(I’m going to take some time to recount my experiences leading up to and participating in Alt for Norge for any who might care to know about this wonderful journey. Here is my first entry:)
I was on a Norwegian Reality Show.
I still can hardly believe I did such a fun thing. I hope that when I am old and reclining on my death bed, my children will share that story with the nurses tending to me or the chaplain visiting that day. They’ll say, “Yes, she was a pastor and a great mom…and this one time she was even on a wildly popular Norwegian reality show.” I treasure this story like a precious gem among all the lovely stories I’m collecting in this life.
The reality show is called “Alt for Norge”. It has been on the air in Norway for five seasons and they select 12 U.S. citizens with Norwegian ancestry to come over to Norway and participate in challenges while learning more about Norwegian culture and history and customs. I wasn’t most interested in the competition (although I have to say, the competitions in which we participated were so good-natured and positive that I very much enjoyed them) or because there was the chance I could win $50,000 (although if I had won it certainly would have been a nice nest-egg for my sons’ college education) or even that I had the chance to meet my living Norwegian relatives (although it would have been stupendous to meet them – and I do very much hope to meet them someday, without cameras rolling). I was mostly deeply enchanted by the idea of doing something so different and fun, getting to experience Norway, and connecting with the land that my parents always wanted to see but never got a chance to do so while they were alive, the land my ancestors left in the late 1800’s.
I filled out the application and filmed a short audition video right after Christmas. I had heard about the show through a fellow I dated for about two seconds back in seminary. He posted an article about the show on Facebook and I clicked on it – and the more I learned about it, the more interested I was. I devoured episodes of the show I could watch on youtube. The more I watched, the more I believed I needed to be a part of it. Maybe it was because the people they had selected to participate in the past had all seemed like people I would like to know – they seemed like people who would be great to have as friends. Maybe it was because I liked the heart of the show so much and it always seemed to be about so much more than the silly competitions. Maybe it was because I had been learning more about Norway in recent years and I felt like this was a great way to expand on that. Or maybe it was just because a new adventure sounded, really, really good. Whatever it was, I was as certain as I have ever been about anything that I wanted to be on Alt for Norge.