Söndag: 31 Maj 2015

As usual, it is hard to believe that the end of May has arrived. This trip is going by quickly! Today Olivia and Rachel went to Söderhamn with their host family (Stina and Benny). Philip, Gabby, Kelly, and I went to Jarvzoo. When we left Alfta we it was raining steadily (as it had been for all of yesterday and through the night) so I was not certain what the conditions would be like at the zoo. The students were steadfast and focused to see the animals at the zoo no matter the weather. As we arrived the rain lightened (it did not ever really stop raining until well into the adventure) and we set forth. The animals were very active…which we attributed to the fact that they had been able to get week rested over the past 2 days of constant rain.

Jarvzoo 1

Guess who?

Jarvzoo 2

Prerequisite Swedish Moose

 Jarvzoo 6 Jarvzoo 5 Jarvzoo 4

The pathway through the natural habitat zoo.

Jarvzoo 9

Momma Bear                                           Fika in the cabin                                     Wolf feeding time

Jarvzoo 11 Jarvzoo 7Jarvzoo 10

Gabby, Kelly and Philip at the Jarvzoo overlook:

Jarvzoo 8


Lördag: 30 Maj 2015

Today the entire group embarked on a sightseeing excursion extravaganza! It was a bit gray, cloudy, and continually rainy…but we persevered and had a wonderful time. This is one terrific group of students.

First we went to the homestead museum of Carl Larsson.

You can view the website at: http://www.clg.se/Content-Web-Start/$2e35937b-c0b8-437a-8f70-108ea1b8ef6e/enstart.aspx

Carl Larsson 2

Carl Larsson 3   Some of the Carl Larsson painting and settings we were able to see in person include the following:

Carl Larsson 6

Carl Larsson 5       Carl Larsson 4

We the went to the copper mine in Falun called Falu Gruva.

Website: http://www.falugruva.se/en/ 

Copper Mine 1    Copper Mine 2

Fredag: 29 Maj 2015

Hello Followers:

This has been a busy week in Alfta and Edsbyn, Sweden for all of the students. They have been deeply immersed in teaching in the Swedish classrooms and out-and-about on excursions of all types. Along the way we have collected a few pictures I thought we would share. Please enjoy and tack så hemskt mycket för att du tar dig tid att läsa bloggen!

Alfta rainbow

Sweden 4    Sweden 1

Sweden 5    Sweden 3

Sweden 6

Söndag: 24 May 2015 – World Heritage Day

Today the students visited the Alfta Emigration/Immigration (depends on your point-of-view) Museum. This museum documents the story of one of the largest flights of Swedish citizens to America.

The emigrants seemed a bit stiff…                               … but they brought many of their old world crafts with them.

 Swedish Emigrants           Quilting

Pretty much the Swedes were on the run…

Gnome on the run

They had to climb some stairs and cross the ocean in rough conditions to get to America!

Gnome on steps      Gabyy ship       Gnome ship

However, with the good book and lots of rest they were able to build a new life in a new land!

Gnome bed 1 Gnome bible Gnome bed 2

After learning so much at the Immigration Museum were visited the museum shop and had fika!

Gift shop Immigrant Fika Gnome Fika

Here are some views of the old farm houses we visited…early IKEA style:

Blog house 1   Blog house 2

Blog house 3 Blog house 4 Blog house 5

Heritage House 1  Heritage House 3 Heritage House 4

Heritage House 10  Heritage House 8

Lördag: 23 May 2015

Today was an open day with Kent Olsson hosting an evening party for our students and their host families. When I say evening party it is difficult to distinguish from and afternoon or even morning party because it is currently daylight here in Edsbyn, Sweden (Latitude 62 degrees north) until 11:30 pm! Yikes it is hard to get to sleep yet easy to have the sun wake you up at 3 am!

So we were busy today preparing for the party that I did not take any pictures. I am hoping the students will fill in some details of the day here. To encourage them I am posting their group picture at the Alfta Immigration Museum.

Group Picture

Fredag: 22 May 2015 – Are You Tough Enough?

Word of the day: Ljus (y-oose)- candle. Candles are a big deal in setting an ambiance. Candles are a vital part of the atmosphere here in Sweden. And I am a fan!

Today included another teaching day in the schools with the students meeting with students at the local gymnasium (Swedish High School that covers grades 10, 11, and 12). The Swedish students divided into groups of 4 to guide our students on an English speaking tour of the gymnasium. It was a wonderful time.

Later in the afternoon, we all went to the Englund’s cabin (not too far from their house). It is by a peaceful,large lake. In this sauna, you sit in the sauna and get very hot. So hot that you cannot sit in it any longer. Then, you walk outside and down to the dock and slowly immerse yourself into the freezing lake. You then get out and go back into the sauna. We did this 3 times. It was very relaxing and not nearly the hypothermic experience than we had anticipated.

Here is a picture of Håkan and Margareta’s lake cabin and view:

Lake House  lake scene

We are not certain but Rachel and Gabby might be creating Polar Plunge gang hand signs here:

Gabby Rachel plunge

Torsdag: 21 Maj 2015

Today’s WORDS of the day are the days of the week:

Monday             Tuesday           Wednesday           Thursday           Friday

Måndag             Tisdag                Onsdag                  Torsdag               Fredag

Saturday = Lördag (which literally means “wash day”)

Sunday = Söndag

NOTE: Swedish calendars always start with Mondays and end with Sundays (reading from left to right).

So you can see I am directing us toward Swenglish to assist in communicating our cultural exchange!

Today was another terrific day in the schools. The CSB/SJU students are doing wonderful work. The teachers and students love them. This evening we went to the Alfta Kyrka (Church) to watch all the local pre-school students present their spring (and end of the school year) concert. Yes…exactly what you would expect at home!

Here is the church, without the people:

Church 1  Church 2  Church 3

Here is the Children’s Concert Program and the church open with all of the people:

Concert Program      Church

Monday: 18 May 2015

NOTE: Philip traveled to north-western Sweden with his host family on Sunday, 17 May 2015, and was able to step foot into Norway…pictures are soon to come to document this international event!

Word of the day: fijortis (fee-you-tis)- when a 14-year-old girl is giggling and shy, childish. She is giggling because she wants you to notice her and the boys too. There is usually hands covering the face and blushing. This is not something you want to be called! And one of the teachers said it today when talking about the girls being so shy to finish their sentencing and then were set off into intense giggling. Loved it! Today was our first day in the schools and all the CSB/SJU students were great. They have all started teaching on day one so any hiring school districts better come and offer these students positions before they are swept up! After our day in the classroom we all packed into the van for another trip to Gävle. Stina (the host family for Rachel and Olivia) invited us to an all female 5 km running event. Rachel was brave enough to join in on the event while the rest of us provided race support and fika (go look this up if it is a new term…it is an idea that will change your life!). It turned out to be a much larger event than I believe any of us expected. I would guess there were over 5,000 female runners and nothing but female runners! All ages and walks of life laced up their shoes and hit the pavement to run along side a menagerie of road side musical groups. Rachel reported overlapping musical genres that included rock, folk, jazz, rap, techno, and of course the always appreciated accordion! It was an exciting event. Here is the view of the pre-race warm-up: (sorry I have to embed these videos into PowerPoint but I am technologically challenged)

Race Warmup                       Our runners: Stina and Rachel:  Stina_Rachel

Of course there are always multiple stories developing as we travel along. Here is Olivia’s “thrown-fashion-to-the-wind-to be warm-footed” sock highlight! This might set new trends…who knows:

Olivia socks

Our final moment of the day way Rachel’s first adventure with eating sushi…the before, during, and after moments caught on film:

Rachel sushi 1 Rachel sushi 2 Rachel sushi 3

Sunday: 17 May 2015

Word of the day- blooma ( pronounced bloom-AH with great feeling): flower. I know this is a simple one, but it sounds so wonderful whenever Swedish speakers say it.

Today (Sunday) was a fairly easy day for most of us.

Philip traveled with his family to the mountain region of northern Sweden and hopefully had a chance to step foot into Norway!

The rest of us enjoyed an authentic Swedish Fika at the Englund’s home. Gabby and Kelly made Kanalbullar (singular is bulle, plural is bulbar!). Here are the delicious results:


Do not confuse Kanalbullar with Kotbullar (say: Schot – Bullar) which are Swedish meatballs like below:


And certainly different from Kulbulle (lumberjack pancakes) unless you are eating many then Kulbullar:

3 Kolbulle

Your Swedish language lesson is now finished…for TODAY at least!


More pictures of our fika frenzy:

Fika 1 Fika 2 Fika 3 Fika 4 Fika 5

Saturday: 16 May 2015

Today Philip, Olivia, Rachel, and I took off for an adventure in Gävle. We were escorted by Stina, Bennie and their daughters Tova and Luva (I am hoping Olivia and Rachel can add some photos of these two!). We have decided that our CSB/SJU nome should come along to enjoy Ikea with us.

Greetings from Gävle Ikea:

4 Ikea

Enjoying the kotbullar (Swedish meatballs, Lingonberry jam, mashed potatoes, & peas:

5 Kotbullar