Evje 2013




Borghild with grandchildren (oldest to youngest) Joakim, Silje and Lars.

On Friday I was able to enjoy the Syttende Mai Celebration in Norway. May 17th is Norwegian Independence Day and can be compared to our 4th of July. The celebration began at the Evje church..


Many Norwegians dress for the occasion in their costumes that are specific to the area of Norway that they live in.



The parade proceeds from the church to down-town Evje. Today it rained during the parade. This did not dampen the spirits of those that participated.


These are my cousins Kristine, Egil, Randi and Berit.

This is Kristine's dad Ingvard and her daughter Ingeborg.

This is where I am staying while in Evje. This is the home of Erik and Borghild Kjebekk. Here we are having breakfast on Saturday morning. Any yes, I am gaining weight. Here is a short video of their homestead. Click Here.




Visiting the cabin of Anne Mae and Olav Hovda.


The River Otra that runs through Evje and the Setesdal valley.



My cousin Berit wearing her grandmother's (my great grandmother's) apron and scarf.

Taco supper at Erik and Borghil's daughter Kristin and Paul's.

Grandparents of one of the children baptised at the Sunday church service.


Kristine and Rolf's home in Kristiansand.


Kristine prepared a salmon dinner.


Rolf's motor cycle.



Berit is helping Kristine get ready for afternoon coffee and desert. 



Ingeborg and Kristine open her tea set.

Rolf's mother.

Visit with Reidar and Margit Kjebekk. They own the farm Kjebekk, where my grandfather was born. Eat your heart out.



This is the Hillestad Gallery which was a farm until 40 years ago located in the Tovdal Valley, Norway. The owners were awarded the King's Gold Medal for their work in creating this gallery and surroundings.



Erik, Borghild, Kirsten and Laila, Borghild's sister and niece. 

Tovdal Church built in 1820. Original it was painted red  About 40 years ago there was a major argument when some wanted it painted white and some wanted to leave it read. Local government became involved and it was decided that it would be panted white.







After the Syttende Mai celebration Berit and Ingvard treated us to a buffet in Byglandsfjorden. I had a bit of operator error with my camera and had to get these photos from Kristine.


This costume was Kristine's when she was a little girl.



May 22, 2013... Today we visited Reidar and Snefried (Erik's sister) at Sukkestoel. There are no roads to their cabin therefore we enjoyed a short boat ride by Sea Captain Reidar Johnson.I have also created a short video of the trip. Click Here




We were treated to a meal of Gule ertersoup with mutton cured in sea salt. The soup also has potatoes, carrots and rutabaga. I hope I am explaining this properly as it is difficult to translate. Either way it sure was good. Reidar and Snefried are from Lakselv about as far north in Norway that go. The curred mutton is only available in that area. alogn with the soup there were pancakes with ham pieces mixed in. These do not taste like our pancakes. They are about the size of a plate and very thin. Since I had eaten earlier in the day, I had only three bowls of soup and three pancakes.


Of course, we moved to the sitting room and had desert and coffee.

This is a tapestry of a reindeer from Finland.

On May 25 we met some of the children of Olaf Kjebekk (Big Olaf) at the Berta and Oddvar home in Kristiansand. In 1942 Big Olaf was killed in a nickel mine accident in Evje, Norway. He left behind his wife and 10 children.

For dinner we had soup and many different kinds of homemade bread. This was followed by a type of chocolate pudding with a vanilla cream sauce and ice cream.

Berta posed with a doll that my grandfather had sent to her from the United States when she was a little girl.

Big Olaf's son Tormod Kjebekk

Big Olaf's daughter Gudrun

Big Olaf's daughter Olga. Olga is 80 years old. She still jogs in the summer and cross country skis in the winter.

Erik Kjebekk and his sister Snefrid and brother Odd

Not more than an hour and a half after the soup dinner we were served with coffee, cyder and all of these goodies.

May 24 I visited my cousin Kristine, her husband Rolf and heir daughter Ingeborg. Ingeborg was not feeling well during my first visit. She was much better today and far more ambitious.


The sand box is her favorite place to play.

Ingeborg is showing off her new Harley Davidson shirt.

Kristine, Ingeborg and I traveled to Evje later in the day.

She is a little unsure of me but allowed me to take her from the car seat and hold her for a while. At least until grandpa got there.