When we all wrote our introduction post, we sounded a bit like a broken record. Almost all of us stated that we could not wait for the friendships we would make on the trip! Traveling with other horned frogs gives us the great opportunity to build or strengthen relationships that we will carry on back in the lovely Fort Worth. For many of us, we barely knew half of the group before embarking. We are bound by one commonality (our scholarship), but we all come from different years and majors. The dinner table is the location where the most barriers have been broken and friendships have been formed.
Side Note: We have been extremely lucky to be fed so well, and I feel incredibly blessed to have all these delicious meals included on the trip! Not only that, but we have been challenged to chow down on some very unique entrees. In the past few days, we have had duck, reindeer meat, and raw trout on a spoon. Personally, I am the opposite of a picky eater, so all of this has been a blast!
In Norway, meals are LONG and leisurely. Our evenings are sucked into the time warp that exists in restaurants. Time and time again, we arrive in a restaurant around 7 PM and leave around 11 PM (and of course it is still light out when we’re leaving). This style of eating reveals something important about the culture here. People value the time they get to spend with each other around the dinner table. It is a time of communion with those that are important to you. It’s a time of decompression after a long and exhausting day. It’s a time of growth from the stimulating conversations that will be encouraged. I find myself truly looking forward to our dinner times because I know it will be so fruitful. There is nothing more satisfying than reveling in a delicious meal together. Plus, you’re locked into conversation with the people around you for a good four hours, so you better get nice and friendly with each other.
I cannot wait to spend many more evenings around the dinner table with my fellow travelers in Denmark and Sweden and to see how their culture is revealed in their style of eating!