Sunday, April 25, 2010


Nothing much happened this past week so this will be a short blog. =)

I have finally booked the train tickets for my trip to Kalmar. My whole rotary district is getting together May 6-8, and my birthday happens to fall into that visit! Yay! So for my birthday I get to hang out with all of my rotary friends. It's kind of ironic because the same thing happened last year to haha. So for the trip, we will be going to schools and talking about the exchange program, canoing anf bowling. It should be pretty fun. Then the saturday I get back, my parents will get into town! I am very excited haha, and they will stay for 3ish days. =)

There was unnecessary snow this week, it snowed three times! Terrible! It was always melted be noon but still, it is APRIL, there should be no snow! Other than that though the weather has been pretty nice, except for the wid but I can deal with that if its 15 degrees outside. (celcius)

On friday, we watched and particpated in a radio recording thing. It was some radio competition, we were the typical sudio audience, we were even told when to clap and how loud haha. After that I just went home for the weekend and havne't done anything since. =)

Kram, Haley

Sunday, April 18, 2010


So to make up for the week of boringness, this past week was pretty busy. I already told you about what happened on Tuesday and wednesday.

On thursday, I had a rotary lunch as usual and everything was pretty calm. On friday, we had visitors from a school from Vetlanda. It was their seniors from the music program and they preformed for us.

I spent the weekend at my first host family this because I wanted to go into Linköping on saturday. It's kind of silly that I live so far out of the city that if I want to visit my friends over the weekend, I can't sleep in my own bed haha. So saturday afternoon, I took the train into Linköping and I met Evan, another exchange student from Canada. We hung out in the city for a while but then we got really hungry and being the broke exchange students we are, we didn't want to pay for food, so we walked all the way back to Evans house and cooked some pasta, yum =)We went over to another friends house for a BBQ! It was fun to meet a bunch of new people. There was a girl that moved here from Germany in august and her swedish was sooo good! But apparently, swedish is really easy to learn if german is your first language. There was also a girl at the party who is leaving for exchange in the US in July, so I had fun talking to them.

After the party, my saturday night turned a little sour. I left the party at 10 and cought a bus to the train station to catch my train at 10.30. I got there in plenty of time and everything was fine but then they said that my train was deleyed 10 minutes, so i wasn't too happy bout that but I realized it could have been worse, and then it got worse! Haha The train got cancelled! So they said the train was cancelled and they said that there would be a bus but they didn't give us any times or info. So we just waited for something to happen for an HOUR! Might I mention that it was freezing cold and the wind was crazy that night? Well it was, yay lucky Haley! I felt pretty bad for these three guys that were standing there because none of them had jackets, they just had their T-shirts, haha I have no clue why they thought it was warm enough for that. So eventually a bus came, but heres the other twist in the story, it didn't go to Tranås. So there were three people with no way to get home. They called a Taxi for us and we had to wait another 15 minutes outside for that. It was really ironic though because one of the people that was stuck with me was a girl who was leaving today for the US. She was a part of that nanny program where you go and live with a family for a year and they pay for living expenses and your salary. It was very fun to talk to her!

Anyways, I finally got home after an hour long but free Taxi ride. I pretty much just collapsed in bed, frozen haha. Sunday, my host dad nad brother came and got me at the Åsens and when I got home, it was time to relax!

I think this week will be a pretty normal week, but after that, it's crazy! So I wil lhave plenty to writea bout =)

Kram, Haley

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Påsk Lov

So I am finally sitting down and making myself write! The reason that it is so hard is because I did basically nothing over my week long break! So sad!

On the days when I didn't have a ride into town, I just hung around the house. You have to remember that I live a 20 minute drive from ANYWHERE. So yoo when you have no car available, you are pretty much stuck. I did go on a long walk in the forest one day, that was nice because you don't see anybody, just the forest. Haha I was kind of nervous to be walking alone at first because we have really mean wild pigs on out property! I figured I was safe though. For those of you that don't know, My current host family lives on 200 acres of land, so there's definitly some room to breathe. Other than walking in the forest I didn't do much outside because the weather last week was terrible, it seemed to be on the verge of rain all week. The weather is much better this week.

On friday, I went to Linköping with Michael and we went to the movie theatre and then to a really awesome 2nd hand shop. I got shoes for 50 crowns and a shirt for 45. That is ridiculous! Nothing in sweden is that cheap! BTW divide by 7 do get dollars.

The rest of the weekend I went to the sauna and weaited the return of school!

When we came back to school, Monday was a normal day but Tuesday and Wednesday were a little different.

Tuesday- We went on a field trip! Haha I haven't been on a field trip in forever! We went to a city called Örebro. It is about a 2 and a half hour drive from Tranås. We went to the music school there and we got a tour and learned all about the school. Then we were allowed about an hour to just hang out in the city, we got ice cream and soaked up some sun! =D

Wednesday- After lunch, we went to the movies! It is so funny that here a few times every year, you get to skip your classes and go to the movie theatre in town for free and see a movie. We saw a movie about a girl that wanted to be an actress but she was really big and everyone made fun of her. I was really proud of myself because the movie was in swedish and I understood everything. I remember how frusterated I was when I couldn't understand anything. It felt like I would never learn the language. A word to all future exchange students, it will be OK! You will learn the language, just give it some time. Don't let people tell you that you have to know the language after 3 months just because that's what the person before you did. Everyone is different and some people learn languages faster than others. I am fairly slow at learning languages but it came eventually. =)

So that was my break, now I'm just counting down till my birthday and my parents visit! My birthday is on the 7th of May and my parents come the day after that! Yay!

Kram, Haley

Sunday, April 4, 2010


This is a picture I found of some cute little swedish witches!

Glad Påsk!

Or.... Happy Easter!

So now that it's easter, I also have a break that many of you probably already know about and I have nothing to do all week. I did do some stuff for easter though. So I think I should tell you guys how the swedes celebrate Easter!

It is very similiar to the USA, except here, it is was bigger! Everyone celebrates it! One thing that I found very interesting is that on Easter, little girls dress up as witches and go trick-or-treating. I don't really know why so I looked it up! Here is the article I found on

The local supermarkets in their weekly adverts also exploit the food associations of chicks, lamb, påskmust, eggs, sweets and the obligatory “påskkäring” or Easter witch to draw in customers gearing up for the upcoming gluttony of Påskafton.

Easter celebrations and traditions for the secular Swede are nearly as sacred as Christmas to the Swedish culture. Even devout atheists pay respect to the long-standing traditional norms that the holiday dictates in Sweden. Easter is a big deal to the entire country.

Religious Easter isn’t completely removed from the celebrations of the modern Swede. Swedes are traditionalists after all.

There will always be the group of churchgoers on Easter Sunday. Most likely they are the same gang who went to church for julotta Christmas morning. However, Easter today, has little to do with Christian beliefs for the majority of Swedes.

Children dressed as witches give a clear indication that Swedish Påsk origins predate Christianity. Folklore alleges that witches flew off on broomsticks to dance with the devil at Blåkulla.

In Sweden, this tale ties in with Easter. And so on skärtorsdag, Maundy Thursday, modern Swedish children dress up as påskkärringar (Easter hags) paint their faces, carry a broom and knock on neighbor’s doors for treats, much like American children do at Halloween.

Children also contribute to the tradition of Easter worldwide. What would Easter be without beautifully painted and adorned Easter eggs? Swedes just revere their Easter eggs –the decorative and the edible versions.

Semlor are still on sale despite the Lenten fast, and anticipation of the big day grows in the week beginning with Palm Sunday. In conservative communities there is an air of solemnity.

It would be taboo to get married or baptize a child during this week. And many die hard traditionalists still scowl at the modern disregard of a sober Good Friday and snort at the mention of potential merriment that evening.

Only in recent years are cinemas allowed to be open. Good Friday is more appropriately named in Swedish Långfredag – Long Friday, the most unhappening day of the calendar. Fun not allowed.

However, once the mourning of the crucifixion of Christ is over, the proverbial good times roll.

Saturday morning resembles a resurrection of sorts.

Spring is in the air, merriment is on the menu. The family will sit down to an ample feast in the afternoon on Påskafton, or the Eve of Easter. Eggs and lamb are the quintessential Easter fare that very nearly connote Påsk all by themselves. They represent the fertility of the spring and the rebirth of the year after the long winter.

Bonfires are lit in some regions of Sweden in the late afternoon.

Some say they are to scare off the evil influences of the Easter hags and their journey to Blåkulla. Others take the opportunity to clear gardens for the coming spring. For some regions, including the Stockholm area, the bonfires must wait until Valborgsmässafton or Walpurgis Night at the end of April to banish the remnants of winter.

Elizabeth Dacey-Fondelius

So I think the swedish celebration of easter is very interesting. I didn't do much on good friday, but unlike what the article says, it wasn't a day where you couldn't have fun. I did go to an orchestra concert that my host mom and brother were playing violin in and that was very good. On Easter eve, (Påskafton, it makes much more sense in swedish to say that haha.) My family, Michael and I went over to a friends house and had some fun. We Played darts, decorated eggs, and played croquet. Then we ate a big meal and waited until midnight mass at the church. My host brother sang in the choir, it was so good! After that, we were all really tired and collapsed in bed. Today we went out walking a little in the beautiful weather and now we are waiting for my host moms mom to come over for her birthday dinner, then we will go and see Shutter Island in Jönköping! Im excited!

P.S Sorry for the length, but I thought it was inportant for you guys to learn the importance of easter here in Sweden.

Kram, Haley