My Swedish Adventure
The Adventure Continues

In my last blog I left out a rather big part of my trip. I was/am very embarrassed about what I did, and I didn’t want to worry everyone. Last Sunday when I went to get off the train from Stockholm in Lund, I left my purse/Roo sitting under my seat on the train. We (Simon, the IFYE from Englandand I) where on the train and didn’t realise it was our stop so we rushed off. When I flew on the plane I had my Roo in my backpack so I didn’t even think about it until I stepped off the train and it was too late. (I’m sure Elna was thinking “What have we gotten our selves into” when she saw me pounding on the train trying to get in to get my bag.) The train only had one more stop that in Malmö which was 10 minutes away and then it was done for the day. So we called Malmö and found out that if they found my bag we could go get it on Monday (the next day). But we called and they said they didn’t find anything. So we had to make a police report and just assume it was stolen. We continued to call the train station everyday and give them my name and ask if they found anything but with no luck. So for this past 8 days I’ve been in Sweden with no money or passport and only my expired driver’s licence for ID. I also lost my wallet, with credit cards, my camera, USB drive and phone.

Today I went to Malmö with Simon, just so we could explore the city but I also wanted to check into finding my things. We first went to the police station, then the police lost and found about a mile away, then to the train station, then to the train lost and found (about 3 or 4 blocks away) where I asked if they found my bag and told them it had my passport in it. The lady barley turned her head to look at the rows and rows of shelves of lost things and said, “no it’s not here.” Then Simon said “well did you find an American passport” and the lady pulled it out from under the counter rubber-banded to my wallet. Then she started to look through this bin and let me look through it too, it was full of cell phones and cameras, but I couldn’t find mine (however I probably could have just taken any of them that I wanted, she didn’t even check my ID to make sure it was my wallet and passport). My wallet had all my cards and ID but all my cash was gone, a total of about $230 some of it was in Swedish dollars and they had even looked through my coins to find the Swedish ones. So my camera, sunglasses, cell phone, roo, chapstick, and USB drive are still gone. Another lady came up while I was looking through the stuff, she was a bit more helpful and told me that I could send them an e-mail with a description of my things so I guess there is still a very small chance that the other things might show up. I was a bit confused as to why they weren’t able to find it when we called them the past 8 days, I mean they had like 5 picture IDs of me, so whatever. I’m glad to have the most important things back and I’m just chalking this one up to another life experience. I’m having an even better time now that I’m no longer AWOL in Sweden with no passport or money and the Andersson’s, my host family, have been letting me borrow their camera until the one my parents sent me arrives in the mail!!:)

 

Stockholm and Getting Settled

I spent my first two nights in Stockholm, as a welcome weekend. The first night because it was pretty late and I was very tired, we just went out to eat and then to bed. We stayed at a 4-H Farm. In Sweden they don’t have projects like we do in the U.S. The bigger clubs have these farms where they keep a couple of cows, horse, sheep, and other animals. This gives the kids in the city a chance to be around and learn about agriculture but the animals had all been moved for the summer.  I’ve been impressed with how much people my age know about the U.S. My (sounds like “Me”) and Elinor are the two girls showing us around, they know a lot about our pop culture and slang words, I’ve learned they really like MTV here.

There are 3 other IFYE’s here in Sweden, Simon from England, Tanja from Switzerland, and Chao-ya from Taiwan.  We spent most of the day Saturday, walking around Stockholm. It was very busy because their crowned princess was getting married. There was a big parade to the church were they were getting married so people were out staking their spots to try and catch a glimpse.  All the Royalty from Europe were also in town for the wedding, but we weren’t lucky enough to see anyone. Later that day we went to another 4-H farm and went canueing. Later that night we had a BBQ with some of the 4-Hers.

Sunday we all headed to our first host families. Simon and I are both in the same town so we road the train together (which was nice because is was a 5 1/2 hour train ride). I’m in the very southern tip near a village called Hörby. Their names are Elna and Lars Andersson. They are very nice and the kids are fun. Johan, (sounds like: “e-one”) the oldest, is 12 and speaks a little English he has had it for 3 years in school. He really likes soccer and keeps me updated on the World Cup (yay the U.S. goes on!!). We’ve been talking while sitting at the computer so that we can look up words we don’t know. David, is 11 and has had 1 year of English so he only knows a few words but he is really into the farm and likes Case tractors. Elise is 7 and very cute and lovable. She doesn’t like not knowing what I’m saying but she likes to give me hugs and sit by me, she can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, so we do that together. Elna and Lars both speak English well, but you all would be proud of how slow I’ve been talking!:) They farm potatoes, barley, and wheat but only have 1 dog, a cat, and a rabbit, so no farm animals. It is all very beautiful here, and much cooler, it’s been somewhere around the 60s everyday.

Monday we spent at their home, they showed me around their farm and I played with the kids. They are busy with 3 kids and all their schedules. I went with Elna and Jahan to his soccer practice and Elna and I went running and then watched Johan play.  

Tuesday I went to work with Elna, she works as a feed consultant for dairy farmers. We spent most of the day traveling around to dairy farms taking silage samples so it could be analysed and she could tell them what kind of feed would be best to mix with it. I really liked seeing the farms and talking to the farmers. Most spoke a little English, but were shy to use it. That night we went and visited Elna’s parents farm where they still dairy with her brother. Her father also keeps bees and makes honey, it looks different than our honey but they gave us some so I’m excited to taste it!

Today (Wednesday) I went to work with Lars. He manages a potato chip factory, the company is called OLW. He showed me how they bring the potatoes in, clean them, and store them. It was interesting and I like learning about new ag industries. We also went out and visited several farmers to check on their potato crop and how it was coming along. Again I liked talking to the farmers, and most seemed interested in me and glad to have me. One farmer also had a large poultry operation, so he showed me the barns, however they were empty because they had sent them off to slaughter the day before. Lars took me around and showed me a bunch of old castles and estates in the area. They are all very beautiful and had a farm connected with them. Lar’s took me to the one where he had his first job as a tractor driver. All the estates had a forest farm, which was new to me, but Lars is good at and love to explain and show me things! I also got to meet Lar’s parents, they have raised pigs in the past but now they just farm land with one of Lar’s brothers. They each spoke a little English.

I’m having fun! I hope all is well with each of you, I hear it’s hot back in Kansas, stay cool!

Traveling

Getting to Sweden was quite an adventure to say the least. It started out at KCI Airport. My original plan was to leave KCI at 10:45 fly to Chicago and then on to Stockholm, Sweden.  But the travel agency and the airlines had a disagreement about whether or not there was even a ticket for me. The airlines won and the travel agency tried to put me on another plane but they only gave me 15 minutes to change airlines, terminals, and get checked in, so I missed that flight too. Finally I caught a brake, a plane had been delayed leaving for Detroit and I was able to get on it. Now I was going to Detroit, then Amsterdam, then to Stockholm. However, in Detroit my flight was delayed 4 hours because all the bathrooms on board were broken. So I missed my connection from Amsterdam to Stockholm. I had to switch airlines and then I got to spend 8 hours in the Amsterdam Airport, (I was proud of my self for finding my way through customs and then figuring out my ticket). I was lucky to meet a nice family from the U.S. that let me borrow their phone to leave My (the name of the girl picking me up at the airport, sounds like “me”) a message and then I headed off to Stockholm and arrived at 7:30 pm (12 hours after I was originally going to arrive). Then I found out my luggage had been lost in Amsterdam. After being passed back and forth between several desks I found a nice lady to help me figure out where my luggage was and she called My for me, (because at this point I didn’t even know if she got my message) luckly she had and she was right outside of security waiting for me. I found out that my luggage was coming in on a 10:30 flight. Another IFYE from England was coming in about that time so she arranged for the person picking him up to get it. So I made it!

Getting Ready To Leave

I’m getting excited to leave for Sweden on Thursday! I want to use this blog as a way to share my IFYE experience with all my family and friends. Wish me luck!