We went to the Norwegian church called Mindekirken and joined about 100 men and women who had some kind of connection to Norway. We sang the prayer before lunch in Norwegian, and the lunch was…you may have guessed it: Waffles with jam and sour cream, open faced sandwiches with brown cheese or meat and a strong cup of coffee. Just like in Norway.
The walls were decorated with Norwegian art and photos. The rooms in the church were named after places in Norway. The people I talked to were into genealogy and history. Many of them knew Norway better than me. Marilyn, a sharp lady of about 70 gave me some geography questions about my country that I could not answer. She told me the answer, and now I will ask my friends the same questions next time we play trivial pursuit. They announced Lutefisk dinners and other events.
I was there,in Minnesota, with people whose ancestors came from Norway, sharing about the people of Burma and about living in Thailand.
From the Scandinavian corner, we went to the Burma corner. We went to the office of KOM, an NGO run by Karen and Americans who are helping the Karen who have resettled in Minnesota. We talked about issues concerning the Karen in the US and the Karen in Burma, and agreed that we can work together to make the lives easier for the Karen in both countries.
In ending the day I am reflecting on how lucky I am to get to meet so many interesting and committed people. And I am amazed at all the men and women I have met who are giving their lives to serve and to help. I am understanding that the world is run by volunteers and committed people who believe that they can make a difference.