6 months of Pre-course work in Norway

“When you are in love, you will always find time for a person, always money and always the desire to do something together with him/her. . . I love to travel, now do you understand?”

Working in Norway

Hi travelers!

My name is Fabio and I’m from Naples. I have finished my Pre-course of the Learn To Travel and Travel to Learn program. In this post I will tell you what I managed to do in these 6 months of work in Norway.

Traveling in Norway

I have almost traveled all Europe and North America and my dream was to be able to visit Norway as much as possible during my time in Pre-course. My goal during this period was to experience Norway, to see their lifestyle, how they work here and to explore this country as much as possible. My wish list was: Svalbard, Tromsø and Lofoten!

I managed to see the first two thanks to teamwork with my team, organizing work and free time. I know that Lofoten will go sooner or later 🙂

This photo is taken just before entering the polar night beyond the Arctic circle, before arriving at the Svalbard islands.

How do I travel?

Sledge-dogs in Norway

People often ask me, how do you do it? How do you travel so much? Are you rich?

My answer is always the same! It is a matter of priority, a matter of love. When you are in love, you will always find time for a person, always money and always the desire to do something together with him/her. . . I love to travel, now do you understand?

Christopher McCandless once said “To live only to live, at that moment in that place. Without maps, without clock without anything. Snowy mountains, rivers, starry skies. Only me and the wild nature” Here in this place, I felt exactly like this, so alive and happy with the spectacle of wild nature, the arctic nature!

The activities that can be done on the Svalbard islands are many. I was outside the safe area with the guide and the sledge with the dogs, surrounded by frozen mountains during the polar night and the light of the full moon so strong that it seemed to be as one of the spotlights on the football fields, despite the -25 degrees and the strong wind, my heart was warm and full of joy.

More about Svalbard Islands

The Svalbard Islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. In addition to a few thousand polar bears, the islands are inhabited by about 3,000 people, of whom over 2,000 are in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement and administrative centre of the islands. The town is called a safe zone by polar bears and there are two warning signs that warn you not to move beyond them.

There are very strict rules in these islands for the protection of this animal species. The rifle is only a precaution that only serves to frighten the bear and only in case of extreme need can it be used to shoot the bear. When this happens it has to be proven in court, as a normal attempted murder trial. Outside the safe zone, you can go either with a guide with permission for the rifle or alone if you have the patent for the possession of a firearm. All this severity is due to the fact that in the past the polar bear had come almost to the risk of extinction by hunting this animal, together with the whales.

Today there is so much fear of the polar bear as a common thought. Do you know how many humans have been killed by polar bears? Maybe not even a dozen in hundreds of years.

Do you know how many polar bears people have killed? Just think that from the year 1600 until the beginning of the 20th century we almost came to the risk of extinction. Only in 1973 did Canada, the United States, Denmark, Norway and the former Soviet Union sign the international agreement “for the conservation of polar bears and their habitat” aimed primarily at regulating and limiting their hunting in 2005.

A place so far from chaos and pollution but yet so close

Even today their lives are endangered by humans, this time it is climate change. This discourse can be applied to every living thing, to every cultivation, to every plant, to every child that we bring into the world. The Svalbard islands make you think a lot, a place so far from chaos and pollution but yet so close!

6 months of Pre-course work in Norway 1
This man in the photo is one of the oldest on the Svalbard islands, he has lived there for over ten years.

There would be a lot to talk about this topic and what I saw with my own eyes in these museums, data, talking with locals and living with them. I’m happy to do it closely and I don’t want to go too far.

Sømmaroy – the best experience

One of the experiences that I will carry more and more in my heart will be the island of Sømmaroy!

That night I deliberately decided not to book any hostel or apartment. I decided to sleep in the most extreme nature on a small beach. Getting there was not easy as there was a snowstorm but in the end, I managed it. I slept with a sleeping bag in a wooden house, a summer refuge used to observe the stars and the northern lights. Despite -6 degrees, I was happy as a child.

6 months of Pre-course work in Norway 2
In the morning I woke up like this…

As John Steinbeck said “People don’t travel but travel makes people”

These trips have changed me. I must say that I am something different from the others… it’s something you must live on the spot.

The people of this island seem to live without time. Some of them would really like to live without the sound of the clock. An advertising company has just done a report on this topic.  A place, where in summer you can see people mowing the grass even at two in the night and in winter you can see people who use the lights also during the day, because of the polar night.

Thank you, Norway for this wonderful opportunity to be able to see unique places and learn lots of new things.

My house will continue to travel on two legs and my dreams will have no borders.

Fabio LTTL19

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BTP period – 3 months

Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.

Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public. 

Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.

Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.

Volunteer period – 6 months

The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:

  • Teacher training colleges
  • Educating teachers for rural areas
  • Vocational schools for young people
  • Schools for street children.Preschools
  • Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas
  • Tree planting campaigns
  • Raising funds for social projects by forming partnerships and selling second hand clothes and shoes
  • Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS (following the program TCE/Total Control of the Epidemic)

Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.

Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.

Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.

Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.

Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.

Travel period – 3 months

Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.

Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.

Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.

Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced.
Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.

Study Period – 6 months

At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.

The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.

Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.

You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.