Hi! I'm Malin, Buddy Manager of ESN Agder, and I want to tell you a story. A not so long time ago, just last month in fact, the board of ESN Agder decided that we wanted to add something new to our repertoire of events. We have parties, trips, pubs, coffee hours and even a language cafe, but we wanted something more. Most of our events are only every other week, except coffee hour. We wanted something else as well, and after a bit we settled on ESN Sunday.
ESN Sunday is a new project of ours, where every week we arrange something small. Not always on Sundays, but mostly, as the name suggests. It's a primarily social event, where we go for a hike in the local area and enjoy nature. Or not so local area, depends on your definition of local, I suppose. Sometimes we take the bus to get to where we are hiking, after all. Variation is the spice of life, some would say.
The first time we had this, we went on a small hike around Odderøya. But in the end we got absorbed in and mostly walked around the boating exhibition for a while. It was also on the island that day, it was fun, and we got to learn a bit of local maritime history before we started the actuale hike. Our guide showed us around a bit, and took us to one of the many beaches, telling us of some of the islands history. The island used to be a military zone, not to long ago apperantly. And you can still see some traces of battle if you know where to look. The city has actually put up some information signs about it at key locations. Why don't you try to find them if you ever walk the island? But the best part is on top of the island. You can just look out over the city and its surroundings in one direction, and in the other it is nothing but ocean.
The next week we walked Baneheia and Ravnedalen, a very… very dramatic trip. Entertaining, surprising, and a tough climb but well worth it, is how our guide described it afterwards. Me and the guide where having a last minute meeting about the trip while we waited for people to show up. When they did we put on our shoes and ran downstairs. However, when we got there, they were gone. It was only later that we discovered that one of the other Buddies had grabbed them and walked ahead.
Ordinarily that would not be a challenge, but there are multiple paths to get where we were going, and we did not know which they had taken. As such we asked the bystanders, and followed their directions. When we found out where they had gone. We had just gotten to the top of the mountain, and they were in the valley. Hilarity ensures, as first we have to go down the mountain we just climbed, to climb it one more time with the other hikers as well. I swear, one of the little girls we meet started laughing.
Our lesson: Losing track of adults is horrible… They have long legs and walk fast. And the bystanders lead us in the wrong direction. But everyone had a great time, and the mood was great. I don't think I have ever been on any other trip where the people laughed so much before.
The third week participated in a humanitarian event instead of going on a trip. One of the student organizations had planned a fundraiser, which some of us decided that we wanted to join. We collected donations to support the education of children in a country ravaged by war, a worthy cause, no? The people we meet thought so, as do we. An education is one of the most valuable thing in the world, in my opinion.
And last week we hiked Tømmerrenna. A gorgeous trip, about two hours long if you don't stop to take a break. And one you will hear more about in a later article. Since it was such a success we are repeating it, and I would not want to spoil it for those who could not join last time. Sometimes, not knowing exactly what to expect can enhance the experience. And this, I believe, is one of those times.