19 July 2008


As many of you know, I have decided to take a little break from medical school to volunteer at Jøssåsen, a small community for disabled adults. The place is located approximately 45 minutes away from Trondheim, the third largest city in Norway, and I must admit it is pretty different from Chicago.

This picture (above) was the view outside of my window in Chicago. You can pretty much see all the major buildings in city: Sears Tower, Chicago Tribune, NBC Tower, Wrigley Building, Trump Tower, the Hancock, just to name a few. Yes, I was, indeed in the heart of the city in Chicago.

The view outside my window (picture on right), here in Jøssåsen, could not be more different. The largest building that you can see is the hall, a gathering place for less than 50 people who live in the community. And just outside my window are red and black currant bushes, bearing berries, which will be ripe enough to be harvested in late-August.

The sounds of the ambulances and honking of cars are now replaced by the gentle sounds of the breeze, making the trees whisper, and cow and sheep bells with a "moo" or a "baa" every now and then.

I'm finding Jøssåsen peaceful and quiet, and I feel as if I'm on a long extended vacation. Don't get me wrong, I do work! It's just that the type of work I do here doesn't quite seem like work to me. For example, I'm learning to milk cows. Yes, you read it right. I can actually milk cows! Well, I'm not that good at it yet (I've only been here for 5 days now), but I can get milk out of the cows, and it's pretty fun and amazing. I love it! And our cows produce enough milk for the community plus some, which then gets sold to a proper milk company. I am becoming a regular farm-girl, or I guess a milkmaid. I can't truly claim the title of a milkmaid just quite yet since I can't fill my own bucket full of milk, but once that happens, you will definitely hear about it, and I won't feel too terrible claiming that title. There are other types of work I do, as well, but more of that later.

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