I've alluded to the fact that we Americans might be a little to uptight and could take some lessons from the Norwegians, but I have a couple more examples for you.
We all know by now that Sara is digging her school time here in Norway, but here are a couple of detailed reasons why. It sounds silly, but they don't wear shoes in school. It doesn't sound like a silly idea, just a lot different. The kids call their teachers by their first names. I know a lot of you won't like that one, but it seems to work for them. The other day the kids went on a hike to a little junkyard camp that was made up of things we would consider junk. We probably wouldn't let the kids play around this stuff for fear that they might injure themselves. Here they use it as a tool to let the kids explore, be creative, and generally, have fun. I'll post some pictures at the bottom so you can see. There is a lot more emphasis on the kids as people, not as scores from a fill in the bubble test. I'm tempted to type some sort of "I'm sure that there are things like this in the U.S." blah, blah, blah...but it's just an observation of some differences, not an indictment of some sort.
At the the risk of sounding like some "Save the planet" nut I have another one for you. Orion people...I'm really gonna pick on you for this one. Sorry. Our exchange partners noticed that everyone in our area back home drove everywhere, even when it was close by or didn't seem to make sense. Why do we do that? He mentioned that people looked at them a little strange when they rode their bikes to church. Now for those of you that don't know where I grew up or don't know my references to Orion, it is a small town of 2,000'ish people smack dab in the middle of the midwest. The reason they might feel a little picked on is that every single church in that town is a walk or a bike ride away from every house in town. Why don't we or why didn't we walk or ride to church? Set aside the -10 degree weather or the 100 year old people that attend and it makes you think. Hey Mom....no pressure!
Ok....I typed two big long rants at you, so I'll move on to the pictures. Thanks for listening. You know where to find me if you think I'm crazy. : )