Friday, May 02, 2008


There is a term in Norwegian called "dugnad." I have no idea if I spelled it correctly, but regardless, it means "neighborhood clean-up." It is an annual "event" where a roll-off dumpster magically appears at the end of the street, and several tons of sand are delivered to refill the sandbox/playground area. A neighborhood committee delegates who does what. This year was scheduled the two days preceding Labor Day (a four day weekend for me, this year).

The coolest thing about dugnad is that it is a great way to meet and interact with neighbors we otherwise wouldn't. We are rather plugged in to all the neighbors with young kids--- or young grandkids. Our next door neighbor has a three year old, Guro, who frequently drops by to see Julian. We have adjacent terraces, and she joined Julian for lunch outdoors today. Thinking back, we probably begun our friendship with our next door neighbors during last year's dugnad. Back in Minneapolis, the closest thing we had was following a massive snowfall, when everyone was out in the street digging their cars out. I much prefer meeting people in the spring, under less miserable circumstances.

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