Week 1: May 7 to 14

May 7

Wow, so here I am one day before I jet off to Norway!

I almost can’t believe it is upon me. There is still packing to do, more research I’d like to look in to, and, sleep to be had.

In the past few months, I’ve learned that Norway and Canada share a lot of similarities -from polar bears and beautiful landscapes to our love of winter sports and our international reputations for politeness.

While I’m still on Canadian soil, I’m going to note some of the things I’m most looking forward to.

I’m looking forward to…

  • Journalism norms: I have just spent the last four years of my life learning how to write for a Canadian audience, using Canadian Press standards, and have been taught to be non-partisan and objective in my reporting. Now, upon the onset of my internship, I am very curious and excited to learn about the press standards and levels of partisanship obeyed in Norway.
  • Green technology: The country is widely-known for its advances in green technology. I hope to see things I haven’t yet seen in Canada.
  • Cultural experiences: I will be in Norway for the national holiday, Constitution Day. Apparently, the parades and celebration are quite energized and the use of Gákti, the traditional clothing of the Sami people, is frequent during this time
  • Midnight Sun: Since I will be in Kirkenes, which is north of the Arctic Circle, I will experience midnight sun. I think it will be phenomenal to see – and try to sleep through.
  • Norwegian Food: Salt and sugar cured salmon, dried codfish, crepes, cloudberries, caramelized goat cheese
  • Beautiful nature: Fjords, ocean, wildlife, the Arctic

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May 8

Today is THE DAY!

My flight was delayed but it didn’t damper my excitement. But it’s better I show you my day, instead of tell you 🙂

Check my video blog for today:http://www.youtube.com/user/mcappa100#p/a/u/0/KITk_S8eQWY

Until tomorrow, I’ll leave you with this fun fact about Norwegians:

They read more than any other country in the world per capita – the average Norwegian household reads 1.7 newspapers each day!

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May 9

Video Blog on YouTube for May 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VPlB3M61nQ

I am in my fourth and final city of the day, Trondheim. It is beautiful! I spent this evening walking around the city, taking pictures and grabbing some dinner along the way. It didn’t even start to get dark here until about 10:30 p.m.!

Everything people say about the country (i.e. the people are very friendly, the landscapes are gorgeous, the food is wonderful), seems to be true so far.

I will spend the next two days in Trondheim doing research for my story ideas. From receiving guided tours of new biotechnology experiments, to visiting a fish farm and a wind mill facility, my days will be jam-packed with appointments. It should prove to be quite interesting and hopefully propel my articles.

On the flight from London to Oslo this morning, Chantaie and I actually met a Norwegian journalist. He’s a business journalist and we shared a great conversation about the Norwegian and Canadian economies.

It’s 12:30 a.m. here in Trondheim, and it’s finally dark outside.

I was having a hard time getting to sleep because it was bright outside for so long. I didn’t even eat dinner until 10:00 because I actually thought it was about 7:00 using my Canadian-standards of judging “lightness.”

Well I hope you enjoy todays video blog (vlog), it was a fun one to shoot 🙂 Tomorrow I will have news from my first day of meetings, interviews and research!

FUN FACT of the day: Norway’s sales tax is 25% – now that puts Canada’s to shame!

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May 10

Today was a journalist’s dream day – in-depth and meaningful interviews juxtaposed with wonderful pockets of sightseeing. My journalism isn’t ready to go online yet, so until then, I think you’ll enjoy my sightseeing vlog from today: May 10 Vlog

First, I went to the Directorate of Nature, where I spoke with various managers about subjects including sustaining biodiversity, the polar bear preservation treaty among Arctic countries, the impact of energy on biodiversity and fish farming. I then went to the National Seafood Association, the NGO that acts as the liaison between the seafood industry and the government. They represent individuals such as fish feed producers and fish farmers.

FYI – Canada isn’t the only place where fish farming is a hot topic.

My my interviews from today will become a print journalism story in the coming weeks. I really learned a lot from my interviews with these two organizations today.

The last interview of the day was at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. What I saw there was quite neat.

I interviewed a research fellow named Jorgen Hals, who, with his team, has developed a machine which converts energy from ocean waves into electricity. It’s a renewable resource because it literally doesn’t take anything from the Earth. Now, this type of research has been developed before, but Hals’ device does something completely new. Watch for my TV story on Wave-Generated Electricity in coming days…

As I said, amidst my six hours of interviews I did manage to see some sights.  Check out the MAY 10 VLOG for my second day in Trondheim!

FUN FACT: Trondheim is a completely wireless city – you can get Internet anywhere

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May 11

Today has been VERY eventful! Where shall I start?

MAY 11 VLOG – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Nb7zTTSd0

VIDEO JOURNALISM STORY – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z03QJgwAYmU

1. First off, I finished my first truly journalistic piece of work:

Yesterday I interviewed Jorgen Hals, doctorate student and wave energy researcher at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology (NTNU).

Now, harnessing electricity from wave energy isn’t a new thing phenomenon, but Hals has created a unique prototype. His machine can operate all three common methods of converting wave energy into electricity – air turbines, hydraulics or electric machinery. The machine just has to be told which conversion method to use. To Hals’ knowledge and my further research, no other wave energy converter can switch between all three methods.

**Watch my VIDEO JOURNALISM STORY about WAVE ENERGY at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z03QJgwAYmU

2. My blog and YouTube videos have been getting a lot of hits! In fact, they are now featured on the Norwegian Government website and on the homepage of theNorwegian Embassy in Canada’s Website.

This is so exciting!

3. MAY 11 VLOG – Last Day in Trondheim

View the MAY 11 VLOG on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Nb7zTTSd0

Today was my last day in this beautiful city of Trondheim, and as you see from the vlog, I had some great interaction with the locals 😀

4. Interviews

It was my second day of interviews for my story research, and again, very intense. The interviews were all back-to-back and I felt like I was on a major assignment from a national daily the way I was jetting around the city! It was fun!

I spoke with the CEO of a salmon egg production company, solar energy scientists, a wind energy researcher and a biotechnology expert. I visited a few labs at the university too. I should have some work (print or video) up soon regarding this research.

Also in the coming days, watch for an audio-visual slideshow I did today about a neat re-design/vintage shop in owned, operate and fashioned by a Trondheim clothes designer named Hege Biermann. Fashion seems to find me everywhere!

Well, I didn’t even go to bed yet – it’s May 12. I’m having trouble with the jet lag still! I need to go though, my plane for Oslo then Kirkenes leaves in a few hours. See you there!

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May 12

MAY 12 VLOG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7c5csvQT7M

I am 400km above the Arctic Circle!

Wow, it’s really unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I can’t believe I’m actually here at one of the most northern outposts in the world.

The terrain is barren yet pretty. I assume it’s the permafrost that ensures the trees aren’t larger than shrubs and the mountains remain very rocky. There is some snow on the ground but it’s not really cold outside (about 10 degrees Celsius).

So, this morning I left Trondheim for Kirkenes. I will stay here for three and a half weeks reporting with the Barents Observer.

The Barents Observer covers news from the Barents region (northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia). The first day on the job was fun and I look forward to more!

I can’t wait to explore the Barents Region. I can see now why the Arctic really is one of nature’s treasures!

So I am still not jiving with the Arctic sunlight. I’ve been having a hard time sleeping without nighttime – been awake for 40 of the last 43 hours. I’ve only managed to take two cat naps! I really hope that I will sleep after this post 🙂

Tomorrow, May 13, is a national holiday in Norway. It’s called Ascension Day. We have the day off work, which perhaps will give me some time to recover from my lack of sleep, work on some stories and explore the region.

FACT OF THE DAY:

Unlike the vast majority of Norway, Kirkenes is located east of neighbouring country of Finland. Because of this, travelling directly west from Kirkenes actually changes the timezone forwards. Furthermore, when travelling directly east from Kirkenes changes the timezone forward by two hours instead of one.

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May 13 – 14

HIKING VLOG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxOhVipGqFw

PRINT JOURNALISM STORY: http://www.barentsobserver.com/norwegian-researcher-refining-wave-energy-technology.4784087-116320.html

The past two days have been extremely eventful! In fact, I didn’t even have a chance to blog yesterday because of it. But I think I’ll be giving you enough video and journalism now that you’ll be totally satisfied!

May 13 was a national holiday in Norway. It’s called Ascension Day. So in light of having the day off, Chantaie and I took up an offer to go hiking in Pasvik Valley. Apparently hiking is one of the favourite pastimes of Norwegians.

In my last post I talked about the land being barren, but that’s just near the sea. We discovered that once you drive about 10 or 15 minutes inland from Kirkenes (which is located right on the sea), the terrain changes. You enter beautiful pine forests! It’s really neat. Hiking in this Arctic region is very fun!

After climbing a peak, looking out on Arctic mountains
After climbing a peak, looking out on Arctic mountains

We:

  • Climbed to the a peak and saw Arctic mountains
  • Ate dried, smoked and salted reindeer meat
  • Tried some mountain berries called Crow Berries
  • Learned how to lasso
  • Saw a herd of reindeer grazing

After we got back from hiking, we learned that May is typical brown bear season and tourists often encounter them while hiking – eeks! Good thing that didn’t happen to us!

To watch our adventures in hiking, follow this link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxOhVipGqFw

May 14 has also been quite the special day as I published my first story here at the Barents Observer! It is a print version of the “Wave Energy” video I produced earlier in the week. This print story allows me to present the story in a different way with some new information.

You can find my print story at: http://www.barentsobserver.com/norwegian-researcher-refining-wave-energy-technology.4784087-116320.html

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Responses

  1. Margaret
    Absolutely fabulous! We feel like we’re on this adventure with you.

    love,Zia

    • Thanks Zia! 🙂 I am really enjoying myself and documenting it as I go!
      xoxo

  2. You call _that_ hiking?!

    Oh, girl!

    You really _do_ need to come to Vancouver!

    We’ve got bigger, steeper hills just in Kitsahlahno!

    Amazingly, though, Norway really DOES look a lot like the west coast!

    Then, again, I’ve heard that BC has the world’s 2nd most fjords, next to Norway!

    Let the adventure continue!!!

    Steve

    • Haha!! Yes I DO need to come to Vancouver 🙂
      I’d love to compare now!
      Hope all is well!!!

      Cheers,
      Margaret


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