Saturday, July 31, 2010

The First Days of Sweden

I have finally managed to get some spare time after being here for three days, so i have decided to share my adventures thus far.
Thankfully, I actually have been quiet busy since my arrival in Sweden, but first things first, starting with my flights. All of my flights went well, with no errors or flaws. I tried to sleep during my long flight to London, but found myself distracted with the endless amount of movies. So i ended up wathcing "How to Train Your Dragon", "Clash of the Titans", and episodes of "The Office", and "30 Rock". So, after my arrival in the Gothenburg airport, I wandered around the airport looking for baggage claim. After a bit I managed to find it and make my way to pick up my bags. I then continued to the lobby like area after baggage claim. As I came around the corner, I looked around the masses of people to see a group of people holding a large american flag. after some eye contact, I quickly assumed that they were my new family and I walked over to greet them. There was my first host family (Father Lars, Mother Lena, and Brother Ludvig) and my extra host family. After some pleasant chatting and pictures, we made our way to the car. After about a 2o min drive we arrived at my new home. It is a large, old, white house on a very large property. There is a stable which serves as my moms office, and a large yard for activities, with a river providing the back edge of the property. The inside is very nice as well. I will include some pictures here but all of them can be found on the albums on my facebook page, which should be viewable to everyone and which you should look at because there is stuff in there that i will not cover here. Anyways, after a tour of the house and meeting their very friendly Irish Setter Elliot, we went into the large city of Gothenburg to shop and walk around. Then, my brother and I went to see the movie "The A-Team". The whole expirience was new because you pre-ordered tickets and then had reserved seats, and the movie had Swedish subtitles, which was nice for learning some Swedish. After that, we returned home and I finished unpacking and went to bed.
Friday July 30th,
I woke up, around 10 and then had a breakfast of corn flakes and a cup of coffee. after that my family and i met with another exchange student and his family, as my mom is his counselor. After this, my family and i went down to the bank to set up my account. after some time waiting, we finished up and went home. Then, my brother Ludvig took my to the local gym. Now, I never visit any sort of gym in the US, but apparently every typical Swedish teen visists the gym, so I thought it would be fun to go. So after a lot of arm and stomach work outs, we headed home. That night i could barely lift my arms over my head i was so sore, but it was very much worth it. Later that night, my brothers friends invited us to go play FIFA at one of their houses so we headed off to do that. There I met four of Ludvigs friends, who were all very nice, and then played some FIFA 08. Although i was not great, it wasn't horrid, and it was nice to be able to talk soccer with some people my age. After that, we played a game of charades. This was nice because they were very considerate and decided to play in English for me. In the end it was a lot of fun and i very much enjoyed hanging out with Ludvig and his friends.
Saturday July 31st,
Today I woke up, got ready, and headed downstairs for breakfast at about 10 15. After some breakfast we headed out to the west coast of Sweden to go sailing on my familys boat. After a short drive (well it seemed short because i fell asleep in the car like always), we arrived at a harbor. We then loaded up the 40 foot sail boat with some grocerys that we had bought and headed out. It was quite windy so we could actually sail which was nice, and i even got to steer which was cool. I felt a little bad because there was a lot of work to be done, and all talking was done in Swedish so i had no idea what to do and just felt in the way. But anyways, the Swedish coastal area was very cool! it was quiet rocky and there were many islands that were filled with cool houses and harbors. So after some sailing we headed to a public harbor for lunch. after docking, we had lettuce and shrimp salad sandwhiches and very fresh shrimp. Then after a walk around the island, we left the harbor to sail back. Once we got back we cleaned the boat a bit, and then left for home. After another car journey, of which i slept throught, we arrived back at home. we then had some down time during which my brother and i played some Madden football on his PS3, which was a lot of fun. Then we had a dinner of some grilled meat, potatoes, and corn, which was excellent. We then sat down to watch "Monsters Ball" on TV. After the movie finished, we headed off to bed.
So in the end, it has been a very busy, but very fun time. Hopefully i will begin to get into a normal schedule soon, and hopefully i will be able to blog again! talk to you later!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The First of Many

Dear all,
Hello there. Firstly, for those who don't know, my name is Gage Dykema, I am recent graduate of Northfield High School, and am about to embark on a year long adventure to Lerum, Sweden through Rotary Youth Exchange. I will be living with three host families during my stay, two of which I have talked to and both sound like amazing families. I have decided to get a blog (and a facebook account for that matter) to keep everyone up to date on my incredible adventures and experiences in Sweden.
Now for what I know about my exchange so far...
I will be leaving Wednesday July 28th, at 2pm from St Paul airport. I will fly to Chicago, then to London, then to the city of Gothenburg, which is nearby where I will be living. I will arrive around 12:20 pm the next day, after a couple of layovers at each airport. Who's going to pick me up at the airport is still a mystery to me, but after that I will somehow make my way to a Swedish language and culture camp for about a week or so. After that, who knows what will happen, but I'm sure it will be quite the adventure!
As I am leaving in only a matter of days, the fear of the exchange has begun to creep up on me. Although I am a bit worried about only having a little experience with the Swedish language, I have found relief in focusing on the new and exciting aspects of the exchange. I am very much looking forward to the everyday things that happen in Sweden that will be totally new to me.
Well I am hoping for a smooth departure, and that I will have plenty of fun stories and pictures to share once I arrive. Hope to write again soon.