THE STORY FROM MY FIRST AND LATER MEETINGS WITH OUR AMERICAN RELATIVES
Once in the summer 1999 Laila Paulsen desperately called me and asked me to come to Djupvik immediately. She had unexpectedly got a call from the library in Lyngen. They told it was about to come american visitors and that they possibly were our relatives. Laila could not speak english and her despair was great. I had to decide fast, and two days later I was sitting on the plain.
I the meantime I had been discussing with Kirsten Gaare, Steinar Blix, Elsa og Thor Røkenes. Elsa’s comment has been an adage: ” I make the food and you do the chatting”.
Arriving in Tromsø I called several hotels, and finaly I could speak to Wendy Zander and her sister Nancy Johnson. We had planned to fetch them at the hotel an then drive to Djupvik that day. They were very surprised and had already hired a car. Steinar, Kirsten and I drove with the Americans to Djupvik. There we were received by Laila and Elsa and a good diner. This was exciting, were the Americans our relatives or not? We were prepared for odds and ends!
However, it showed up that we were sound relatives. The joy was great, and still is, that we finally could get in contact with our lost relatives.
We had nice days and got well acquainted with each other. Kirsten and Steinar had to return so it was Thor Røkenes that drove back to Tromsø. I accompanied our relatives to Tromsø to say good bye and so long. This was the start of my genealogical search in America.
Last week in October 2001 I went to London to meet Wendy and Nancy again. They wanted to visit Scotland where there mother came from. I was invited to stay with Solveig Dreyer who stayed at the Nato Air Field Base outside of London. Solveig is the daughter of Aud (Paulsen) Sorknes. Aud, her sister Olaug Dyrstad from Bodø and I went together. It was a trip full of adventures in London. We were allowed to stay at the Royal Airforce Club and went for afternoon-tea to the Ritz Piccadilly with Wendy and Nancy. Thanks to Solveig Dreyer I got the opportunity to see them again.
The summer 2003 was again a gathering and memory for life. Then the cousins Denice Johnsson and Debby Bee (they are sisters) also arrived. Ten dayes we spent together in Tromsø and Djupvik. I had made good planning and thanks to good relatives up north we all got the days filled with adventures and in addition a fantastic weather.
Thank you to everybody participating and making everything so nice for us.
It became an unforgettable summer event.