lördag 11 augusti 2012

"How's it been?"

"It's been really really good, amazingly good."

That's what people ask me when we meet, and I try to tell them about my exchane. You can tell pretty fast if they're interested in it and want to hear more (and if they get me started, I can go on for hours... of course!), but I've tried telling different people about different things. It just wouldn't be fair  if I only talked about school, the food, the trips I did or sports I participated in, and left everything else out. There's just so much to a year abroad. I find myself discovering more and more details that I hadn't seen or payed attention to before with every story I give, and there's always something more to it. It was really a life. It's a strange feeling, knowing you had a completely different life a year, and that, now, you will never get it fully back.

I would give anything to be an exchange student again. It was an amazing experience from which I learned more than I can even being to explain. I can't believe time flies so fast. I will always remember how I felt prior to my exchange, all the excitement and courosity that was bubbleing on my inside several years, and the happiness I feel now, of the knowledge that it turned out even better than what I could ever imagine. No pictures or stories can ever give a fair look on how an exchange changes one's life.

My friend just left Sweden to start her exchange in Indiana (and she'll be really close, like 4 hours by car, to where I was in Ohio, how awesome isn't that?!), and when I look at the pictures she posts on her blog... Oh, how much I wish I could do it all over. I'm not going to hide the fact that I am jealous. But most of all I'm happy, SO happy, and excited for her. She'll a year of a life time (haha, literally, yes. Basically:) ), and I hope she enjoys it.

From this year I've learned to take the chance, because it's worth it. Take the chance, and you might just find yourself completely emersed in another culture, speaking, thinking, dreaming and even sleep-speaking in another language, with friends and family who treat you just like one of them even though you're from a different part of the world, realizing you've gotten a second home, in less than a year. I took the chance. It was the best I could ever have taken, and I will never regret it.


Before and after the Dragster at Cedar Point... I'll give you this one!

Sweden 9.12 PM  Ohio 3.12 PM July 11

torsdag 21 juni 2012

Sometimes I loose my Swedish...

... And it happens in... strange sistuations, kind of.

"Anna Maria, come over Friday and we can go camping in my closet", was not was I meant to say. I meant to say yard, that we could camp out in our yard, but yard is "trädgård" in Swedish, and closet is "garderob", so I mean, well, they could get mixed up pretty easily, right?

I've also had an "adsent cousin" (distant cousin - but "distant" in Swedish litarally means "absent", "dreamy" or "abstracted"), and payed a lot for gas (the kind that comes out of your rear end), along with a lakeful of literal translations and grammatical errors. It's interesting how you can be back home but still think (and dream) in your host counrty's language. But then again I haven't even been home a week yet.

The kids at work were adorable, talking of something else. They went into an old cellar that's not in use out in the forest yesterday without asking for permission and came back; "there's a house by number three, can you go in there? Becuase we did, and it's not dangerous at all, it's just a lot of trash and garbage in there!". I run from that place, it's scary! It's one of the old ones, half over grown, and kind of hidden under trees and stones...It's just scary. I can't believe our kids went in there, I thought the door was locked haha!

Today we discussed what parents are allowed to force their children to do, because "parents aren't allowed to force their kids to do anything, it says so in the legislation" (Hedvig, 7 years old), but some moms and dads forced their kids to put back their hair in a pony tail or to attach a little bike-flag-thingie to their bikes. I had to explain to them that putting your hair back in a pony tail and biking around with a little orange-red flag swagging from the back of your bike isn't against the law for parents to enforce on their kids, but that they can't force them to do big stuff, and that they jsut want what's best for their kids. Sometimes kids have the smartest thoughts.

I'm off work now, our little kids camp was only 4 days, so this week, and now I'm off until Sunday when I leave for a week of working at a camp 4 hours away from my place. Then, unless I get something else (keep your fingers crossed), I'm free the rest of the summer (and completely broke, too.)
   It's actually really nice to be home, although it feels like you can always have more time at your other home, I miss people like crazy, and a year just wasn't quite long enough. Awesomeness hugged me yesterday and told me how much she'd missed me, and it sort of hits me every time I hang out with friends here that I have really been gone for almost a year. A year's a long time.
   So even though I will always love Ohio and give a big part of my heart and thankfulness to the people I got to know, the relationships I got to make, and all the experiences I got to have there, Sweden will always be home. It doesn't mean I appreciate or miss you less, rather the other way around, but home sweet home. Home sweet home. My heart belongs in two places at once, and it's as simple as that.

Sweden 11:45 PM, Ohio 5:45 PM

tisdag 19 juni 2012

2 of my frames broke during the flight, which gave me a bag full of glass to clean out. How fun!

I meet another friend today (or actaully, a couple of friends), and she (but not the others) is going to America next school year. As a foreign exchange student, to Indiana. I am so excited to hang out with her this summer, to tell her all about my year (because she is excited to go of course), and to get excited for her, but it's also really hard. I'm going to get so jealous of her, she still has her adventure ahead of her. Not that I wish I hadn't been away already, but I wish I could get to be there too. It's like sadness in my heart. A part of my soul will go to Indiana (neighbor to Ohio!) with her.

Skype'd Taylor today while a friend was over at my house. We both realized that the other one isn't dead, we are both alive there on oppoite sides of the planet. It was really nice, and I'm so glad we have Skype. It makes things so much easier!

Love you Taylor. Saturday at 3:30/9:30 with Gates? Sounds like a plan!
But hey, we let our 8 and 9 year olds out in the forest by themselves (in groups), and asked them to follow the green line. Noone got lost, and everybody made it back to the goal. That's why my job's gotta be on be of the best you can have.

"This course was so much fun, it is very fun to be like real orienteerers
in the forest" - Ebba, 7 years old, about today's course. Happiness.
Nightnight now. My bran and emotions tell me to stay up and talk to people all night, while my brain and body tell me to go to bed and get some sleep. 6 hours the last couple of nights haven't really helped all that much, so, yeah, an early good night today sounds good.

Sweden 9:46 PM, Ohio 3:46 PM

måndag 18 juni 2012


Camp (work) was good, we let the kids out in the forest without loosing anyone and the only incident we had was a hula hoop that got stuck in a pine tree. Life's full of surprises. Went job searching after that, my town is 12 rof my resumés richer (keep your fingers crossed that I get something. I'll need the money), and then took of for track practice. Back to "real" practice, i.o.w. Sweden track not Ohio track. It was intense. Tough. My legs'll be sore tomorrow. Nice though, got to meet some more people. (But I remembered what I don't like with living in the town; the risk of running into someon you used to know but don't anymore.) Cousin Anna was over when I got home, nice. I've missed her.

Filled this one out at the airport in Newark, New Jersey, but they were cheap and didn't offer free wire less so I didn't have access to the internet. Anyways, here we go.

1) Put your iTunes on shuffle. Give me the first 6 songs that pop up.

I don’t have iTunes on my computer. And my iPod is dead. Out of juice.
2) If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be?

3) Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 23, give me line 17.

stroy it.
4) What do you think about most?

My friends, to go home. To leave people behind and not get to see them in a long time.
5) What does your latest text message from someone else say?
6) Ever had a poem or song written about you?

Don’t know. Doubt it.
7) When is the last time you played the air guitar?

Though one, don’t know that either.
8) Do you have any strange phobias?

I don’t do gymnastics and do not like being upside down at all, because you might fall down and break your neck and die.
9) Ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?

I don’t know. Does tissues count? They’re pretty foreign. I don’t think God invited paper for us to stick in our nose, that sounds weird to me. And in Sweden we put helicopters on our nose, you know those green leaf-thingies from the trees. We call them noses and open them and stick them to our nose. They stay on there.
10) What's your religion?

Jesus Christ died for us on the cross.
11) If you are outside, what are you most likely doing?

Biking, eating ice-cream, practicing, laughing
12) Do you prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?

13) Simple but extremely complex. Favorite band?

Don’t know. There are too many.
14) What was the last lie you told?

I’m ok. That's the lie of the day.
15) Do you believe in karma?

Maybe. There’s a lot of things I don’t know about, karma’s one of them. 
16) What is your greatest weakness; your greatest strength?

I don't like these kinds of questions. It's really hard to pin point right away.
17) Who is your celebrity crush?

He who plays Ron (in Harry Potter.)
18) How do you vent your anger?

I cry. Or just go quiet until I am somewhere alone where I can cry by myself.
19) Do you have a collection of anything?

Golden dollar coins. They’re pretty cool.
20) Do you prefer talking on the phone or video chatting online?

21) Are you happy with the person you've become?

Very very very. A year ago I was a completely different person, I was younger and much stupider. I’ve changed so much this year, and I am very glad I have.
22) What's a sound you hate; sound you love?

Wining; cats talking to you.
23) What's your biggest "what if"?

What if I had never met my second family.
24) Do you believe in ghosts? How about aliens?

Nope. Nope. Or, I’m an alien. At least for another couple of hours. Have been one since August 20th last year. So I suppose I believe in them. No, not really. I don’t.
25) Stick your right arm out; what do you touch first? Do the same with your left arm.

My purse; my backpack.
26) Smell the air. What do you smell?

Pizza. I will go buy some soon. The last pizza in America for this time. (But it's expensive pizza, like $4.75 a piece a think.)
27) What's the worst place you have ever been to?

Detroit’s airport this morning. Had to say goodbye, hated it. I’m so not ready to go home. Cried the whole flight to Newark New Jersey, and then some.
28) Choose East Coast or West Coast?

East Coast… Because the Harry Potter park is there, as is Disneyworld. Going there is on my bucket list. Highly prioritized.
29) Most attractive singer of your opposite gender?

Too many singers. I don’t pay attention to what they look like anyways, I listen to their music.
30) To you, what is the meaning of life?

Love much. Laugh much. Pray much. Spread the truth much.
31) Define Art.

Something you can do to express something.
32) Do you believe in luck?

Was it luck or meant to be?
33) What was the last book you read?

Full book? Eggs.
34) Do you like the smell of gasoline?

35) Do you have any nicknames?

Yes I do. Loulou, Weezy, Sweden, Fes, PK, Lojsan
36) What was the last movie you saw?

The Lion King. The last full one? Aquamarine.
37) What's your sexual orientation?

Straight. I fall in love with boys. Not that I have, yet, but I crush on them, and will marry one some day.
38) Ever had a rumor spread about you?

Yupyup. I have. Don’t exactly remember what though, but everybody’s had them spread about themselves. Humans are gossiping machines.
39) Do you tend to hold grudges against people who have done you wrong?

Not really, I’m pretty good at letting it go.
40) What's the last thing you purchased?

Yellow lowtop converse.
41) Love or lust?

42) In a relationship?

Lots. Friends, family, etc. Those are relationships too.
43) How many relationships have you had?

Just told you. Lots.
44) Can you touch your nose with your tongue?

No. Wish I could. I work on it sometimes. For real, I do.
45) Where were you yesterday?

First home in my bed for the first time in a long time, then at Walmart and Journeys and McDonalds and the bank and the dentist office and Kroger. Then at home and then at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and then at home again. And in the car in between.
46) Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you?

My hand sanitizer holder. That’s it. Not very much for a change.
47) Are you wearing socks right now?

Nope. I’m wearing flipflops and you don’t wear socks with those. Maybe I should this time. Just because. Nobody knows me here. My feet are cold. I won’t.
48) What's your favorite animal?

Cats, flamingoes and polar bears, in that order. Sorry, Kevin, you’re the exception. I love you.
49) What is your secret weapon to get someone to like you?

I don’t try to get people to like me, if they do, good for them. If they don’t, well, it’s their loss.
50) Where is your best friend?

In my heart at the moment. Their physical location is Sweden and Ohio, USA.
51) What is your heritage?

I hope to build up my heritage when I come home. I’ve started, but it can only get better. Keep your fingers crossed though, it’s going to take a lot. It’s going to be hard.
52) What were you doing last night at 12 AM?

Licking envelopes.
53) What do you think is Satan's last name?

I don’t think he has one. It’d be The Sate, if he did, I’m sure of it.
54) Are you the kind of friend you would want to have as a friend?

I hope so. I very much hope so.
55) You can only have one of these things; trust or love.

Trust. Because there is love in trust so the question beats itself.
56) What's a song that always makes you happy when you hear it?

Tantsui by Vohla Satsuik
57) What are the last four digits in your cell phone number?

I don’t know. I just gave up my American phone and don’t remember the number to my Swedish phone. And I don’t know how to figure it out. That’s a mission for tomorrow.
58) In your opinion, what makes a great relationship?

Trust, forgiveness, love, hope.
59) How can I win your heart?

Be yourself and happen to be the perfect person.
60) Can insanity bring on more creativity?

61) What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far?

Became a Christian, became an exchange student. I can’t believe it’s over already. Feels like I just was here (at the airport.) It was ten months minus five days ago.
62) What size shoes do you where?

7.5/38-39. Don’t know if that converts right, but that's what I wear.
63) What would you want to be written on your tombstone?

I don’t want one. I want to be cremated and spread out in the forest. To be free.
64) What is your favorite word?

65) Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word; heart.

Blood and veins.
66) What's the last song you listened to?

If I die young. Sad, I know. But it’s a nice song. It was on the radio.
67) Basic question; what's your favorite color/colors?

68) What is your current desktop picture?

Taylor, Gates, and I in a Face-in-a-whole Aquamarine. I need salt!
69) If you could press a button and make anyone in the world instantaneously explode, who would it be?

Oh Dear Lord, why would I want that for anyone?! Love each other. No murdering.
70) What would be a question you'd be afraid to tell the truth on?

Do you like Pinocchio?
71) Have you ever thrown up in the car?

We managed to stop and I got out, so no.
72) Ever been on a plane?

Yes. Many times. Today, actually.
73) If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say?

Open your eyes, there’s a lot to see. Have faith and courage to do things, you never know what’s going to come out of it.

Ohio 4:20 PM, Sweden 10:20 PM

söndag 17 juni 2012


...But I wish people from Ohio could be here and experience it with me.

So far, I've meet friends and family I haven't seen for nearly a year, stayed up way to long watching movies (told you that's what I do every day during the summer Jen), overslept and nearly missed church, eaten ice cream with my best friend, and been in a real movie production (they needed extra people for a few school scenes, and we were on, that's like really cool. It's going to go up in theaters... I think. A local TV station at least:) ).

It feels good to be home. 'Snow place like home, they say. But also, still, Ohio's home too. This is so hard.

Sweden 9:11 PM, Ohio 3:11 PM

lördag 16 juni 2012


Cried the whole first flight (2 h), och off and on every five minutes for the second. Got home today. It's no nice, there's just something special about showering in your own shower and (in just a few minutes), sleep in your own bed, but still very different because nothing seems to have changed. It's like I never left and that it was all just a dream... But it wasn't and my memories will remind me of that forever.
   Got to meet my cousins and best friend today, liked that a lot. A BIG lot. I love these people.

Someone has only slept... about 4 hours since Thursday morning 8 o'clock (Ohio's time), and is tired. But that's okay. Ill catch it up sooner or later.

But I'm really not in America anymore. I'm in Sweden. And I know my one life's getting back to how it used to be, while the other one gets put up on a shelf for a while. It's such an odd feeling.

My eyes are falling shut now, I'd better get to bed. Nighty night! Ill eat something first. Grandma made me bread

Sweden 11:47 PM, Ohio 5:47 PM

fredag 15 juni 2012

There are thousands of fire flies in the woods!

Jenny: I wonder who came up with the name "s'mores"?
Me: I don't know. Who came up with any name?
Jenny: That is true!
Me: Table?

Some moments are unforgetable. You love them too much.

Ohio 1:30 AM, Sweden 7:30 AM