Fly Away Home
A memoir about the ups and downs in life and the back and forth travels of a multicultural family.

Our rETurN TO EIGErøY

This is a preview to the chapter Our rETurN TO EIGErøY from the book Fly Away Home by Maggie Myklebust.
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It will soon be a year since we left Holland and moved back to Norway. Thanks to family and friends our re-entry has been like crossing the finish line after a five-year race. We had five
action packed years and will forever cherish the memories of them. We left with two young boys and came back with two young men on the threshold of their future. They’ve been inspired, and influenced by our adventures and grounded in the safety of their home, they will hopefully find their way into adulthood.

For most people it’s not easy to give up the expat life and all its perks, but Harry and I were ready to go home. This was unfortunately not the case for Alexander, he had lived in the Netherlands from the age of fourteen to seventeen, and these were significant years for him. He went to the British school for two years and finished his GCSE’s, General Certificate in Secondary Education, and then during our last year in the Netherlands he transferred to The American School to do his Junior year of High School. It was a tough decision for him to make, but he didn’t want to do the International Baccalaureate diploma program and he couldn’t start A levels, as he wouldn’t be able to finish them back in Norway. He completed his Senior year of high school here at the International School in Stavanger and made the long journey back and forth from Egersund everyday by train.

Alexander inherited his father’s relaxed and positive nature and everyone likes him because of it, I have never been to a school meeting where I haven’t heard anything but praise for him, even if his grades were only average. Brian is not quite as positive as his brother and father, but definitely as calm and quiet; for this reason, no matter how angry I get with any one of them, it’s entirely short lived. After four years in international schools, Alexander has made a wide variety of friends from all different cultures. This experience has given him an unfaltering understanding and interest in people of all races. Next year he will be attending a boarding school in Ringsaker, which boarders Lillehammer in Norway and will be studying international relations and foreign affairs.

Brian went directly back into Norwegian school here in Egersund, where he has mostly worked on getting his Norwegian skills up to par. He has three years left of high school and will be going in a special needs class, where he will be learning social skills, work skills and life skills. The goal is to give him the ability to live a self-sufficient life, and in the security of a small town such as Egersund, this is entirely possible. However, I believe the years he lived outside Norway were beneficial in expanding his world and he now has a better sense of life and all it offers.

Michele went back to college, got her Masters of Business Administration in West Virginia, and continues to live there with her husband and two children. Michael lives in New Jersey, works as an auto-body repair technician and is engaged to Lisa. The whole family will be gathering in New Jersey this summer for their wedding. Missy is a school teacher at the same grammar school here on the island which she attended years ago when we first moved over from America. She and her husband built a new house, right up the road from ours and it’s wonderful to have at least two of my grandchildren close by. Jan Christian is going to school and studying to be an engineer, like his Pappa. He and his wife live in Sandnes, about an hour from Egersund. We are a family living in two countries, yet I’m proud to say we all remain closely bonded.

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"Maggie Myklebust's book, Fly Away Home, reads like a fairy tale. There are no giants or pirates or six handed..."

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