Archive for Month: June 2015

How a pervert tried to sexually assault me

Haugesund, June 27th 2015

Okay, this is actually not one of those sarcastic attempts on being funny. I’m instead going to share a rather uncomfortable experience I had this weekend.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m currently working on a documentary, so this afternoon I was out doing some aerial photography at the local track. I sent my camera-drone up as usual, and with the controller in my hands I kept my eyes on the drone for the most part.

However, soon after take-off I noticed a person standing about 100ft/30m away from me, but didn’t really think twice about it – because I usually get lots of weird looks when I fly a loud little helicopter-thing above people’s heads. When I land the drone a few minutes later, the person gets closer.

It’s a big ethnic-looking man in his 50s. He approaches me, and when I see his face I realize that he’s a regular customer at the grocery store I work at. He sais “Hi, I haven’t seen you around in a long time.” I was surprised by his friendly tone. Then he asked a few questions about work, and about the camera, before I let him take a look at it – while it was still recording.

But before I knew it, he grabbed his arms around me, and gave me what I would call an abnormally tight hug. I was thinking: **Nothing too strange about that.. Maybe it’s just a Pakistani way of greeting??** But when the hug lasted way longer than I’d prefer, I tried to back off – without much luck. As the big guy he was, he held me tight and leaned over to give me three to four wet cheek-kisses on each side. His unshaved stubbles around his mouth made the whole thing pretty unappealing… to say the least. **Hmm, this is extremely awkward, but perhaps it’s considered “normal” in his culture.. so don’t freak out just yet.**

Then he just stared at me for a moment, and by the time I noticed how incredibly stinky his breath was, I saw him aiming for my lips. I then managed to somehow twist my face away just in time, but he still held me real tight. In the seconds that followed next, he said that “We should …. ”  – Well, he didn’t use words to express the second part of that sentence, but rather thrusting-motions with the “area below his waist.” I could feel his fat belly pressed up against mine, and his hand suddenly ran down my back where he grabs my butt. I had had more than enough, so I literally forced myself away from him.

By the time that happened, I was not only shocked, but extremely angry. As a former martial artist I know that I could’ve made him regret his behavior if I had to, but I tried to control my temper and walk away from it without aggravating him any more than necessary.

Even though it was uncomfortable, I knew I’d be able to stop him before he went too far, so I’m not by any means traumatized by this experience. But as a true feminist, it just made me really angry! It’s not that tight hugs, wet cheek-kisses and butt-squeezing is so bad, but when it happens against a woman’s own will, that’s when I have a problem with it. It’s called sexual assault – and I have zero tolerance for that!

Luckily, it wasn’t dark and the track is a relatively open space, so I wasn’t worried he’d do anything horrific right there at that moment, but it still upset me, because what if this had happened to someone younger? Or someone smaller or someone who were unable to get away from him? I don’t know what his intentions were or what he’s capable of, but I thank God he didn’t do anything worse.

As I mentioned above, he took a look at my camera while it was still recording, so I do have a clear close-up photograph of him. I’ll give the police department a note, but after doing some research I found that he’s a father of four, and I choose therefore not to publish the photo here.

pervert_asshole

Anyway, enough feminist blasting from me tonight.

Be safe, be confident and stand up for yourself!

Bless you all,
Maria Lavelle

GPS + Fjords = Bad Combo

I just got back from a swimming session, ate a quick lunch and now I’m about to head for work – where yet another late night shift awaits me.

Over the past few days I’ve spent most of my time working on the documentary. On Monday I drove to Nedstrand to do an interview with my long jump coach from High School. The drive was supposed to take no longer than 45minutes, but since I was stupid enough to trust my GPS I ended up in the middle of nowhere and showed up an hour late. That’s really not cool when you’ve scheduled an appointment with someone, and you’re unable to tell them because your phone doesn’t have service… blarghh the Norwegian fjords and mountains definitely have their downsides = crappy wifi/phone connection. Well anyhow, I got the clips I needed, found my way back to Haugesund, and then did two more interviews before I could call it a day.

When I finally got back home, I realized I hadn’t eaten anything all day, wups… so I skipped the workout and started the third season of “Orange is the New Black” with my sister instead.

Oh, I’m supposed to be at work in 10 minutes, so talk to ya laterrr!

Bless ya,
Maria Lavelle

About reporting and crawling

Before the summer started I had this idea that with the freedom of having no classes to attend to, no homework and no commitments, I’d have time to become a great blogger.  Well.. I’m trying. But honestly, I don’t have more hours during the day than I need.

On Tuesday I spent all day working as a real freelance journalist. The National high jump Champion, Sindre Gelius Eikje received an award for his performances on the track. And since I’m making a documentary about him, I got to join the rest of the “press” into the City Hall. I had no idea what I was doing, but it went pretty great!

If you’re really talented, you might be able to spot me ^_^

 

Screenshot from the documentary. Sindre Gelius Eikje, and Mayor Petter Steen Jr.

 

It's just me, reporting from the City Hall bathroom📹📝 lol

A post shared by marialavelle1 (@marialavelle1) on

 

Then on Wednesday I had my first shift back at the grocery store.

 

Today I’ve done one interview, contacted some more sources for the documentary, and then I went swimming for a good hour. Since my foot doesn’t allow me to do much weight bearing exercise, I spend quite a bit of time in the pool. I’ve never been much of a swimmer, but I’m eagerly trying to learn the freestyle/crawl technique. It’s getting better, but I still struggle with breathing at the right places… Today it felt like I made it a habit to inhale UNDER the water. Bahh, at least I didn’t swallow half the pool, like I did on Monday #progress

Screenshots:
sindre

God bless,
Maria Lavelle

 

Cinemascope

Hey y’all,

I just got back from a long day of shooting another part of the documentary I’m working on. When I say long, don’t misunderstand me! I absolutely LOVE this kind of work. Ahhh, imagine making films for a living. Some day 😉


Here are some screenshots from the clips I shot of Elisabeth Angell Bergh, one of the top middle distance runners in Norway. She’s also a soon-to-be American, woop woop!

eangell2

Yep, I tried out an “anamorphic format” = widescreen cinemascope (The black bars at the bottom and top) Some say it’s typically not the preferred format for documentaries, but who cares? I don’t.

eangell1

Other than scheduling interviews, shooting and editing clips, I’m enjoying the comfort of seeing my family every day, eating home cooked meals and driving a car with manual transmission (which by the way, was not easy as I thought it’d be after a year abroad)

Now I better go to bed, as another hectic day of work awaits me tomorrow morning. G’night!

Blessings,
Maria

 

 

Norway can be pretty beautiful too

I just got back from a little trip to Bergen with my mom. My sister is in Turkey at the moment, and my dad is renovating my new room. Even though I moved out two years ago, and don’t really live here more than a few months out of the year, my parents decided I should get a nicer room to stay in while I’m here.

Now that I’ve been at the American prairie for almost a year. I’m suddenly able to see how beautiful the nature in Norway actually is.

Just look at this! No filter needed..


The picture was taken from the top of some island we found while cruising the fjords in my uncle’s new “yacht” – pretty sweet I must say.

Then on Saturday I went to Knarvik to visit my favorite Norwegian Augustana viking, Karen! I’ve missed her a lot already, so I’m glad I could use her 21st birthday as an excuse to go see her haha 🙂

 

Right now I’m editing some footage I shot of my friend Hanne.

Here are some (blurry) screenshots from what I’ve got so far.

Screen shot

She’s preparing for the National Norwegian Track Championships that’ll be held here in Haugesund, so I wanted to dive into her world to see what life is like for someone who can easily run 60 miles a week. Stay tuned for more!

Screen Shot Screen Shot

Bless y’all,
Maria

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