exchange and this project is really all about, what we want it to mean and how we want to introduce it to the world.

Natural Park

Days kept going full of hard work and then relaxing nights watching movies, playing mini-golf, ping-pong and a lot of “yellow ball” going on –great game! Then, two days before leaving Uvdal all 6 Norwegians prepared an amazing surprise for us and the Kenyans and took us to Langedrag Natur-Park, sharing with us a beautiful experience that we all enjoyed and continued to make that first week a great start for us all.

Let me just say that our first week together at the LNU Camp brought many amazing ideas to the table along with some good stories, lots of muscular pain, a bunch of great pictures and inside jokes between the whole group… We enjoyed the activities and the time we had for taking the very first steps of our projects. This was most definitely a great start for us!!

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