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. =)