Same Old Same Old

Trip Start Jan 08, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Flag of Sweden  , Gotland,
Thursday, April 29, 2010

Well last week we didn't do a post because not much had happened and this week not much has happened either, but we figured that two weeks of nothing much adds up to one week of a bit.

So here goes...

Here on Gotland all the rocks are actually fossils.  Some of them just look like rocks now, but many of them still have pretty patterns and shapes.  They're all a funny grey colour which is very different from the fossils we have seen before which are brown sandstone ones.  We went for a walk with Emelie along the coast and found ourselves fossicking for fossils in the sun for quite a while.  We found heaps of good ones and it was nice to be on a ''beach'' (ha!) in the sun again.  We still had our beanies and jackets on so no vitamin D for us, but it was very warm! (that's assuming I am accurately remembering what warm is!)

All of us students have to think of and do some sort of project or service or whatever out in the community.  Since the snow has melted there is a lot of rubbish around the place so Pete and I decided to pick up trash as our service. There were some other people who wanted to join us, so Emelie called the council for us to see if there was anywhere in particular they wanted us to clean and they were pretty stoked about the whole idea.  They offered to supply us with rubbish bags, rubbish picker-upperer stick things and a key to a public skip to throw it all away in!  We started last friday and it was actually really therapeutic and rewarding to be out in the fresh air doing something useful.  We wore Salvo bibs so we looked like we had been sentenced to community service or something, but apparently they don't have that here so I guess people didn't think we were juvenile delinquents after all.

 Last week we had a guy called Christian Lerne from the Swedish Salvation Army's Development Office come to teach us.  He talked to us about Development work in Africa, Asia and South America and some of the projects that the Swedish Salvos are supporting.  It was a very informative and interesting week, but a little depressing at times because it really opened our eyes to all the things that can and do go wrong in development work.  It's still essential work though, but not easy and not for the easily discouraged by the sound of it.

On friday I learned the most important and exciting thing that I have learned here so far.  Pete and I went to Miriam's house and, along with giving us heaps of fantastic food and smoothies, she taught me how to cut my own hair!  I had heaps of fun and was so confident that Miriam was a little nervous and kept saying ''oops'' and ''careful'' and scary things like that which you really don't want to hear when cutting your hair.  It turned out really well though if I do say so myself, I'm very proud!  Miriam said that each time I cut my hair we have to spend the money we didn't spend on the haircut on something nice like lunch together.  Sounds good to me!

This week we had a couple of different teachers, the one at the beginning of the week was Annika Scutt and she works at a Salvo corps in Stockholm running a family centre.  They work with single mums and other people, but Annika's job is to work with kiddies who have difficult family lives.  Most of them have parents who are addicted to alcohol or drugs so it's a pretty tough crowd.  She was very funny and down to earth and made the day an interactive one to keep us all awake.  In the afternoon we had to sit in a circle and pretend we were in one of the kids' support groups.  It was fun AND educational!!!  :)

We have also been planning what we are going to do after school ends.  We have two weeks to do whatever before we are due in Canada.  For those interested in looking these places up, we will catch the ferry from here to Oskarshamn, then get a bus south to Kalmar where we will stay one night and look at Kalmarslott (Kalmar Castle), then another bus to Jönköping to stay with Emelie for a few nights at her mum's place in neighbouring Husqvarna (yay! home of the awesomest sewing machines ever!), then another bus to Göteborg on the west coast, stay there one night, then a train from there across the border into Norway to stay in Oslo for 3 nights, then a train to Bergen (We're soooo excited about the Bergen bit, look up some pictures), then back to Oslo for a night, then a flight to London where we stay for a night at the airport hotel, then we fly to Vancouver. Wow that makes me tired just writing about it.

Well that's about I forgot to add that it snowed a couple of times last week! It melted on the ground pretty quickly and didn't kill the flowers, just a little reminder of how far up the world we are I guess.

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angelasusan on

I thought you might have been struggling to breathe through volcanic ash etc but you have been out picking up quite ordinary litter! I assume that you have had heaps of coverage of the Icelandic volcano (note: noone in Australia even attempts to say its name!) but in case you would like a few more good pics try -

(But I would skip the ludicrous, literal, god-fearing comments posted by the usual range of American Christian fundamentalist loonies. Guess what? It's not all about me (or you for that matter)!

Laura on

How come we didn't get a photo of your hair cut? I'd like to see that!

Jan on

Me too - I'd love to see the haircut - what about Pete's - does he also do his own?
I have done the train trip to Bergen - it really is absolutely spectacular. You can add it to your list of spectacular nordic scenery. I'm never too sure of when it is appropriate to use the term nordic. I do know if you use it incorrectly you get into strife.

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