I have had several great interactions with Norwegians who have reached out to a newcomer, and I thought I'd share with you.
- A Norwegian father in Greta's swimming class asked me where I was from (in Norwegian, which is one of the questions I can actually answer). When I told him he responded, in English, "but you're not a part of the English Speaking Club." There actually is a English Speaking Club, for native English speakers, in Lillehammer that meets once a month. His wife is South African, and nursing a newborn baby on the pool deck. She invited me to come, and suggested she meet me somewhere to show me where the group is.
- A mother at the barnehage who has a son in Greta's class in introduced herself to me within the first few weeks. Her friend works with Erik, so she was aware of an American family coming to her barnehage. She soon invited Greta and me (and Erik) to come to barnesong (just what it sounds like--kids songs), which was starting up in a few weeks, because she had specifically thought it would introduce me to other mothers, and it would introduce me to Norwegian. How thoughtful! A week later, Erik and I were going to an open house that was just 3 houses from this woman's home. She invited us over for a light snack after the open house, and we had an enjoyable time with her and her husband and their 2 young boys. The open house sold within 24 hrs, so we won't be neighbors anytime soon. I also just received an invitation to her birthday party in a few weeks, addressed " to Emily, my new newest friend". Very sweet.
- I belong to an online knitting community, Ravelry, where I contacted a few women who live in Lillehammer to ask them where their favorite yarn stores are. Two responded, and invited me to join their newly formed knitting group that meets every other week. So last week I joined them at a local coffee shop--a Norwegian with a 8 month old baby, a Swede around my age, and myself--mostly speaking in English. But both very friendly (one invited me over so I could practice Norwegian and she could practice Spanish with me).