The Negativity We Need these Days

I got tested for the virus last week. Thank God it’s negative! But as I’ve told my hubby, we should still stay cautious and careful. The reasons why I got tested is first, my hubby have been abroad two weeks before the lock down and community quarantine and after his trip he developed some flu like symptoms. And then the other reason is that I’m a health worker. It’s not mandatory to test but we should because we’re working with high risk people. At the same time, I got sick too.

I’m not afraid to get the virus. I’m confident enough that my immune system can handle the Covid19. But, I worry about the people around me. Who’s going to look after my child if I get sick? Did my boss found someone to work in my behalf?

I got tested inside the car in a parking lot. The nurse in full hazmat suit came to me and asked me to remain seated in the car and gave me the instructions on taking the sample from my nose (nasopharyngeal swab). I was surprised because I never expected that I had to do it myself and I’ve never done it before. Not even on the nursing lab at school! So there I was sitting anxiously in the car. Pulled the car visor down while the nurse tried to cheer me up. She then handed me the long cotton bud (ca 10 cm long) and asked me to close the car window. The first 5 cm went well even though I find it disgusting and uncomfortable but after that I took a pause because it’s starting to irritate my nasal passage. I tried to bargain but the nurse insisted that I should keep pushing down the cotton bud thing further down my pharynx. Huhu.. I hate you Covid19!

It took two days before they called and told me the result. I was relieved that no one in the household is sick with this killer Covid19 and finally we don’t have to isolate us. It means that we can finally go out to buy some groceries and I can finally come back to work after my flu symptoms are gone.

About the situation here. Norway is still on a lock down. The line and the numbers are looking good so far. The department of health said that the imposed community quarantine and social distancing rules are working so far (they believe). They are hoping to gradually losen the lock down and quarantine maybe after the Easter. It’s alright to hope but I’m sceptical. Maybe Norway’s numbers are still in the “calm before the storm”.

Anyway, I hope everyone stays healthy and sane in this very special situation that we’re in right now. The world is full of negativity but a little negativity is good, like a negative Covid19 test result.

Pasalubong

Pasalubong is a Filipino term for gift/s usually from people who have been on a trip to other places or even just after a trip to the grocery. It could be anything from snacks to toys. The one who is buying the pasalubong does it out of love and expects nothing in return. So, as I’ve said it’s a gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive too. Because the idea of pasalubong is sharing your blessings and at the same time showing the person who is receiving it that you think about him/her while you travel. It is also a part of the Filipino culture.

Last month, my parents came back from their vacation from the Philippines and they bought us lots of pasalubong. I was surprised because I never expected that they’ll buy me more than 2 packs of banana chips. They bought us 2 small Purefoods corned beef, 2 packs of Sustagen chocolate drink, 10 packs of Quaker Oat cereals, a pack of Lengua (a butter cookie type), pajamas and books for my L.O., and 2 packs of Meiji Macadamia chocolate. I guess they just missed me and their grandchild a lot! 😀 lol! Aside from that, they asked me for a list of stuff that I wanted them to buy for me (will make a separate blog post about that). Like for instance, some prescription free meds. My parents know that I miss the Philippines so much and my favorite snacks are there. 🙂

How about in your culture? Do you buy pasalubong to your love ones as well?

Tita’s Banana Chips. The best banana chips ever! It’s thin and crispy.

 

Filipino children’s books!

 

Pajamas from Landmark for the little one

 

We Have to Fight it!

A woman wearing a surgical mask. Photo by Anna Shvets

For the very obvious reason, Covid19 is making headlines. It has become a pandemic. I cannot blame the people from worrying, but what I think is unecessary thing to do is to hoard food and medical supplies as if the world is going to end because of the virus. The virus spreads through droplets by sneezing, coughing and touching contaminated stuff like for example money that came from someone who is infected and sneezed/coughed on the money. Many have died both private people and health workers. But it is still curable. It just that it spreads faster and has a higher mortality rate than for example, a typical flu virus. The best way to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus is to wash hands often and as much as possible to not touch the face.

We can try to prevent getting sick by staying at home and avoiding crowded places. However, there are circumstances that you are obliged to go out. And somehow and somewhere someone in your household might catch the virus and you get sick. I’m not scaring anyone but this virus could be anywhere.

Since there is no vaccine for Covid19 (yet) and since this a virus, there is no medicine against it. We have no choice but to fight it. Our body has to fight it. In our Biology class we are thought that we have this micro soldiers in our system that fights intruders, like viruses, bacteria and etc. These micro soldiers are the white blood cells or the leucocytes and these are produced in our bones. So, it is very important that we drink our milk everyday because of Calcium. Also, vitamin D is important too for our bone health and immune system, as it aids in the absorption of Calcium.

Scientists, microbiologists and medical doctors are working round the clock to make a vaccine. Our health workers especially those in the frontline are risking their lives to help the infected and give strength to those who are dying. We can help our medical team by staying inside and as much as possible avoid getting sick these days. Because what actually kills is not the virus itself, but the lack of medical attention due to the higher number of patients vs medical staff (respirators). Let the situation in Italy be a lesson to everyone. Do not underestimate the virus!

 

 

Lyngheisenteret

Lyngheisenteret or the Heathland Centre is a museum and an information centre about preserving the culture, traditions and lifestyle of coastal heathlands. According to their website this unique and beautiful landcape is dissappearing in a high rate not just here in Norway but also in Europe. The Heathland Centre is located at Lygra in Alver Kommune. From Bergen it is about an hour car ride. You can also reach Lygra by taking the boat for only 40 minutes from Strandkaien.

I took this trip out of curiosity (and spontaneity) and because I wanted to see and explore a new place that is not so far from home. Since I had a day off last Wednesday, I took the opportunity to be extra active by taking long walks with my dog. I was also lucky because the weather was perfectly sunny.

From where I live, circa at Vågseidet, it takes around 15 minutes to drive to Seim. Then from Seim to Lygra where the Lyngheisenteret is, in theory should only take around 15 minutes. So, in total 30 minutes. But, I found the car trip longer as I’m not familiar with the roads and plus the roads are also narrow as well. So yeah, I took it slow.

As I was getting near my destination, the views were also getting more and more picturesque. I had to stop at atleast one of them! My favorite is the bridge that connects Lygra to Børøyna. I find it fascinating because of how low this bridge is!

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The small and low bridge connecting Lygra and Børøyna. In the end of the bridge is a 79 meter long tunnel, the Lygra tunnel.

After a couple of minutes, my dog and I were finally there. There are signs along the way so it’s not easy to get lost. There’s a large info board by the parking area with a brief history of the Heathland Centre and the map of the place. It’s actually very detailed.

 

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The information board.
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Dogs should be on a leash because this is a grazing area.

 

One of the grinds.

 

The facade of the Heathland Centre

The Heathland Centre is closed during the offpeak season. However, people are free to explore and wander the place. Just don’t forget to close the grinds because there might be sheep grazing here.

Just another grind!

As expected of the west coast, the land is wet and moist. It has been raining a lot these past few months so there are short muddy trails. So I highly recommend that you wear good footwear here.

 

Zorro’s always excited to move on.

What I love about this place is that it has a beach. It’s not a typical mountain hike where there are mostly thick pine tree forest. Zorro and I took a break here on the way back.

 

The sign to the beach

 

The beach
For grilling

To sum up, I can say that this is a very easy hike for people of all ages who love to take long walks with their love ones or with a dog. The trails are easy to spot and the information is not lacking either. The duration of the hike from the parking area is around 1 to 2 hours depending on your tempo. My number one tip is to use a pair of waterproof boots or hiking shoes.

When it comes to public transportation, check the bus company Skyss’ website for the schedule. For the information about overnight stays, camping and other concerns, check out the museum’s information site.

Hiking Trip to Skausnøya

Skausnøya or Skausen tour is our one of must hike and must see for us here in Lindås in Alver kommune (county). It’s been almost two years since we moved here and to think that we’re just two minutes drive from this hike makes me think that we’ve been either the laziest persons here or just the busiest. Hmm.. I think it’s the latter. There had been an attempt though during the first year, but I was 9 months pregnant, I was too heavy so we just turned around.

Anyway, there are many options to where one can start the hike to Skausnøya, but I think the easiest way is to start from Vågseidet and park the car along the side of the road by the bus stop. From Bergen, it only takes around 45 minutes drive. From the bus stop it takes around 1 to 1.5 hour to the top.

This hike is a special one because this is the first time we went hiking with our toddler. My hubby took the honor to carry the little one to and from the mountain top. 🙂 Everything went fine until we reached the top. LO started complaining. But, what can we expect? LO is just a toddler and sitting on the carrier the whole hike is sure boring. So we resolved this by taking more breaks as we decended from the top.

As for me, I wasn’t in my top form during this hike. I had to walk slower than normal because my right knee started to ache and I was exhausted because of lack of rest. However, that didn’t stop me from finishing the hike. Just had to take longer breaks, though.


On the way up with dad and LO.



Half way through the top, there’s a stop place where anyone can take a break, sit down on the bench and enjoy the scenery.

The view from the stop place.

There are also small rivers along the way. The water is safe to drink. How do I know? Well, I forgot my drinking bottle, so I had no choice but to drink from here. Yet here I am still alive and writing! 😀

Clean running water.

The paths are easy to spot because they’re marked, but there are many steep areas. I’m glad that I have a good pair of hiking shoes because this hike is not an easy one. Some areas could be muddy, wet, full of snow or dry.

Narrow and steep

After the narrow part, I thought that I’m just a meter or two away from the top. But, wrong! There’s still more to go. I was about to give up but my LO and hubby were waiting for me on the top. Then there’s the snow that concerned me a bit because there might be a thin layer of ice under which means slippery. Thankfully, it’s not slippery!

A thin layer of snow near the top.

After 10 or 15 minutes, I finally saw my hubby and LO. It’s a very nice feeling to be able to reach them after the struggles that I had on my way up.

Finally!
The view from the top. The fog was quicker than us and has blocked the magestic view!

Skausnøya is 363 meters above sea level. Not that bad but there are steep paths to consider. Nevertheless, every thing is beautiful here. I must say that it’s worth every struggle.

The Driving Force

Motivation is one of the most important things that helps me get a certain task done or pursue my goal. It applies of course not only to me, but for everyone. Its intention is actually good. That is when it is around, when we have it. However without motivation, life could actually be boring and meaningless. I think that the word motivation is often misunderstood and misused, because many uses it as a reason to just wait for the right time or timing.

A friend of mine who is a psychologist find motivation both positive and dangerous. Positive in the sense that it helps someone to find purpose in life and dangerous too because it can paralyze someone’s ability to act. It’s like, hello, it’s alright to feel unmotivated in gloomy times too, you know!

I admit that I’m guilty of using the lack motivation as a reason to procrastinate. But later on I found out that it’s not motivation that I lack, because I have plans, goals and the reason to execute these goals. What I actually lack is nutrients that my body needs on order to function properly. So yes, sometimes food is just the perfect solution when I feel that the muse is not around!