As I write this post, I’m sat in the Centre for Medicine and Aging (SESAM) at the Stavanger University Hospital in Stavanger, Norway, working with my IDSC colleague and friend Professor Ingelin Testad. She directs SESAM, leading a group of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, and volunteers in efforts to improve the lives of people with dementia in Norway. Through their public engagement platform titled Wise Age, they sponsor and host a series of events to support older adults in Western Norway.
I’ve been quite fortunate and grateful to spend the past twelve days here presenting my research in dementia family caregiving; meeting with existing and new collaborators from SESAM, the University of Exeter, and King’s College London; and consulting with SESAM staff regarding media strategy and engaged scholarship.
But as with everything in life, it’s been the people and the stories that have made it all memorable and have helped to create the good moments, or gode øyeblikk. This is something Ingelin and I have been talking about all week as she begins to develop her own professional blog and website. It has become our hashtag. So whether it has been laughing over a good dinner at Skagen on the harbor, appreciating the opportunities to connect with international colleagues from across Europe in meaningful conversations, walking through Gamle Stavanger, cruising up the fjords, dipping my toes in the North Sea, having my first sip of aquavit, or wandering through fantastically colored rhododendrons in peak bloom, this trip has been filled with good moments for me that I’ve been sharing on Twitter.
As with my last trip to Europe two years ago, I plan to pull together a digital scrapbook when I’m back in Tennessee that will make it easy to share and treasure the many things I did and saw while I was here. And I’m already looking forward to my next visit, as well as all of the inspiring work between now and then.
In the meantime, I’m very grateful to my friends and colleagues here in Stavanger for helping me to collect a skattekiste or treasure chest of good moments.