The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Monday, May 25, 2009

17 May - International School of Stavanger in Children's parade

Tim's best friends, Julius, Kjell and Alex after walking in the parade.

Lily watching closely to catch a glimpse of "her boys" as ISS marched past.

My dear friend, Terri...the primary school music teacher at ISS and fellow AF wife. She played the accordian to keep the singing going during the parade.

Tim waves hello as he walks by with his alto saxophone in the combined ISS band. They had over 200 band members this year.

The boys' basketball coach, Mr. Knudsen, walks with the group.

The bell ringers and singers from ISS (primary school ages)

Here comes ISS!
This year, the International School of Stavanger won the best school in the parade! Congratulations Vikings!

17 Mai - Sola parades

Rich, Cyndi and Lily Messina....watching the last parade of the day in Sola.

Bet you don't see something like this in a parade in the U.S.! :o)

Okay, so I am biased for TaeKwon-Do. This is not my klubb but I thought it was impressive nonetheless.

I thought this was quite clever. You won't lose a kid in this group!

This couple stood out in the sea of navy blue and black bunads that were seen in Sola.

Randi and Ole waiting for the parade to get underway.

Lily and Elena (not sure how to spell her name). I believe she is the great niece of Randi and Tørres, our neighbors. She was pretty little last year. I have pictures of her and Lily together last year. They played again this year. Elena brought her baby brother with her this time. Elena kept calling Lily "Lilla" which means purple. (either that or "lille" which means "little") Either one made everyone giggle. Elena jabbered away to Lily in Norsk while Lily jabbered away to Elena in English. They both enjoy Askepott (Cinderella) and had balloons with Askepott on them. Lily has actually only seen the movie Cinderella a couple of times, and it was at the gym here and it was in Norwegian. So she sees Cinderella and says "It's Askepott!" :o)

Look at all the beautiful bunads! Randi and Ole are saying hello to friends before the parade starts. You can tell where someone is from by looking at their bunad. The color, designs, etc, are specific to different regions of the country.

Seeing cute are they?

And seeing double again...also, how cute???!!!

Even the babies are dressed in bunads of sorts. Many of them have hand-knitted bunads.

Lily, getting patriotic with her Norwegian flag, at the folketog in Sola (this is the afternoon parade - where the various clubs and organizations march).

Alex, our 13 year old exchange student from Barcelona, Spain, watching his 3rd parade of the day. He mentioned that they don't have parades like this in Spain and he had no idea when his national day was.

Lily, at the very base of our driveway, watching the parade go by.

Nothing runs like a Deere....

What's a parade in Sola without a tractor or two?

Our neighbor, Randi, with her son, Ole. They marched in the parade with Ole's school.

A distinguished gentleman watching the barnetoget in his national dress.

This is some of the beautiful embroidery that is handdone on the bunads. Many of them are done by the parents and grandparents to be handed down.

The children of Sola Kommune marching down Sandetunvegen.

The kids sang folk songs to the guitar as they marched.

A beautiful little girl in her bunad.

All the neighbors come out to watch the children walking past.

Here's some wonderful pictures from our "hometown" of Sola, Norway. I love this town!

Update on Joe's hand

I am busy trying to update this blog from the last week or so...which is difficult given I took over 200 pictures on May 17th...the Norwegian Constitution day. However, I am taking a break from uploading those pictures to give you an update on Joe. He had an appointment with the ergo hand therapist (like physical therapy for hands) last week and then had an appointment with the hand surgeon again today.
Joe has been very good about wearing his finger splint over the last 3 weeks. They put the fear of never having use of his finger and it being deformed forever into him, so he has followed the rules of wearing the splint to a tee. He shoots baskets and skateboards but grudingly dropped out of rugby (which nearly killed him) to adhere to the rules of the hand surgeon. Today he was given permission to try and move his finger. It looked much better...the swelling (after 8 weeks) has finally gone down some and his finger was actually straight and not in that deformed, Boutonniere's position that it had healed in. Unfortunately, he has almost no movement in his finger and it was very painful to try and move it. The hand surgeon called in a collegue for a second opinion. They are afraid that the large and very deep scar that he has on his knuckle has actually healed to the bone...making it virtually impossible for the tendon to reattach itself. However, she pointed out again that the surgical fix for this kind of thing is not easy and does not have a good percentage of good results. Sigh... So it was decided that we would give the splint 3 more weeks (which was the original plan). Joe was pretty shocked at how little he could move his finger. I have done a lot of research on this type of injury and they are following the same protocol that they would be in the U.S. Unfortunately, we all know that this could have been avoided if we had had proper medical care in the beginning. The hand surgeon, whom I really like, actually apologized to us for the shoddy healthcare we received up until this point. She went to school in the U.S. and Scotland and knows that the socialized health care system can breakdown very easily. Too bad our family is 2 for 2 in that department. We have a year left and I am praying for good health and no accidents for the next 12 months!

17 Mai...Happy Constitution Day Norway! Stavanger barnetog

I wanted a picture of the "Norwegian boy's hair" and caught him in a funny look.

I think Norwegian boys use more hair products then the girls! Luckily, Joe's hair is too curly for this and Tim's is too thick (so it stays short). We call it "the bedhead look". :o)

Some of the U.S. gang we know from ISS and the NATO base.

The boys before they left at 0745 to catch the bus to school on a SUNDAY. Alex was required to wear his school uniform and the boys were to wear their concert attire for the parade.

The 17th of May is THE BIG DAY in Norway. The natives are dressed to the nines in their national dress (bunad) and everyone lines the streets for the parades. Each kommune has their own parades. Usually there is a children's parade in the morning, followed by the club parades in the afternoon. In Stavanger, there is another parade sandwiched in there for the Russ (the graduating seniors). Russ....that's a whole other post entirely! No matter what day the holiday falls on, all of these events take place. It is a dressy event. There are no trainers allowed. You are in your very best clothing...even if you are only on the sidelines of the parades.
This year, May 17th landed on a Sunday. All of the boys in my house (Tim, Joe and Alex) were required to march in the parade with the International School of Stavanger. May 17 is a required 1/2 day of school for students. So the boys got up early and were all dressed up and took the bus to school on Sunday morning. They were then bussed to downtown Stavanger to march in the parade. Joe handed out roses, Alex waved the Norwegian flags with his other Barcelona classmates, and Tim marched in the largest band that ISS has ever had in a parade...over 200 students! The entire school marched (although it is somewhat optional for high schoolers). ISS had over 600 kids marching...some were singing...some playing handbells...some carrying the flags of the 30+ countries that are represented at ISS. This is our third 17 Mai celebration and I love it every year! This year, ISS was early in the Stavanger parade, so we not only saw the barnetog in Stavanger, but also caught the tail end of the one in Sola. We spent the afternoon over at our friend and neighbor's house (as we have for the last 3 celebrations) and then attended the folketog in the afternoon in Sola. Every year I look forward to going over to Randi and Tørres's house to eat lamb and vegetable stew. They have the same group of friends and family that stop by and now I look forward to seeing how things have been with them over the last year. In a way, it is almost like extended family. I actually found myself wanting to call my folks and tell them "Happy May 17!" but then I realized they probably didn't know or care... :o) It is hard to realize that we have only one of these special days left before we move on to our next assignment.

Random shots

Here are a few pictures that I took last weekend. On Saturday, we were outside all day. We started the morning with baseball, then moved on to two rugby matches. There was a barbecue at the NATO base for the exchange students and their families. Then Alex and I were off to a Viking fotbol match. Two of his classmates from Barcelona joined us to watch the game. Alex is used to attending all the Barcelona fotbol matches in the VIP lounge (his family is very well off). This venue is a bit smaller...we were in the 4th row though, and it was great being in the sunshine for the day. Tim had so many projects due while Alex was here that he actually went home to do homework rather than go to the game. The picture of Lily and me was right after Lily finished her ice cream cone at the barbecue. :o)