Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, I am Back.

Well, it has been a long time since. I have been alive and kicking.

An d I am happy to be back. I don’t know how it feels to hibernate. This is because it is both good and not so good. Good that you worry about nothing if you choose to, but not so good if your buddies are wondering where you are. I am over here in Nairobi, Kenya.

Monday, June 23, 2008


On board Kenya Airways; the pride of Africa,

On my way to Norway, a country way up north,
The unknown country; where there is sun even at midnight.

Norway I had been told,
No Way had I thought,
Norway I found,
Many ways I found.

A city built on sand I landed,
Full of fjords I saw,
Conglomerations of islands I thought,
Was Norway the No Way?

At Hald I arrived,
Strangers I saw, Norway I had arrived,
In the land of many ways.

In one school I met
What seemed to be the whole world,
From Africa they came,
A natural tan of chocolate and black.

From the football loving Brazil and Cameroon,
To the fast running Kenyans
From the pearl of Africa; Uganda,
To the island of Ravalomanana, Madagascar,
From the slopes of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania,
From the rainforests and the Amazons in Bolivia and Peru,
To the advancing Thailand and neighboring Laos,
From the orthodox Serbia, to the new Montenegro,

From the hills and fjords of Norway they came,
Both the vertically challenged and enhanced,
All languages were spoken,
Confused I was.

Food was different,
People were different,
Houses were different,
Driving was on the 'wrong' side of the road,
Summer it was and cold I felt.

Winter came with snow,
Darkness at three in the afternoon!
White rain I saw,
Mesmerized I was.

Strange things I said,
Strange things I did,
Walking like a baby I did,
In the name of skating.
Families I visited, strange things I said,
Fine hair I meant, clever hair I said,
I am fine I meant, I am nice I said,
I must catch a bus I meant, I must imprison a bus I said.

Ten months on I notice,
Friendships have developed,
Everything is no longer strange,
The strange melodious language I can speak,
Everyone is outgoing more than I thought,
It has been great to be together,
Jeg kan Norsk nå,
Norge er et fint land.

And it is painful to say bye………………..

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Well, as I wrote last time, having the students back at Hald is exciting. There are a lot of things that I have been getting to learn and talk with the other students. In a way to create a more free and flexible atmosphere, we have been trying to do several things. One of them has been playing football.

I wouldn’t want you to imagine me playing football for anything else other than fun. Just running around with the ball is great. Of course it is also a way of keeping fit. This reminds me in the days of my youth when we could play football in the afternoons whenever there was rain and sunshine. The good thing over here is that the playing is in sun. The spring sun is here again and it is good to feel the sun after the cold winter.

Norway has many beaches. Going to the beaches with the students and having informal interactions has been useful as well in learning so much about other students and cultures. Some of the students are courageous enough to swim in the clod water but most are not. The good thing however id just sitting on the beaches and talking to no end with the other students.

Walking to the beach with Friends.

At the beach with Sammy.

At the beach with Friends, Faith and Pamela from Uganda.

With a friend from Laos.

Fun at the beach.

Time keeping has been a challenge of late. This is because the students are so different and have had different experiences with time in different cultures. It has become a joke of late when someone says that we are meeting at say One pm. Another asks what one pm really is whether it is Norwegian, African, Asian, or South American time. But things are getting done so it is not a big problem.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back t o Hald.

It is now three weeks since I got back to Hald International Center. At the beginning of the school year in August, it was fun being together with all the students. At the end of September, it was a sorrowful moment when we had to part as the students went to different places within Norway and several other countries for the practice period of the school year.

Even though I had been communicating with many of the students, seeing them again at Hald has been a great inspiration. It is good to see that all the students came back safe and sound. To this all glory goes to God.

The challenge however has been that the six months have been great time for many transformations. So many of the students are really changed. The non Norwegian like me are now tending to be more Norwegian as those Norwegians that went to different countries tend to have taken after the cultures of those countries. Thus you can imagine that in some aspects, I am behaving more Norwegian awhile the students that went to Kenya are sounding more Kenyan in some aspects. Well, even though it is a challenge, it is the uniqueness of the International school. I hope that my interactions will remain fruitful with the students even as we near the end in the next one month.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Music Concert.

The last two days have been moments of great worship to God through music. It has been a blessing to sing to God hymns of praises and worship. I joined the Salem choir in January and we have been singing together since then. We were particularly rehearsing for a concert that was there last Friday in Jørpeland. The concert finally took place and it was a great blessing to sing and bless God’s name, but also the people as well.

The song that was a great blessing among others was Everybody is talking. The song was about what we shall do in heaven. That I have a crown, a robe, shoes, song, praise, a shout among other things. When we get to heaven, we shall shout to the Lord, sing praises and songs, put on our shoes, robes and crowns and walk over God’s heaven. It was a great song where the combination of soprano, alto and tenor produced a great blend of music in praise of the Almighty God.

Then on Saturday was a day to listen as other musicians sang. It was a great concert as well attended by among others Andrae Crouch. But before he sang, several other singers did sing, and one of them was almost eighty. He was incredible. His voice was so strong and his face could testify of his long pilgrimage with God.

Crouch shared a testimony with us about his youth and how he began to play music. He also shared how God healed him of cancer after many of his family members died of the same disease. And when he began to sing, I couldn’t fail to notice his deep joy of the Lord in his voice and face. Indeed as he sung Jesus is the answer to the world today I knew that he was singing out of real experience. This concert is the most outstanding and reflective concert that I have attended and I hope that I will continuously ponder on his everlasting love and mercy upon my life.

I went to the concert with a friend, Tom and Sammy. Tom has been a great blessing and I thank him for ensuring that I attended the concert. I will forever be grateful for him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Meeting Europe in Linz, Austria.

The IFES Europe conference was held in Linz, Austria, from the 20th to the 21st of March. This was a conference that brought together Christian students from mainly Europe and other countries as well.

The theme of the conference was BECAUSE OF LOVE. The emphasis was the desire and the need for Christian students to reach their fellow students with the love of Christ.

Other than meeting many new friends, I also got an opportunity to learn more about the state of Christianity in Europe.

In one of the tents, there was this statement that really got my attention. It stated; Europe, the prodigal continent.

This indeed reminded me of the prodigal son in the bible and the way he was warmly received back by his father. And I gathered that that is what God is ready and willing to do to anyone that has deviated from God’s call in his/her life.

And thus even thought the future of Christianity doesn’t look good, the good thing is that God is forever willing to receive back those who are ready and willing to go back to him. The plenary speakers had one main emphasis, the urgency with which the gospel has to be shared. This is not very easy in any particular place, but what is required of us is to be ready and willing to be used of him to bring people back if fellowship with him.

We had also an Easter service on Easter Sunday. There was nothing spectacular like seeing more than 2000 studnets gathered for the service. It was an awesome experience to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ together.

Easter Sunday service.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It is Summer time again!!!!

I write with nostalgia about this topic. This is because it was a disaster for me when the time was changed to winter time last year. It left me confused for some days because I thought that there was a more complicated explanation than what I was told. I thought there was a scientific reason to it, only to realize that there wasn’t.

The issue was made even harder to comprehend since it became darker and darker as days progressed, and of course winter slowly settled in. I can say that the last few months have been the coldest months I have experienced in my life. Having to dress up with more clothes wasn’t an easier concept either, let alone walking on icy roads that made me fall many times against my will.

But summer time is a time of complete contrast. A time that begins with Spring, when the flowers spring up and leaves grow up on trees again. A time of more life than winter, one would say. A time of more and more light, thus warmer and warmer. How I have missed the warmth of the midday sun along the equator!!

Just to be sure that I am not messed up again as I was last time, my friends send me information informing me of the time change for which am very grateful. I would probably be in confusion if they were not kind enough to remind me of the time change.

I really look forward to enjoying my spring and summer time here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Away on Holiday.

I was on holiday for one week ending the 18th of March. I travelled to Oslo the capital of Norway to be with my Brazilian friends. For some reason, deciding to go for the holiday took me a whole three weeks. All the same, while I was on holiday, I realized that it had been a much needed one.

During the holiday, I went to Noordmark’s Chapel with some of my friends in Oslo. This was a chapel put up by students so as to meet the spiritual needs of people going to the hills to ski or to walk during Sundays.

When we got to the chapel, I noticed that the atmosphere was so different. It was suddenly quiet and all of us went to the altar where we had a time to pray together. That is when I realized that whoever came up with the idea was guided by God. We had been walking in the snow for a while and rest was very necessary. The chapel provided more than that. We had a place to worship as well.

This was one of my serene moments in my life since I came to Norway. It was very refreshing, and am thankful for the chapel.

The chapel in the background after having praying together.

In the chapel.

I also went to a Norwegian course with my friends. The teacher was called Rita. She is one of the kindest ladies I have met. She is a retired teacher that has offered to help teaching my friends in Oslo. It was prior to Easter and she gave a card as a gift for Easter. Her gift reminded me not only of the death of Jesus at the cross, but his triumph as well over death. Praise be to his name.


Monday, March 17, 2008

The Christain Union.

The Christian Union is made up of international students studying at the university in Stavanger. Working with this group has been one interesting experience, especially due to the diversity that cones with it.

Last Friday, I hosted the students for a dinner in our house. Sammy was away and therefore I was alone. I really don’t like cooking alone, but I had no alternative last Friday because I had to cook all alone and for several people. I was actually surprised that I enjoyed cooking. It was a rare occurrence.

The students are planning for an outreach at the beginning of next month. And we hope that all shall be well. It is indeed a taunting task but the good thing is that the students are willing to take the extra mile to ensure that they share the love of Jesus Christ with other students. We hope to join them in sharing the great nems of Jesus Christ this Easter.

So just pray that all shall go well with the outreach planned for the 1st of April.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bread. Yes, i like it.

I went for a skiing trip a few weeks ago with some friends. As we were driving, they asked me about how much I liked about the Norwegian culture. Of course there are many aspects that I like about Norway, even though there are several others that are not as pleasing.

One of those that are appealing is that of eating bread almost all the time. I actually told them that ‘jeg elsker brød’. Of course they were surprised because the world ‘elsker’ has quite a deep meaning.

All the same, I remained adamant that I like bread. They therefore asked me to write a poem about my loving bread. Here it is;

Brød er godt,

Det er fint,

Jeg liker det veldig godt.

Det er lett å lage,

Lett å spise,

Noen kan spise den alltid,

Til frokost,

Til lunsj,

Til middag (If one is lazy to cook),

Til kveldsmat.

Jeg liker grovt brød,

Brunt brød,

Hvit brød,

Og mange andre.

Jeg elsker norsk brød!!!!!!

Sorry if you can’t make head or tail of the above poem. It is meant for my Norwegian ‘audience’.

This poem is dedicated to;

Knut, Karoline and Renate, who among others learned me oh no, taught me how to ski.

And Inki, who always taught me Norwegian even when I didn't want to.

I also dedicate it to Sammy, my team mate, who always laughed at me when I made grievous mistakes while trying to speak Norwegian.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Sigh Of Relief in Kenya.

All eyes have been on the two political leaders since the chaos broke out after elections. The chaos were course uncalled for. The negotiation process has been an anxious moment for most Kenyans. Every evening update seemed to promise no hope, “progress has been made” only to realise that nothing much has been achieved.

It was therefore a sigh of relief when the two principal leaders decided to form what they are calling a grand coalition. The celebrations hat followed the signing of the deal was indeed a show of the anxiety that many Kenyans had, that was thankfully turned into joy.

There is however much more to be done. But I hope that the leaders will continue to show maturity and servant leadership even as the implementation process begins. There is a lot of sacrifices that will be required by many individuals, especially the parliamentarians. As every Kenya, I hope that they will follow suit and show servant leadership that many Kenyans have perhaps been awaiting for.

Bravo Kibaki and Raila.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Go, learn and become is what I call the Hald’s three commandments. Having been here for six months now, there are many things that u have been leaning. Of course becoming follows learning. One of the things that I have been becoming is Norwegian. I have just realized that I have become quite like a Norwegian in several aspects.

Food habits.

Eating bread most of the time was not an interesting thing at all. But right now, I can say that bread is one of my favorite meals in Norway.


It is not easy to do skating by all means. But after doing it twice, I can now say that I am among those people that can do skating, even though it is still very pathetic.


This is among outdoor activities that are liked by very many Norwegians. The air in the open mountains is refreshing and it is a lot of fun to do skiing, especially with friends or as a family.

Two weeks ago, we went skiing with a couple of friends in Sirdal. This was down hill skiing. Of course it goes without saying that I got to fall countless times. At first I remember I was so scared to fall. One of the friends we had gone with told me that falling on snow does not hurt anything, other than my pride. He was right!!!! So what I decided to do is to keep falling like a kid; no, the kids were doing much better that I was. So I kept falling like a person who was skiing for the first time. And after several falls, I got the confidence and I had fun the whole day. Of course I was helped alto by friends who were helping me learn skiing.

Here are some photos.

Just before Skiing began.

Lunch break.

Last weekend, we went to Sauda to visit a family of a friend, Tord, who is now in Cameroun. I also got an opportunity to go skiing again. It was cross country skiing this time round. It was much easier this time round and at least I didn’t get to fall many times. Visiting Tord’s family was an opportunity to know more about the

situation in Kenya since the family was in Kenya last month. It was good hearing about their experiences. One of the most exciting experiences of the weekend was when we had to prepare a Kenyan meal, Ugali for the family and friends. It was good to see that the family liked the food.

Here are some photos as well.

Down... down... down.........

With Tord's family.

Speaking Norwegian.

Speaking Norwegian is not easy. I have been trying to speak it whenever I get an opportunity. As much as the progress has been good, it has come with many silly mistakes which I wouldn’t want to mention here. The good thing is that am getting to speak more and more Norwegian and am so happy abut that.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Youth Conference.

Imagine this scenario; three thousand people gathered together in one big hall. Most of them aged between 14 and 19 years. Several bands of great singers and many good preachers. I bet that such a combination produces some kind of a ‘mess’, especially during singing.

This was what characterized Impuls 2008 at the IMI church a few days ago. The young ones were crazy for Christ as one would say. The first night saw more than 50 of them come in fellowship with Christ.

Worship during the conference.

The mess in this case is of course not negative. The fact that excitement fills the air as they sing for joy to the Lord who has given them, and of course me and all the Christians freedom. During the conference, I rediscovered some of my gifting. I had kind of forgotten about it for sometimes. This gifting is actually making ululations. I realized on that weekend that once a boy, always a boy as I shouted my head off during the singing.

There is this song really got to my heart. It was called Frihetens Konge, which basically means King of freedom. Indeed Jesus is our king of freedom. Seeing the many young people, including myself jumping with joy was indeed a confirmation of this.

The main purpose of Impuls is to bring an awakening among the young in churches in Norway and the world over. Once again, seeing such a big gathering, one is left to conclude that the Christianity is alive in Norway among the young.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Beloved Kenya.

It began as a premonition. But it ended up as a strategy. On the 27th of December 2007, Kenyans queued to vote for their local governments, members of parliament and a president. So far, at least they have oh no!! We have a president, whose legitimacy is in question.

But I would wish to share my experience over these days. I followed the elections on internet. In the evening of the voting day, we went swimming. It was so hard to concentrate on swimming since I was anxious to know the results, just like any Kenyan. The difference was that I was doing it from thousands of kilometers away.

When we came back from the pool, it was about 2000hrs, in which case it was 2200hrs in Kenya. As the analylists would call it, the results had began trickling in. I was to travel the next day to a conference. Well, I tried to sleep and I couldn’t for the whole night. When I realized that my trying to sleep was futile, I read all the night as I followed the news. The results were quite surprising as the sitting members of parliament kept loosing their seats. Another occurrence was that quite a number of ministers and their assistants were being ‘send home’ at a not so surprising rate.

Three days later, the Electoral Commission announced the results that were long disputed before they were announced. I could not access internet at the conference, so I had to rely on my friends in Kenya to update me. Anyway, the declaration of the one of the candidates as a winner resulted in untold violence across Kenya as it is now known internationally.

But there is one thing that is very disturbing to me. As one part of the country is intact, the other part of the country is basically on its knees. In the west, a city that not so long ago celebrated its a hundred years is no longer a city, but a shell. This is just but one among the many bad things that have happened.

The politicians continue politicking. The rich continue to be rich, and of course the poor fight each other and die. And if they don’t die they are left to live in more poverty than they have ever before. That seems to be democracy in Kenya these days.

And I have this hope against hope, that the politicians will listen to each and themselves even as Kofi Annan does all he can to help the Kenyans save a country that was once known as an island of peace. And that Kenya will emerge stronger than before, with reforms that will favor the populace, but not the leaders and the rich few, some of whom have no Kenyans’ interest at heart.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eleven Months to New Year's Eve.

It is a month now since the new year began. One would say time flies!! Does it really? I visited a friend today. While he was taking us back home, he said something that got my attention. He said that it is 11 months to New Year’s Eve. Of course it is the same thing as saying that it is the end of January.

That got me thinking about this year so far. A lot has happened in this year, even though it is only 30 days. The main concern to me right now is to try and ask myself if I have been true to my word that I will become better and better in this year than the previous year. So far, am not sure, but at least am on track.

What makes it hard to do an evaluation is that last year began when I was in Kenya. Beginning a year in Norway is totally a new and different scenario. But I have been reconciling the two. And actually I have found a common ground. And you know what!! The common ground is me. And that is exciting.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Building on your stengths.

The creation is full of diversity and beauty. I have been asking myself about some basic questions. Why is it that there are lions in Kenya by nature, and say only in Norway in the zoos? Why is it that there are elks and bears in Norway and none in Kenya? Further to this, what would happen if Norway insisted that it wants to have lions in the wild just like Kenya and vice versa. It would be an effort in futility, I think.

These diversities, natural orientations and advantages are also observed in people. There are people that when seen dancing, for instance, you would wish that they would do so forever. There are others that you would wonder why they are trying to do so in the first place. Interestingly, those ones unable to dance are likely to be better at something else. These abilities are quite observable in many people. There are things that some people can do; almost perfectly and like them; the same things are almost impossible for other persons or if possible, they not done with as much fun.

This is part of what I have really appreciated during the infield course at the International school. It is true that every body has strengths, though different. Further, that every one should put their strengths to work, as opposed to weakness. This is because people who put their strengths to work get better and better most of the time as opposed to those who fix their weaknesses.

The challenge I now have in the present and near future is to try and find out what really my strengths are and how put them to work to be better, as opposed to fixing my weaknesses.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Infield Course.

Travelling comes with many issues. Life for me is kind of a journey. Moving from one place to another. Doing one thing from the other. It further involves making decisions that make one to move from one place to another.

My life journey last year took me to Norway, where I still am. It has been good living in this country for the last five months, which is half the time am meant to be here. Thus it is a time to stop and take stock of the past and also dream about the future.

The last five months have presented so many opportunities of working with university students at Stavanger. I further got many opportunities to interact with many other people, especially at the IMI church where we go for services.

I also got an opportunity to travel Denmark for a conference. This gave me more experience that I greatly appreciate. Meeting students and staff from the Nordic countries was very fulfilling.

There are of course many other numerous activities that I was involved in the last year. Am so grateful to God and all the people around me for being faithful and believing that I could be able to do the many assignments I was entrusted with.


I have been at Hald international Center for the last one week, doing an infield course. It has been a great opportunity to meet others and reflect on the past but also to look forward to the future.

The future.

The short term focus is now for the remaining five months of my stay here. I look forward to being involved in many activities this new year, especially with the students at the university. I also look forward to learning more on my main interest in leadership. This will be by reading more books on leadership that will give me a better understanding of the same.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


The New Year is here with us, or should I say here with me. A New Year of making resolutions indeed. I have been making new resolutions every New Year. However I have hardly been able to fulfil hem. The good thing is that I have always fulfilled the resolutions even without following them. Of course that is maybe not good.

So the challenge I am having this New Year is how to make my resolutions. Some ways of doing things become a tradition, and that is what am struggling with. As I struggle with this however, one New Year resolution that I have is to be better than I was last year. Better seems too wide and not concrete at all. But that is another challenge that I have. I have just learned that there are many ways of doing many things.

The first half of this year will be spent in Norway. This will most likely present with me many challenges. This is because it will be a time I will be making very crucial decisions about my life. I believe that with the help of the Lord God, I will be able to make the right decisions.

God has been faithful in the last year. My friends too have been faithful and am glad that they stood by me, especially when I was stupid sometimes. You are a great treasure for me and God bless you all.

I hope that the New Year will equally present you with new opportunities. I look forward to having great experiences with you and reaching new heights in this season of continuous blessings from the Lord.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Christmas that was.

Christmas celebrations this year were as different as never before. Being away from home was quite hard but not as hard. This is because we went for the celebrations away from the city and it was quite like home.

Being in a Norwegian household was a great opportunity not only to make friends, but also to get to know more about the Norwegian culture. It indeed didn’t disappoint because I got to really learn a lot from the three days that I lived with this family.

It is a family that Lives on Fogn island. I got to understand that Christmas is celebrated on the 24th in the whole of Norway as opposed to the 25th as I am used to.

The people on the island are actually quite interesting. The island is so secure such that people actually don’t lock their houses when they go out. The cars are sometimes not locked among other things. This, indeed s an island of tranquillity. Everything not only seems to be working, but working in the right manner.

Back to the Christmas story. We went to church on the Christmas Eve. The church was packed to the brim. The good thing about the Christmas Eve is that most people get to go to church and I think that is so good. Those that come are both Christians and non Christians.

After church we had the Christmas Eve dinner that was prepared by Dag, the Father of the home.

We later danced and sang Christmas songs as we went around the Christmas tree. The gifts were unwrapped later and it was good to receive beautiful Christmas gifts.

The Christmas tree. From left; Finn, Inga Katrine, Else, Estre Alida, and Dag.

Dag is the father of the home, Else the mother, Estre and Inga are the younger children in the home, and Finn is the eldest son.

On the 26th, we got an opportunity to go in to the forests for a trip. It was an opportunity to freshen up in the mountains and get the fresh air that we really needed. That indeed was the best way to end Christmas celebrations on this island of tranquillity.

A Walk in the Forest.

Inga Katrine.

Estre Alida.