Norwegian cousins pay special visit to West Fargo
Eleanor and Archie Detienne entertained special house guests recently - cousins from Norway here for their first-ever U.S. visit - who no doubt are already sharing their West Fargo adventure with friends and family in their small farming community of Hurdal, located near Oslo.
Rune and Wenche Halvorsen and their son, Marius, were invited here by the Detienne's as they and their son and daughter-in-law visited Norway last summer. Much to their delight, they accepted the offer, arriving May 3, and returning home about two weeks later. Eleanor's visit last year marked her third trip to Norway, the first in 1969 and the second in 1983. And three years ago, Wenche's brother, Harvard, and a cousin, Nils, paid a visit to Eleanor and Archie.
Interestingly, Marius is a Norwegian Army Corporal, who will be embarking on his second tour of duty in northern Afghanistan June 3, after spending his first six months there in 2005. He has volunteered for the assignments, where he is engaged in mechanic duties on the heavy equipment used by the military.
For confidentiality reasons, he was unable to speak of his service there, but did say that "it's exciting and patriotic" and he is able to maintain contact with his parents via telephone and email while stationed there.
His parents are worried but accepting of his decision to serve. "I think about him 24 hours a day," Wenche said when asked how her son's time in the country affected her personally.
In August he will have accrued four years of service and is looking at the military as a real career possibility.
All in all, the Norwegian cousins had a wonderful time visiting their North Dakota cousins, taking in the Hjemkomst Center and the new Scheels store, and traveling to Eleanor's former home territory at Davenport and then to Wheatland, where they enjoyed seeing the farm and the livestock.
The Detienne's also hosted a large family gathering for local relatives on Saturday, May 10, complete with a diverse menu prepared by the host couple.
The Halvorsen's enjoyed the West Fargo hospitality, describing the food and the weather as being pretty much the same as they are accustomed to in Norway, but everything else as so much bigger, including the farms, tractors and other machinery.
They also marveled at the road system, so wide open and straight after being used to just the opposite at home, where the roads are up and down and curvy and you have to be careful of slow-moving cows and sheep who rule the highways. "Back home, it's slower and more mellow," Marius said.
The Halvorsen's paid a visit to Eleanor's son and family at Spicer, Minn., before heading to Minneapolis for a tour of the Mega Mall, and consequently, their departure for home.
Eleanor said it was just great having her cousins as houseguests. "It felt just like I've known them all my life. They were so easy to have around."