Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another day

I thought I would continue from last post and record some thoughts from today. So much goes into the study abroad experience and I think that it is easy to forget the details. But today, during the break for the lecture I discussed with a German classmate the joys of Latin and reading Cicero and Ovid. Then during lunch my Italian friend and I did a Google Earth exchange. I showed him where I lived and he showed me where he lived in Rome. It was quite cool and we both enjoyed the experience. Google Earth gives us a different perspective on the world, it was the first time my friend had seen Rome on Google Earth. So it was fun working to figure out where his university and house were located. After some studying time I went to Swedish class and learned about adjectives and plural nouns. Then I came home and ate dinner. I went up a couple flights of stairs to discuss with a fellow student about a trip to Stockholm we will be taking Saturday. His corridor seemed like it was a bit more lively than mine, some students were having a movie night in his corridor. Anyway, after my visit I went to ICA, the grocery store a 5 minute walk away from my building to purchase most importantly, coffee, and then other things of lesser importance like soap. Finally I recently got done talking with a 2 hour long conversation with a corridor mate about a variety of subjects from Vikings to European soccer, Champions League. It was interesting to compare European soccer fans with US fans of MLB, NBA, and NFL. We talked about the college sports scene and how US universities spend a lot of money on sports. I learned that soccer and hockey are equally popular in Sweden but Sweden is usually better at hockey.
Anyway another interesting day, but I'd better get to bed as I have a lot of studying to do tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

my life

Today was another great reminder for me of how great it is to have the opportunity to study abroad. I thought I would record everything I did today to give people a look at what I do on Tuesday anyway. Some days are much more uneventful. Anyway today I started by trying to figure out course options for Purdue. And then I met a friend from England for lunch at Snerikes nation to talk about a trip to Stockholm that we are planning to take this Saturday. After the lunch I started to work on registration for classes. Then I met a friend from the Netherlands for coffee at a very nice cafe. By then it was getting around 16.00 so I left for home and made dinner of pan-fried fish and potatos. I finished dinner just in time to rush down to the gospel choir which meets at 18.00 at a church in town. I sang with them for an hour and then i went to a debate club. This club meets every other week from 19.00-20.00. Their debates are always in English. I debated as the person who was going to be there did not show up. The topic was that Swedish cars are superior to American cars. That was a fun topic, I was affirmative (another american was also affirmative). After the debate we talked, I met an American guy from Boston doing a master's degree here. It was interesting to talk to him and compare notes about how we were experiencing Uppsala, learning Swedish, the classes and things like that. (This is one of the reasons I enjoy the debate club so much, I get to meet new people almost every time). After the debate club I came back to Flogsta and got ready to go play basketball at 22.00. I went with a Greek friend from my corridor. The basketball was fun, I had three baskets (which for me is a lot, as my offensive production is not very high). We played for about an hour and a half. Then I came back and ate, and had a nice long conversation with my friend about politics, Turkey, Bush, food, and other random things. Now it is 2:34 am. And I have class tomorrow at 10, and then Swedish at 16.00. Tomorrow will hopefully be another exciting day.
Today represented what I enjoy about this experience, I am meeting people and making friends with people from across the world. I get to talk about interesting subjects with them. And overall, it is just really fascinating, and I am so thankful to be here. I have such good memories of a lot of things. Well off to bed, and another busy day.


Well this is Su-Lin and I with the great cake that was made by Michelle for our joint birthday celebration after the international bible study. It was a lot of fun. Ironically enough in swedish class we were saying what day our birthday was, and I was able to say idag (today). I had already been to the pubs and had drank some beer and wine, and cider in previous weeks so I didn't spend any time at the bars. I didn't go to the system bolagget to get carded to buy alchohol. But that was just fine for me, I enjoyed the time of fellowship. We had some people from the swedish bible study over as well. Thank-you for everyone who sent me the birthday wishes on facebook, e-card, and regular card, it was very special.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Min födelsedag

Idag är min födelsedag. Okay, let that be my first attempt at Swedish on my blog. I should make use of this Swedish class sometime. Well I am a little bit I practiced with a friend that I met for lunch. We tried about 10 minutes of primarily Swedish, and then my head was about ready to burst and we switched to english. It was good practice, and I need to do it more often, but it was also very challenging practice. It takes a lot of discipline to try to learn swedish because english is not hard to use here. However, swedish is the main language and I would be able to integrate better into Swedish culture if I knew swedish. But it is very challenging.
Anyway, I said today was my birthday, I haven't done anything special, yet, but in about 30 minutes the Bible study will meet and we will see what they have planned. There is another member who also has her birthday today, so we will have a combined celebration. We are going to sing a couple psalms. I picked out 119B, and the other person will also pick out some psalms. Besides that I am not sure what else is going on.
Since my last post I have attended a birthday party for a friend from Hong Kong, attended a reccedinner at Gothenburgs nation, attended praise and worship night, and another party where I was able to do a little swing dancing. I also went to a couple concerts in the domkyrkan, the cathedral here. It was very cool to hear the church music from Monteverdi and others in the tall building. Both concerts were free and were very well done. Uppsala has a very good classical music scene with concerts and things just about every week.
I am realizing that it is okay to just live in a town, I don't need to travel somewhere every week, because I don't usually do that back at Purdue. I certainly haven't done that, having only gone outside of Uppsala and Stockholm twice, but sometimes I wished I traveled more. But now I realize that moderate traveling is good because then I can actually experience life in Uppsala. Well, those are some things that I have been doing, well, I should probably get ready to go to Bible Study now. Thank-you to everyone for the birthday wishes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Leading worship

Well last night was an exciting night for me as I was able to lead the singing at the International Bible Study. The two other guys who normally lead the singing were unable to make it to the Study, and so one of them asked me if I wanted to lead the worship. I said okay, but I told him that we would be singing psalms from my psalter, he said "no problem." We had already sang one psalm for a birthday the previous week, but I had never led worship before. Well, everything went great, several people told me that they appreciated singing the psalms. We sang Psalm 46C, 57B, 104A, and 72C. Everyone caught on to the tunes fairly quickly. Anyway, I never really anticipated being able to lead psalm singing in Sweden, but God is good. So that's the latest from here.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Posting and parties

Well, I realize that it has been too long since I last posted to update everyone on what I am doing here. Of course the simple excuse is, I'm a busy exchange student who has a lot of commitments, well I probably could do a better job posting, but there is always some kind of urgent matter that I have to deal with. I will get pictures loaded from my trip to Abisko and Kiruna shortly. I had a good trip, it was expensive but I really enjoyed the scenery and the cross-country skiing. We saw the Northern lights for about 15 minutes or so, not very long, but long enough to get a taste of their beauty and magnificence. We saw the ice hotel near Kiruna, which was quite an amazing site with over thirty rooms decorated with ice. The only major disappointment was not being able to go dogsledding because no one thought to make reservations ahead of time. But it was a beautiful place and I really enjoyed it. We flew up and took the train back. The train, even though it took 18 hours to ride from Abisko to Kiruna, gave me a nice view of the Swedish landscape for about 5 of those hours. It gradually changed from a scene of snow and frozen lakes a rivers to a snowless, iceless landscape.
This past week has been farely normal with me starting a new class on the Vikings, and going to the International Bible Study, playing basketball, and doing a debate club. Tonight I had my second gasque, and international gasque. It was like the reccegasque except for international students. They had some good entertainment like a men's choir and a group of musicians that played swedish folk music on violins. The international students really didn't know the songs and the toasting was not really to protocol, but it was still good. I didn't stay too long afterwards for the after party as there were a lot of Swedish students who were coming to the pub as well and so it was very crowded and loud, and so I decided to walk home. I have concluded the Swedes are just as likely to get drunk as Americans or Australians, and when they get drunk they are no longer reserved or quiet. Not all Swedes are like that, just as not all Americans or Australians want to get drunk, but it seems like a majority don't mind.
Well that is all for now, like i said I hope to post more frequently in the near future.