Familiefest in Averøy

Three years ago I learned I had a branch of my family tree in the island of Averøy, on the West Coast of Norway. Thanks to Alt for Norge, journalists (specifically Ingrid Kornelia Sanden Sunde) and genealogists (particularly Randi Hagen), my enthusiastic family members, and the help of study abroad scholarships from University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) and the Gilman International Scholarship- Official Page, I am able to say I have completed a long awaited journey home to the place where my family name originates and my relatives and new friends still live. My heart is aglow with thanks.

To study culture and the various ways of living worldwide is one of my deepest fascinations; being able to connect with that from which my heritage stems is a most precious gift, and meeting my extended family during my study abroad is a monumental opportunity. Thank you.

Please enjoy these pictures and the captions that tell their story:

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Crossing over the Atlanterhavsveien (English: Atlantic Ocean Road).
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The Averøy kommune crest.
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Meeting relatives I’ve only ever seen pictures of via email. 
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Enjoying “kaffetørst.”
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Kaffetørst med min familie! 
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A sweet gift from Arnhild: handknit mittens (strikkevotter).
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Eagles in Averøy.
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Visiting Bruhagen, the administrative center of Averøy Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway.
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Lunch with relatives: Ingrid, the Ordfører (Mayor) of Averøy, and Åsmund, who was so generous to show me around the island to meet some family and see the sights.
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Stunning sights in Sveggen.
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Stunning sights in Sveggen.
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Welcomed to Oddbjørn og Cicilie’s home for the weekend. I was treated to the most endearing conversations and the tastiest Norwegian traditional foods.
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Driving along the “Sunny Side” of Averøy.
A015
Invited to a hike with my relatives.
A016
The ice doesn’t stop Norwegians from hiking in the winter… get out your shoe spikes (Norske, hjelpe: pigs, pegs?)
A017
Climbing up Engviklia and getting magnificent views.
A018
Getting cozy with the moss when it appeared.
A019
Climbing up Engviklia and getting magnificent views.
A020
Climbing up Engviklia and getting magnificent views.
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Signing the Turboka at the top of Engviklia!
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Great memories on Engviklia: a hike that, from the top, showed me a glimpse of all the places I had visited around the island the day before!  
A023
Long awaited family reunion about to commence.

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Awaiting the big, Norwegian family reunion! Thanks to all who worked hard to make it a memorable and “koselig” time for everyone together.

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Family has arrived!
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Family has arrived!
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Family has arrived!
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A special cake made with an image of the “Tungset” farm, from which all the present-day relatives descended from!
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Taking a look at the Alt for Norge book at our family reunion.
A031
Many people met one another for the first time!
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Many people made an extra effort to come together to celebrate as a family!
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So many cakes, so little time. 
A034
Fun with everyone practicing Norwegian and English together!
A035
Missed a cake, and I was obligated to attempt to try everyone’s favorites…
A036
Smiles and laughs with lots of new faces.
A037
Meeting the relatives from the eldest brother (Elling) of my great-great grandfather, Peder Olaus.
A038
A picture with the relatives from the sister (Ingeborg) of my great-great grandfather, Peder Olaus. 
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Together with the relatives from the brother (Sivert) of my great-great grandfather, Peder Olaus.
A040
The warmest welcome to Averøy from my BIG NORWEGIAN FAMILY! An amazing night where people came together who had never met all together before. We had over eighty people join for the celebration of our shared history! 
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Proud of the influences my relatives have made in Averøy. Ingrid is the present Mayor of the Kommune, and Jarla has been the Mayor in two terms in the past! Involved citizens who are proud to call Averøy home!
A042
Visiting the museum on my last day!
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A group of relatives took me to the museum in Averøy, consisting of many restored and protected traditional buildings and artifacts.
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Admiring the carpenter’s tools at the museum.  
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Returning to the Tungset Farm, where my family name originates!
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Returning to the Tungset Farm, where my family name originates!
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Returning to the Tungset Farm, where my family name originates!
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Eagles EVERY DAY… and this one flew over me while at the Tungset farm on my last day!
A049
A really special visit with Laila Tungset. She welcomed me for kaffe and verdensbestekake, the “National Dessert of Norway.” My last stop before the airport back to Oslo. Thankful it is “See you later,” and not goodbye, since I am studying for the spring semester at the University in Oslo!
A050
Grateful to my relatives for the most spectacular visit to Averøy, and their generosity in welcoming me back soon with the sweetest gift and invitation!

 

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