Saturday, December 26, 2009


Yay! I had such an amazing christmas and I am so grateful that I was able to experience a Swedish christmas. =) Now the first difference is that in Sweden, they celebratae christmas mostly on the 24th. That was a little weird for me haha. So we all had a nice breakfast together then we opened our stockings. After that we went and delivered some presents to some friends. When we got back from that we had lunch and then we all sat around the TV and watched this special Donald Duck program on the tv. What it is is a disney christmas show. They show a bunch of clips from famous disney movies. It was very entertaining to watch because all the voices were changed to swedish. After that, Karro and I had to entertain ourselves till we opened our presents at 5. After presents, we had a big dinner then played games and watched a movie.

Even though the 24th is the main day, they still have 25th as a holiday too. They say that this is the day to enjoy all of the stuff you got the day before. First thing we did was go outside and make the biggest snowman ever! Planning on putting pictures up. Then we played games together until I went over to my first host family for dinner. When i came back home we watched movies till it was bed time. All in all it was a very relaxing christmas. Now all I have to do is enjoy the rest of my christmas break!

Kram- Haley

Friday, December 18, 2009

Salongerna/ Lucia

So this past week was crazy! Mostly because of Salongerna. On Sunday (which was Lucia day) we went to school at 10 and didn't get home until about 7 because of practice. On Monday we practiced all day again but started at 8 and didn't get to leave until about 11. Then Tuesdau was our premier day and that was a blast! All of the hard work was worth it because we were so great and I had so much fun. It was a real great way to bond with my classmates. We only got to do 4 shows which was sad but they all went really well. For those of you confused about what Salongerna is... It was a class at school and everyone got graded on their preformance. Way back in August, we chose a bunch of songs and skits that we would like to preform. Then once everything was chosen, we had to write out the music for most of the songs ourselves and the dancers had to make the dances. Then we were all given our roles, what I liked about it is that everyone had a chance to be in the spotlight at least once, there was no one star of the show. Then we practiced twice a week until last week then we had the extra practices. So the final result was 4 acts with food in between provided by the resturant program. It was a great experience!

Lucia!! So even though I could not attend the citys Lucia festival, I did get to see the one for my school. It was really cool to see such a famous swedish tradition and hear them singing the christmas songs. I felt kind of bad for the Lucia because she had to wear a candle hat! I could never have done that, haha I am way too clumsy. So props to her for keeping it on her head and nothing on fire. =) I took a few pictures and hope to have them up soon!

Looking forward to a swedish christmas!

Kram, Haley

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Since I have been in Sweden I have noticed so many differences between Swedish living and American living. Here are some of the things that I have taken notice of so far.

School- School is a big one, there are so many differences here. In Sweden, we are all in groups and we take classes mostly with the people in our group, in the US everyone mixes up for our classes. Here I take a lot less classes, my schedule is so relaxed. I have an hour break to do whatever on most days, some days more than that. In the US you have a certain amount of classes everyday and 5 minutes in between every class, it is a lot more stressful. Swedish students are a lot more motivated to do work than students in the US, people here study SO much! In swedish schools you have a warm cooked meal everyday, usually it s good but if you don't like it you can go to the cafe and buy a sandwich. In the US you have to buy food or bring it from home, if you buy it, it is usually a very unhealthy meal. In the US I would be driving my car to school and no one does that here! Everyone either bikes or walks to school, which doesn't work out well for me because me and my bike have had a few fights =). If theres anything else about school in either country just ask.

Food- I actually havent noticed a big difference in the food here except for when it is eaten. Here are typical meals in both countries.
Breakfast (Sweden)- A sandwich, (like a slice of bread with butter, meat and cheese) tea or coffee, milk or some type of juice, sometimes an egg or fruit.
Breakfast (US)- Milk or juice, and something warm like eggs and bacon, pancakes, (with butter and syrup) waffles, (with butter and syrup) sausages and toast.

Lunch (Sweden)- Warm meal with milk or water. Soup with bread, meatballs, fish, pasta. Anything warm and filling, could be compared to a dinner in the US.
Lunch (US)- School lunch with soda or various drinks, hamburger, nachos, chicken nuggets, sandwich, (peanut butter and jelly or meat) or something not too heavy at home, can be a left over meal.

Afterschool (Sweden)- Pancakes, (with jelly and cream) waffles, (with jelly and cream also) very similiar to lunch. Fruit and milk also.
Afterschool (US)- Not much just random snacks you can find in the food pantry. Usually not healthy! =)

Dinner (Sweden)- Heavy, also similiar to lunch, but heavier than the afterschool meal. Meats, fish, pasta. basicaly carbs and protein. Healthy, usually not fried.
Dinner (US)- Very similiar to the dinners in Sweden except we have fried stuff sometimes.

Teenagers- Teenagers here are a lot more free than in the US. Probably because it is fairly safe to be biking around my city late at night. You can get everywhere on your bike so you can just go to the store and grab something really fast. On the weekends it is kind of weird if you go out and are back before 12. Everyone is used to staying out away from home, where I'm not really used to that. In the US if your out of your house at 12 you are most likely staying the night at a friends house. Here, you just stay out with friends really late, and go back home.

Again if you have any other questions for me, ask! =)

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Family

So since I got a request I am going to go into a little bit more detail about the families I have. Here it is, just the two families I know very well, my third family I don't know too much about.

So the first family- They were very nice and easy going. I had a host mom named Ursula and a host dad named Kjell and also a host sister, Amalia. Ursula is a teacher at my school, Holavedsgymnasiet. I actually have her for my history class which is benificial because she knows when I need help which makes that class easier then it would have been. Kjell works at a company called LRF Konsult. Im pretty sure he deals with a lot of numbers, he is also a rotary member so I still see him every once in a while at meetings. Amalia is 13 years old and we got along very well, it literally feels like she is my actual sister. We fight like sisters and get along also. I still see her at her school where I help with english classes and sometimes at the stables. They have a horse that I get to ride occasionally, =), they also have a dog and amazing cat that I miss very much haha. Amalia rides horses in competitions and also plays hockey so I got to go to a lot of small cities for away hockey games when I was living with them. I had a good time with them and I am very thankful for everything they did for me.

The second family (the Valaszkais)- They are originaly not swedish, they moved here about 20 years ago from Romania (I think). I live with Julia and Laszlo and their daughter Karro. They also have a son Peter but he doesn't live at home and I haven't met him yet. They are a very busy family, there is always something happening here! Julia works as a teacher and Laszlo is an engineer and also, like Kjell, a rotary member. Laszlo works in Italy 3 weeks out of the month so he isn't home very often which is a little weird when its just us girls haha. Karro is 15 and in 9th grade so she's a bit older than Amalia. So far we get along well so fingers crossed that it stays that way, I believe it will. She plays the saxophone and the piano. She plays sax in a few bands and she is really good! We also go to dance classes together and that it fun. I got to know Karro very well before I moved in and I think that really helped a lot. Im excited for christmas with this family, I think it will be quite an experience!

Kram, Haley

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Oh My goodness!!! It's December!! Do you know what that means? Well I guess it means a lot of stuff. It means I have been in Sweden for 4 months, Christmas is in 23 days, there are christmas lights everywhere (including my room), theres Lucia and Solongerna soon! Wow it's gonna be a crazy month! I can't believe that it has been 4 months since I left New Mexico, the time seems to be going by soooo fast.

I guess I should explain Salongerna to you. =) So my class, ES2 is doing a winter preformance. Basically what it is is that we team up with the cooking program, we provide the entertainment, they provide the food for our audience. Between acts, the audience eats different courses of a meal. In the acts, we preform random songs and theatre, complete with singing and dancing. I am definitly planning to record this and put it on youtube. Not all of it but some of the better songs.

So since I last wrote, I went down to a city in the south of Sweden for a night. We left on Saturday and drove for about 3 or 4 hours. First, I got to meet Laszlo's parents and I didn't understand anything that was happening because they were all speaking hungarian! Then we went to a close family friends house where Karro and I would be staying the night. Karro was so excited to see her friend, and we made gingerbread houses and watched a movie. In the morning, we went to a christmas craft sale and it was fun to see all of the things. It wasn't only crafts though, there was homemade bread and chocolate, all kinds of stuff. And they were also having their Lucia competition then. I would explain what Lucia is but I don't really know so I will wait until I get to actually experience it then you will get a full explanation. After that we drove homw and we were very tired by the time we got back.

So that's whats been happening with me this past week. =)

Monday, November 23, 2009

My weekend...

Well, this blog was not exactly as I would have planned it to be. I was supposed to be so busy this weekend. This was the original plan:

1. Choir practice then teen night on Friday.
2. Possibly Linkoping on Saturday .
3. Concert with my friends in it Saturday night.
4. Linkoping on Sunday to see New Moon.

So most of those things didn't happen because Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I was sick! I was so bored for those days, I didn't get to do anything. So most of my weekend consisted of sleeping, T.V., movies. Woohoo...not! Lol. So even though I was sick I still made it to Linkoping on Sunday. I got in around 12.30 and met up with Meg and we went into town to try to go shopping but found nothing because we forgot that since it was Sunday most of the stores would be closed. Then we met up with all the other people and we just hung out and talked until it was time to see New Moon. I was so excited to see this movie! I did really like it but I thought that it was too scattered and not put together well enough. Nothing was explained in great detail at all, the acting was good though, so I did like the movie just not the way it was put together. Then I had to go home and that concluded my weekend, at least I got to do one exciting thing. =)

Kram, Haley

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Moon!!!

OMG!! I am so excited because I just realized that New Moon comes out this weekend, I really hope I will be able to go and see it!!!

So nothing much happened since the last time I posted. Just getting settled in to the new house. I am all unpacked now and moved into my room! So yay! It warmed up this week to about 7 degrees celcius, which is really confusing and frusterating. I want it to snow!! =( I went ice skating again with Amalia and Nina on sunday, and that was really fun except that I have so many bruises now! So I will keep you posted if anything new happens...

Kram, Haley

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Family!

So sorry that I haven't written for over a week but things have been so crazy because of the move. I moved on thursday night into my new family. They are very nice, everything is new and different but it's not bad at all. It feels weird going to a new house after school now, but that will get better just as in the very beginning of my exchange.

Last weekend was very fun, I did lots of stuff and I was so tired by monday. On Saturday I went to a city 4 hours away for Amalias away hockey game. It was a city on the ocean and it was very cool, but I would have liked to see it in the summer. I bet it would be amazing there in the summer. Then on sunday I went to go see a play, cabaret, with Karro and a few friends. It was a great play. The singers were awesome and even though I couldn't understand most of it, I enjoyed myself. After that I went ice skating with Amalia and Kjell, it was...interesting. Haha I fell quite a few times when I had to play hockey, but it was really fun . I also saw a few of the girls from one of the english classes I help teach.

The school week went pretty normally, nothing too exciting happened except for the move. Today was my schools open house and that went really well. I preformed in the choir, an ensemble and a dance. So I did everything! Haha so now I am completly exhausted!

Promise there will be pictures on facebook soon!

Kram, Haley

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


YAY! It has finally snowed here! I was so happy today when I was biking and I saw that it had started to snow, it probably wont stick until later in the week, but I'm happy all the same.

So since the last time I posted nothing much happened except that I started school again. Pretty boring haha. Monday was a slow day because everyone was tired after the break. Amalia and I made some really amazing Halloween themed cupcakes, a few days too late but all well haha. Then yesterday, after school I had a dance class and that's about it. Today I got to come home way earlier than usual because my History class is taking a test and I don't have to take it. Oh the beauty of being an exchange student! Haha no grades!

Kram, Haley

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Back to school tomorrow! =( But that's ok because I had an awesome week. Hmm, where to start?

Finland trip! So On Tuesday, we drove to a nearby city called Mjölby then took a bus from there to Stockholm. When we got to Stockhom, we immedietly boarded out boat. The boat was so huge! It was called the Mariella and it was complete with resturants, a disco, arcade, decks and various other stuff. We got on and explored! The first thing we did was go to out rooms and Amalia and I couldn't stop from laughing because it was sooo small! Haha. Then we went all around the boat. For dinner that night we had Tapas and the smörgåsbord, which is pretty much like a buffet and it was yummay!! Haha. The next day we got into Helsinki around 9 and the first thing we did was take a bus tour around to see the major landmarks. (Pictures on Facebook). We saw all of the major buildings in Helsinki then we got off and I found some pins for my Rotary blazer, woohoo! Then w just walked around the very cold city! It was a very pretty city and I am very happy that I got to go there. =) We had to get back on the boat around 5 and we were so tired that we all took a little nap. Amalia and I then went around the boat and hung out for the rest of the night. We made a youtube video haha, but it wouldn't upload on the internet! Darn! The next day we got up and took the bus back to Mjölby and then drove home.

On Friday, I took the train up to Linköping for Evan's 18th birthday. =) Happy Birthday Evan! We hung out in the city and took pictures, and just had random fun! That's what happens when a bunch of exchange students get together, we will always have fun together. Then we went back to Evan's house to have Pizza and watch movies. The next day, we woke up and had pancakes (YUMMM) and then we all missed the bus so we had to wait 20 minutes for the next one, which made us all miss our trains home. So we got to the train station and hung out at the cafe. Te Norrköping girls all had a train an hour before mine left so after seeing them off Evan and I killed some more time in the cafe with a hot chocolate and a sprite. =) We forgot to look at the time and needless to say, I missed my second train of the day. We looked up the time of the next train and it was 2 hours from then, so we went into the city and went shoe shopping for Evan. Haha, Evan needed to be home by 4, so I spent the last 45 minutes waiting at the train station alone and bored. I did not miss this train and by the time I got home I was in a rush to get ready for the halloween party that night.

When I was finally ready I went over to Lisa's house and we left for the party in a big group. The party was a bunch of people from the church and we ate food and had dessert and did a lot of talking. We also played a really funny confusing game involving noises and hand movememts, made all the more confusing by the swedish explanation. But fun none the less. I finally got home a little after one and so today I am wiped out!

I have now officially been here for 3 months and that is really weird to think of. I can't believe that the time has gone by so fast! I am about to switch host families in less than 2 weeks which is a little scary but it is definitly comforting that I know the family and they are really nice. So for now I am starting to get my room ready to pack, it is kind of sad because that room feels like home now, and I have to start all over in a new house but I know everythings going to be ok. =)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Höst Lov!

Yay it's finally fall break! That means Finland in a few days =) Very exciting! This past week I haven't been doing much. I finally got to start dancing again, I tell you, dance class was not very exciting to watch for 2 weeks. I finally got my move date, the 13 of November, so it's going to be pretty busy in the next few weeks getting ready for that. I got my package! Packed full of Halloween candy! So fun! Amalia was so amused with all the crazy and fun stuff that I recieved. I finally got to have beef jerkey, and I got Amalia hooked on it too. Haha. I will be so sad when I run out =( We made the brownies the night I got the package and I just made the pancakes for my family and they were very good.

Yesterday, I finally went to Ikea! Lisa insisted that I just had to go. So we met up with Evan in Linkoping and went to Ikea. It is sooooo Huge! I couldn't believe how big it was, It was like a maze to get to the resturant. I though it was very funny that there was a resturant in a furniture store and when I asked Lisa why, she said "Well you buy a bunch of stuff and it takes so long to go through the whole store that you get hungry and tired." Haha that was so funny!

So My plans for this week are
1) Finland from Tuesday to Thursday.
2) Night with Lisa on Thursday.
3) Evans Birthday party from Friday to Saturday.
4) Halloween party on Saturday.

It's gonna be a busy week!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I have been so busy and tired from being busy that I haven't written in a week but now I am making myself do it because some pretty interesting things happened this past week.

Thursday- The day was normal but what was exciting was at night there was what they call Inspark. It was like initation into the music program. The whole poing was to scare the living daylights out of us, and it worked pretty well I must say. They first had us all together in a room and told us a story of how a mental hospital burned down and the patients were running all over the place. Then they separated us and one by one we had to go on this trail is the middle of no where. It was so dark you couldn't see anything but the next candle on the path. The candles were at least 50 feet from each other and it was pitch black in between. The perfect oppurtunity for them to scare you. It was such a fun night and now I am officially a part of the program.

Friday- I was out again at night, I went to a church teen night with Karro and Lisa. I was a little hesitant at first but it turned out to be so much fun and I am definitly going back! We started by singing a few gospel songs (in Swedish haha) then we had Fika. After the Fika, we played a very confusing game called the blue room and I am not going to try to explain it, but it was fun even though I lost almost right away.

Saturday- I got to sleep in so that was very nice. We left around 1 for a town that I can't remember the name of but I know it was on the other side of the second largest lake in Sweden. When we got there, we dropped Amalia and Nina off at the Hockey rink then Kjell, Cici and I tryed to find pins and a place to fika. We were unsuccessful and resorted to the rinks cafe. We watched the hockey game and I really enjoyed myself, mostly because Amalia's team won 9-0. So that was definitly good. When the game was over we had to leave and we didn't get home till late that night.

Sunday- i didn't get to sleep in, as much as I would have loved to. We had to leave a little after 6 for Amalia's horse jumping competition. We went to the stables first and gave the horses their morning meal then we packed up Tuva and left. The competition was in a town near Granna. We watched some then went into town to try to find pins and a place to fika again. This time we found place to fika , but still no pins. =( That's ok, there's going to be plenty of pins in Finland next week. We got home from the competition and then Amalia and I were really bored so we went out into the yard and got all the apples from the apple tree, then played baseball with the bad ones. Very fun.

Today- After school, Lisa came over and we made a pie from all the apples we got yesterday. I had my doubts about it, but it actually turned out very yummy, even if it does look like cole slaw. Haha.

So I will try to post more often. I can promise once a week at least but hopefullt at least 2 times a week would be nice.


Monday, October 12, 2009

The last week...

Oops! I forgot to update for almost a whole week, thats ok though because nothing much happened after my accident. I had the esperience of being on crutches for four days. let me tell you that that is something I do not want to repeat. My hands were so sore all of the time because of the type of crutches I was on. It was also not fun being so slow! It felt like I was getting no where. I didn't get to do much when I was on the crutches because a lot of the stuff I do is dance and theatre stuff so I watched other people have fun.

I was off the crutches by Saturday because Lisa had invited me to go shopping in Linkoping and I really wanted to go! It was so much fun to go shopping in downtown Linkoping. I got some new shirts and a winter jacket! Yay! I won't freeze this winter. Well I probably will because the cold and I don't mix very well, but I will have a warm jacket.

Sunday was a realxing day! I got to sleep in for the first time in forever, and I still didn't sleep past 10! Oh My! I don't know if I am capable of sleeping past 11 anymore. Amalia and I cooked a southeast asia meal yesterday and the chicken came out so yummy!

Today, I rode my bike to school again and did NOT crash! Yay me! Haha. I got to help teach the english classes again and that is always really fun to do. I also had an Italian class today and that is getting better and better as I am learning swedish.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Oh and by the way.... on the way to school I realized that I didn't have my pencils and turned back. I tryed to get back on the sidwalk and totally biffed it! I gashed my left knee and tore a ligament in my right ankle. I had to go to the hospital and get X-rays. So it's crutches for me for a few days!

Monday, October 5, 2009

District Meeting!

This past weekend I went to my Rotarys district meeting in a small town near Kalmar. On friday, a few exchange students from Linköping came down and stayed at my house for the night since we had to wae up at 5 the next morning. So we had tacos and a movie with Lisa and we didn't get to bed till 1, oops! So after 4 hours of sleep, my counselor picked us up and we were off! When we got to the hotel where the meeting was at, we started practicing the skit we had to preform later that day. Out skit was about the stereotypes of out countries, and after we anwsered a few questions and pretended to be that stereotype, we had the audience guess what country we are from. After that, we anwsered the questions for real and showed people that we were not the stereotype. When the skit was over we hung out in the hotel spa, then went to the houses we were staying at to get all dressed up for the dinner. At the dinner we just talked to all of the rotarians. There were Tapas for appetizers, they consisted of Anchovies and Herring on Bread, Eel, some weird white stuff, and salmon rolls. Guess which one I really liked? The Eel! I know! It was pretty good. After the dinner, there was a band and we all danced with rotarians and had lot of fun! When that was over we all went back to the house I was staying at and talked till 1. Then the people not staying at my house had to leave. i ended up not sleeping till 2 and I was so tired!

The next day, we woke up and our host showed us aroung the small town then we went to the hotel to have lunch. We left after lunch and by the time I got home, I was so tired. I am still recovering!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Last weekend I got to hang out with all the people from my Rotary district, we had a blast! I left Tranas after school on friday, (after trying out orienteering in Gym, haha), and got on the train. After about an hour I met Evan from Linkoping and then we continued on to Norrkoping. When we got off the train, we were met by our host for the weekend and Meg, the Australian that we didn't know yet. Then we met all of the other exchangers that we already knew from orientation weekend. It was great to see htne again. Alltogether my distrist has 9 inbounds in it. People from the U.S, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Japan, and Austria. The first night we went bowling! None of us were very good but we had a blast! They even had the neon backlight type bowling! The next day, we got up and went to the Norrkoping government building (I have no idea what to call it.) ans we took a tour and got to go up in the bell tower, very cold and windy but a beautiful view of the city! Then we walked around town. It was very interesting because that night was culture night so there was a lot going on. When we were done with that, we went back to the house we were staying at and planned our skit for this weekend. I think the skit will turn out very funny! Then we all cooked a meal together! That night Meg, Evan and I stayed up ridiculously late talking and watching youtube. We all went home on Sunday but we are getting together again this weekend so no worries! =)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Post- Norway!!

Sorry it took so long! haha I have been putting off writing in here, but now I'm getting it done! Ok so heres what happened over the weekend...

We left around 1.00 on Thursday and then made the 6 hour drive up to Varmland. Once we got there, Amalia and I got settled in out separate cabin and then I got to meet Kjell's parents! They are really nice even though they don't speak any english! Not much talking between me and them. The first day (Friday) we went fishing and I actually caught a fisk!! Yeah you heard me! It was a 2 or 3 kilo pike, haha yay! Then we went into Norway, a little skiing town called Trysil. I even got a pin =) The next day we went and took a long walk at the bottom of the mountains and it was so pretty! I promise to put the pictures on Facebook soon! The last day we went fishing again but we didn't catch anything, thats ok though because I did catch a fish the first day. We came home on Monday and I was so wiped out. Then I went back to school on Tuesday and things are normal now.

Friday I am going to Soderkoping for an exchange student weekend and I am so excited for that! Its gonna be a blast and we get to hang out again the next weekend. =)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pre- Norway =)

So tomorrow I am going to my family's cabin. It is right on the border of Norway so we are going to go into Norway!! I am so excited! So the last few days I have been just going along with my now normal schedule. It's amazing how fast I've gotten used to things. I am so used to the way things are here, I have even started to depend on a knife to eat! HAHA I feel so Swedish! Anyways.... I just wanted to write this blog to tell everyone that I won't be able to get on the internet the whole time I am there, so basically all weekend. The cabin is in the mountains so no signal! haha that's ok im pretty sure I can deal. I will be sure to post a blog afterwards and pictures on Facebook! =)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday! YAY

Haha I need to write in here more often!! Theres a whole week to catch up on, might as well take it day by day...

Saturday (after I wrote)- Cici and Amalia's friend Anna came over for a fun movie night, lots of laughing! We also had chocolate Fondue and that was soo yummy!

Sunday- Amalia had to show me how to get to her school so I woulnd't get lost the next day. We didn't want to go back home after that so we tryed to go to a few places in town but everything was closed! We forgot that it was sunday. We ended up eating at the Chinese food resturant, we ordered the cheapest things on the menu.

Monday- I had Swedish classes first thing in the morning but after those, I went to Amalia's achool to help teach some english classes. It was so fun! The teachers just had the kids ask me questions and some of them were really funny! A little boy asked me if I had a boyfriend! Haha they are so cute. I also had Italian that day so Mondays are now officially language days! Haha. When I got home I did some stuff with Kjell and Amalia and then I wanted to make cupcakes for Lisa's birthday the next day. So Amalia and I went to the store and came home any started cooking. The first batch came out discusting! They were hard as rocks! So I tryed again and they turned out ok.. They tasted more like muffins than cupcakes. So I ended up with 6 instead of 18.

Tuesday- I had Salong (like a play, kinda) then Choir! I had fun and then went to Vastra Vux. There ended up being no classes that day so I went back to school and got an Id and studyed a little then went home and watched House! I had Swedish lessons when I went back to school where I just worked in my V. Vux books. Then we had math and again I was really bored because I knew everything. Afterschool I met Robin (Australian exchange student) and we had Fika at the Goterriet. Yummy! It is nice to talk to her because she knows exactly how I'm feeling right now since she has been here for 6 months now. After that I went to a dance class with Karro!

Wednesday- I had Italian again, then I had math too. I also had my singing lesson and she gave me another swedish song, I dont liket this one as much but its still pretty. We had to take class pictures today, haha. I don't like school pictures too much. After school I met Amalia and we went to the stables and I rode Tuva for a while. When we got home we realized the Amalia had forgotten her phone at the Stables so we had to go back at night, we got to help take in a few really nice horses so I didn't complain!

Thursday- I went to a rotary meeting and met a really nice lady that was also really funny! She told me the speech wouldn't have been more interesting for me in English. Haha. I had a Horse Lesson with Camilla and it went really well! I was very happy afterwards!

Friday- I love fridays because I get to sleep in and then go to dance in the morning. Not too hard! I also had my ensemble class and we started practicing our songs. I had gym and I ran 2 Kilometers again and it was wat easier than last time. Afterschool, Amalia and I went to the stables again and took care of Tuva. afterwards, we got some movies.

Saturday- I went shopping with some girls from my class and had lots of fun! I got some candles for my room and a tan top and sweater. Lisa said that I looked very swedish! Haha. When I got home I helped with set up for the Crayfish party. People came over around 6.30 and I had a lot of fun. Plus the crayfish were delicious! Then we all went to my room for a movie!

Next weekend- A few days ago I found out that I will be going to The summer house next weekend with Kjell and Amalia. (Ursula will be at a teacher meeting in Finland) Their summer house is about 6 hours north of here and right on the border od NORWAY!!! So we get to go into Norway! I am so excited!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Marching band!

I just got back from watching the youth marching band in town. I went with Lisa and we followed them around town and they sounded awesome! It was really cool to see! Then they played at my frined Ebba's house an we listened and had a Fika! =)

My week went very well! It was decided that I am going to help teach an english class at Amalia's school and that starts monday, so I am looking forward to that. I am starting to get adjusted to my schedule and school. Everything is less confusing, and less frusterating. I am also making lots of new friends. Everyone is so nice here! People I barely know just come up to me in the hallways and say hi to me! It makes me feel very accepted.

On thursday (torsdag), Amalia, Karro, Karro's friend and I went to a big market called Adelov. (the o should have 2 dots above it but my keyboard doesnt have that) It was basically just a HUGE flea market, there was lots of candy! YUM. It was raining though so that wasa kind of annoying, but no big deal. On friday we went fishing for crayfish again and ended up catching 53 this morning! Can't wait for the party next weekend so I can eat them!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I cant believe a month has gone by so fast! Kjell told me that it was september and it completly threw me off. If feels like just yesterday that I got here. I have done so many new things in a month and I still have 10 more to go! =) I am so thankful that I can experience all of this and even though I get a little homesick sometimes I know it is worth it.

After I wrote the last time, I went to a karate class. I didnt really like it because it wasn't disiplined at all and we were just kind of jumping aroung doing nothing. I tryed it again on monday but it still didn't work out. I wish there was some martial arts class that I could take in Tranas but unfortunatly there isn't. So I think I will be taking exercise classes with my secong host sister Karro.

Yesterday I found out that one of my classes on mondays is something I don't have to go to so my counselor is trying to get me into an english class at Amalia's school, where I would help teachc the class! I think that would be really fun and I hope it works out. =) I also went to a rotary meeting on monday, it was not my host club but Kjell had to go so he invited me along!

Kram, Haley

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The weekend! YAY

So not a lot has happened since I last wrote on Tuesday, I still need to put up pictures! HAHA so lets move on to Wednesday (onsdag), I got to wake up late because Vestra Vux was cancelled for the day, I also had Private singing lessons that day. It wasa really nice because I have never had private lessons and the teacher gave me a song to learn IN SWEDISH! Its such an amazing song and it's about midsummer and how magical it is. I love that song! After that I had my history class and it was pretty hard to understand what was going on because we watched a movie. After school, I went shopping with a girl from my class, Matilda. It was really fun and also nice to get to know her better.

Thursday, I had a music theory class that I know I will be bad at! I am so bad at music theory and adding that it's in swedish doesn't help, but thats ok. =) I also had a private horse lesson and it was so amazing! I learned how to trot the proper english way! Amalia makes it look way easier than it actually is! After the lesson, I went to an exercise class with Karro (second host sister) and her friend.

Friday, I had a dance class in the morning and it was really fun! Even though Im a terrible dancer! Also on friday I had gym class anad we ran 2 kilometers, which is about 1.2 miles. I was so tired because I am definitly not a runner! I was very proud of myself though because I ran the whole way, I did not stop to walk. =) Amalia and I just Hung out the rest of the day.

Yesterday, Amalia and I went into town to see an art show and It was really interesting to see all the local artists with their art. I even bought a little painting that says live your dream! I thought it was perfect for me. Then we went home and baked some treats. We also had to go feed the horses at the stable.

This morning we had to get up at 6 and feed the horses, I was so tired! So when we got back I went to bed at watched a movie. Now were just relaxing before I go to my Karate class at 3!

Kram, Haley =)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Surstromming! (Fermented Herring)

So I finally tryed the fermented Herring. On Saturday, we had to get everything set up for the perty. We got a tent and set that up (rained shortly after, thank goodness for the tent!) then we had to make all the non stinky food. LOL. People came around 5, some people that came were my 3rd host family and some teachers at my school that are friends of Ursulas. Everyone kept saying how discusting the smell was so I was all prepared by the time they opened the first can, but it didn't smell nearly as bad as they said it would! I tryed it too. What you do is take cracker bread and put some potatoes on, then the herring and maybe some onions. I didn't like it very much, it was way to salty for me but it wasn't as gross as everyone said it would be. I was very suprised. All in all, it was definitly an experience.

On Sunday, Amalia and I were both so bored so we decided to make desserts! It was so fun, we made fudge and something called ladies kisses which were so delicious! I want to make those agian sometime. We also gave some fudge to our neighbors just be be nice and they really appreciated it. =)

Monday, UGH crazy day! It started out normal but ended in a trip to the hospital! I got up and went to swedish and started my normal schedule, which is really nice. I started Italian and I can tell that class is going to give me a headache. Italian in swedish, great! It is helping me learn more swedish though! Right after school we had to go to Linkoping. When we got there, we dropped Amalia and her friend Nina off at Hockey practice then Kjell and I went to the Espresso House, I have found the swedish equivalent to starbucks!! YES!! When we were done we walked back to the Ice arena, when we walked in we saw Amalia sitting in the box. She had collided with a guy and hurt her hand. So she had to stop early, Kjell dropped Nina and I off at the place that I was going to a Karate class and then went to the Hospital with Amalia. It was soo nice to take that class, its way different than what I'm used to, but I felt so great after working out! When it was over, Kjell picked us up and we went to the hospital. We had to wait a few hours before we found out that her arm was broken in two places, so now she has to wear a cast. By the time we got out of the hospital it was almost midnight and we still had to drive an hour to get back to Tranas! We were all so tired!!

So this morning I was so sore from Karate and so tired from staying up till 1.30! To top it all off I had to go take a music test that determined whether I could stay in the music program or not! I had to sing for the teacher and take a music theory test (eWW) I passes so that was nice. Then we got to have choir and the song we are singing is so pretty!! Not like the kind of choir song im used to singing, it's like a pop song and they said thats the type of music the choir always sings! I have a feeling I am really going to like choir this year! =) Then I went to swedish lessons, and then went home for lunch. I have huge gaps in my schedule, I can come home almost everyday! I also started math today and found out that I learned what we are going to be doing this year in 8th grade! So that should be an easy class for me!


8.30- 9.30 Swedish Lessons
10.05- 11.05 Music stuff (not sure what yet)
11.05- 2.00- Free time
2.10- 3.20 Italian

8.00- 9.10 Drama
9.20- 10.20 Choir
10.55- 11-55 Swedish lessons
12.00- 1.30 Free time
12.00- 1.30 Swedish (in school)
2.30- 3.20 Math

8.30- 9-30 Swedish Lessons
9.40- 10.30 Italian
10.40- 11.20 Math
11.30- 1.00 Free time
1.00- 1.30 Private singing lessons
1.40- 3.20 History

8.30-10.25 Drama
10.35- 11.55 Music Theory
12.00- 12.50 Free time
12.50- 2.00 Dance

9.25- 10.35 Dance
10.45- 11.55 Ensemble
12.00- 12.50 Free time
12.50- 1.50 Gym

Friday, August 21, 2009

School =)

So the other day, after I wrote a blog, my family took me to Granna! Thats the city where they make Polkagris! (YUMM Its like candy cane, but ten million times better!) We saw a demonstration on how to make the candy and I got an awesome elk crossing pin!

I have decided that I am going to try to sing and play the piano for a Rotary talent competition I'm doing in october! I am going to perform a song called New soul by Yeal Naim, Kjell and I went into a local music store and found a really great book with fun songs in it! YAY so we will see how that works out...

I started Vestra Vux a few days ago (Swedish classes) it was a really fun class, I really think I am going to learn a lot of swedish there. Hopefully fast too! Yesterday I started school and I was really nervous, but it turned out to be fine. I had fun, I met everyone and they all seamed really nice and happy that I was there. After school, Julia and Lazlo (second host family) and we went out on the lake in the icy water! It was fun though!

Today at school I kind of realized how different it is here. Students have a lot more freedom. The first thing we did was go around the city looking for different stations with activities at them. We probably covered 2 miles a least! They also don't care if the students smoke, which really threw me off. We came up to a station and a girl was smoking as the teacher was explaining the activity! It was soo weird. I really like the people I have classes with and I know I am really going to enjoy this school year! =)

Kram, Haley

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mamma Mia! =)

Hej Hej! Or good morning for those of you in New Mexico! Its about 1:00 here so that means that it is about 5 in the morning there! Haha

So the past few days since I got back from Vimmerby have been pretty relaxing. On saturday after I wrote we went to Linkoping and that was really awesome because after we dropped Amalia off at practice, we saw a martial arts demonstration in the street. We got a pamphlet and now I might be starting in that club in a few weeks. We also found a few clubs, one in Tranas and one in Mjolby (a city close to Yranas).

Yeterday I went out with my second host family and they showed me parts of town that I haven't seen yet. They also showed me their little boat, it so a really cute speed boat. I also got to see their house and it is so beautiful and modern looking. Everything is desined perfectly and they also have an indoor swimming pool right outside of their sauna! After that, I went with Kjell and Amalia to go pick mushrooms and that was really hard, I didn't find any. I found a lot of yummy wild berries though! When I got back, I went over to a girl named Lisa's house and met some more people my age and we had a movie night =) One the way home we saw two wild hedgehogs! They were soo cute but all the other girls were afraid of them. Haha.

Today, Amalia and I went into town and I got my school supplies. I start school on thursday at 8:00 in the morning. UGH. I also got a bike today and it's really big for me so I just need to grow a couple of inches and then it will be perfect! =)

P.S Sorry if there are some spelling mistakes. My spellchecker doesn't work because I'm on a swedish version of htis website! Haha so it trys to check it in Swedish and everything is highlighted!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


So this past week, I have been in Vimmerby, Sweden. I went on monday morning and got back friday afternoon. The main reson for this was for language camp! =) I actually did learn some swedish! YAY!
The first day was kind of akward because noone knew each other but by wednesday, we were all having a blast! On wednesday, we went to Astrid Lingrens world! We had so much fun becaus eit is a childrens place so we got to act like we were five!! =) There were minature villages and everything! We got rained on though so that was a little annoying but we still had lots of fun. I got a Pippi Longstocking doll that I hooked to my rotary blazer so now I have a doll on there! I got so many new pins for my blazer, it's crazy! The whole front is almost full.
I met so many new friends from all around the world! Canada, Mexico, Austria and France! I had so much fun that I didn't want to leave! =(
When I got home on Friday, Amalia and I had to go to the stable and make Tuva look nice for the competition today. We took forever trying to do her hair. She has soo much of it so It is difficult to do anything with it! When we were done with that a few people came over and we had yummy mongolian barbque!
This morning was Amalias competition. We got up to watch her do Dressage (probably spelled wrong!) and after lunch we are going to Linkoping for Amalias Ice Hockey practice!! =)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Famous!! =)

The other day I woke up early because someone from the local paper came. He came to interview Leonardro and I, i'm gonna be famous!! LOL JK. Everyone jokes about how exchange students are famous in this town because it's so small. =) So we got interviewed and he took some pictures and that was fun. I also took Tuva for a ride, I really like that horse, she is so sweet!

When I was done riding, we drove to Sven's house (my 3rd host family) and we set the traps for crayfish, we put a peice of dead fish (EWW) in the middle of this cage and dump it in the lake, we had a whole bunch of them. The next morning, we had to wae up early and be at Sven's house by 8 in the morning because you have to get them before they find a way out! We caught 27 crayfish, YUMM!! I got to meet Robin, the Australian exchange student. She has been here since January. She is so good at Swedish! She said it only took her a few months before she could talk to people, so that is comforting.

Last night I went to a music festival with Leonardo and Cece. There was an American car show and I thought that was pretty funny, especially because I saw one that had Iowa (DAD!! =) on its lisense plate. HAHA. We listened to some bands and it was funny because I couldn't really understand much, a few songs were in english but the majority in Swedish.

Now I'm just waiting for dinner, we are eating the crayfish we caught, so that means crayfish party!! With stupid hats and moose meat and everything! It should be fun.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Guess who now rides a miniture horse!!!! HALEY!! =) Tuva is my sister Amalias horse and she is very small, I'm taller than she is! In Sweden they ride horses English style so that is a big change for me, the cowboy style rider. I am currently borrowing Amalias riding pants, shoes and Helmet, but I willhopefully get my own soon. Amalia wants to teach me to jump the horse in exchange for Martial arts lessons, sounds like a good trade to me! =)

The meals are so different here! I am having a hard time getting used to them. They eat lunches that are as big at dinners then they eat an even bigger dinner! I have never been a big eater so I usually onlytake one serving and they find that so weird! LOL The food is good though, Very yummy!

A few days ago, Leo and his friend Cecilia and I took the train to a city called Nörköping (I think that ishow it's spelled!) We went shopping in this gigantic shopping mall type place, It's a bunch of buildings and you go from building to building and each has tons of stores! I had to buy some running shoes because Ursula told me that everyone is required to run an hour a week at school.

I had my first experience with hanging laundry! They dont dry their clothes in a dryer! I dont really mind that much but they have their drying line by thisbush with tons of bees so when I wentout to dry my clothes, I got stung! They are only little onethough, thank goodness! Also that day we went to a cottage in the woods that some friends of Ursulas own and it had to be the cutest must typical swedish house I have ever seen!! It wasso tiny, but it was on its own little island in the lake that you had to go across a bridge to get to. (I will post pictures later)

Yesterday I got to go see my school and I met the Headmaster. Then Kjell and I went to a rotary meeting. I couldnt understand anything!! I get to make my speech in 3 weeks so I better start practicing!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pictures Part 2!!

On a dock in Kalmar
Kalmar Castle
Amalia and Leonardo sideways, dont now how to change it. =)
A huge sailboat
A crab that Amalia caught!!


Amalia and I sunbathing =)
The Jellyfish! There were tons of them!!

The little Square
Me on the Ferry!
The Ferry ride. Its like a little hidden Valley...hmm mabe they make ranch there =)

Monday, August 3, 2009

The most busy 3 days of my life!!!

I have been so busy these last days that I am exhausted!!

So I guess I should start with the west coast...
We went at about 6 in the morning (EARLY!!!) and drove about 4 hours to get to the city that I cant pronounce =) Better get used to that! We hadto take a ferry to get there and thats when I first saw the jellyfish , there are so many of them on the coast!! We went to Leonardos (my host brother) hockey game he was coaching. Then we went and walked through the city for a little while. It is a very cute city, very old looking... There were some pink houses, which made me very happy. We then met up with Leonardo and I got to meet him for the first time. He is going to canada on exchange next week so I will get to know him then he will leave! We went andhad lunch with some of Ursulas (host mother) friends. Then after that went down to the water, I was too afraid to go smimming!! I am terriffied of jellyfish!! I was so tired I fellasleep on the way home.

The next day was more of a relaxing day but we still did alot of stuff. First I met a few of Leonardos friends, which will be nice when school comes around on the 19th. Amalia and I took a quick dip in the lake!! Very cold. If you want to see pictures you can check my facebook because I am having a few computer problems at the moment!! Very frusterating!! Then we got to go visit Amalias forse, Tuva, she is a miniture pony and so adorable. Then we just relaxed the rest of the day, rented a few movies.

Today was very exhausting, probably because I was still tired fromthe days before. We went to the east coast, another 3 hour drive. We dropped Amalia off at her hockey camp then walked around the town, Kalmar. We also went to a castle and had a really cool tour, but I couldnttake pictures!! Aww... On out way back home, we went to a glass blowing demonstration and it was soo sad because he broke the ducks head!! Everyone jumped when it happened. I was so tired from the last 3 days that I slept the whole way home.

P.S. Hopefully I will eventually be able to put pictures on here, but for now I am having tonsof computer issues so I will have to settle for the pictures my host father took. Mine wont download anywhere!! I will let you know when that is all sorted out. =)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hej Sweden!!!

I have finally made it to Sweden! I am now officially an exchange student, so exciting!

I was awake for over 30 hours with only about a 30 minute nap so I bet that you could image how tired I was when I finally got to my new house. My family is very nice! There is Amalia (my little sister) Archie (the dog) Princess (the cat) Tuve (the horse) and my host parents Kjel (pronounced Shell) and Ursula. I got very lucky with my first host family!

The house where I am staying is very cute and the backyard is amazing! There is a lake in my backyard! So Beautiful!! I promise that I will post pictures in a few days, when I am unpacked and settled, but right now I dont even know where the chord is!

Today I woke up at 7 in the morning, I dont know when I have ever done that on my own, it was very odd. I unpacked a little and then fell back asleep till 10. We walked into town and had coffee after a HUGE breakfast. Cereal, yogurt, bread, grapefruit, ham, orange juice and tea!! I was so full. There are some shops that have really cute clothes that I want to go into, there was one called creme and it had the cutest clothes!! I could spend a ton of money there, but I wont. =)

Right now we aren't really doing anything, Kjell is making Swedish Meatballs for leter when Sven (my counsellor) comes and checks up on us. Maybe I'll go take a nap.....Hmmm.....ZzzzZzz

What is coffee break in Swedish??
Fika!! =)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Only 9 Days Left!!

I am so excited to leave! It is coming up so fast and I am busy all the time which makes it seem faster. There are so many things to do before I get to leave, the main thing is to get my visa but that really isn't in my power to make it come faster. We just have to hope that it will get here before the 29Th so I can leave on time.

I have started packing and that is ridiculous! I have already filled up a HUGE suitcase with long sleeves and jackets (stuff I don't need at the moment, since it is about a hundred degrees her most days!) I have to make sure I don't go above 50 pounds per bag and that might be difficult because of all my shoes!

I got a Learn Swedish book thing and i was listening to the CD and I got so lost! In the book they said that Swedish is one of the easiest languages to learn, YA RIGHT!! I was so confused! I couldn't even tell where the words ended in the conversations on the CD. Hopefully it will be easier to learn once I am there immersed in the culture.

So for now I am still in New Mexico, just waiting... =)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

5 Weeks and 2 days! (38 Days!)

I am so pumped to leave! I know that may sound terrible but I really wish the summer would pass faster! I love my friends and family TONS but going on exchange is something that you just can't help but be super excited for.

I found out my leaving date. I am scheduled to leave July 29th! I also found out my allowance, 600 SEK a month! YAY! For those of you that dont know...

1. Rotary exchange student get an allowance every month from their hosting Rotary clubs. This money is mostly for necessary things, the kind of stuff your host family doesn't buy for you. Things like floss, toothpaste, face wash. Basically stuff that is more personal hygeine. You can also use it for your "fun" money, It doesn' really matter.

2. "SEK" is the Swedish currency. It can also be called Krona, Kronor, or the one most people have heard it called, Crown. The exchange rate for the Crown is about 1:7, maybe a little higher. So that means that every dollar is about 7 Crowns. In a nutshell that means my allowance roughly translates to 80 dollars a month, not too bad... plus i will have to money I make over the summer to help me out!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

3 Months Left!!!

I decided to get a blog since it is only three months till I leave for Sweden. Maybe I should start with the basics...
Hi, my name Is Haley Stephenson. I Currently live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico but I will be leaving as an exchange student to Sweden in early August. I have three host families so I will be staying with each for almost four months.

My First Family: They live in Tranas, Sweden. I will Have a little sister who is 13 and her name is Amalia. My host mother is a History teacher at the school I will be attending,(Holavedgymnasiet). They have a horse named Tuva! I love horses so I am very excited!

My Second Family: They also live in Tranas, Sweden and the mother is also a teacher, but she teaches math and physics. The father is an engineer. They have two kids, One is named Peter and he is 25 and in college and the other is named Karolin and she is 15.

My Third Family: I heard from them first. The Mother is a Doctor and the Father is a Dentist. They live in Jonkoping, Sweden. They have a daughter named Lovisa who is 16 and going on exchange next year to Melbourne, Australia, and a son who is 15.

I have been interested in going on an exchange year since about 5Th or 6Th grade. We always got the exchange student packets in the mail, and that's what got me started. We found Rotary in about September and I automatically liked their program. They cared about the students and I feel 100% safe with them.

I hope you will follow me and my adventure, I am very nervous but also excited to go. I know that I am ready to do this, now if the summer would pass just a little faster! =)