onsdag 4 juli 2012

The end of one thing means the beginning of something new

Hello everyone!

Since this is the last time I will write on my blog, I thought I'd do it in English so that all of my friends can read and understand it.

I have been back home in Sweden for three days now. When we arrived at Arlanda Airport on Sunday, me and the other two Swedish guys had to walk a ridiculously long way and to the baggade pick up and then wait for a while for our suitcases. After that, I could finally, after ten months and a very long trip back, go out and see my family. Just like when I left Canada, there were lots of hugs and maybe a tear here and there. Three of my friends also came to see me, thanks to Kalle, Amandus and Joost!

Even though it felt so good to see my family and friends again, what was really weird was speaking Swedish after a year of almost no Swedish at all. Before we had even left the airport, they were mocking me for my bad Swedish, my "English accent" and the fact that I just used English words when I didn't know how to say something in Swedish.  By now it feels more natural to speak Swedish again, but I still prefer English!

I had so much to tell my family that I didn't know where to start. But we talked all the way home from the airport, and when we got home we had dinner, and then strawberries (there's nothing like Swedish strawberries!) with vanilla custard for dessert. I gave them the presents I had bought them: a Canada shirt each for my brothers and a thermos mug with a native art print for my parents. Plus all the Reeses, Turtles, Skittles, Oh Henrys, Nerds and the other candy i had brought of course. As a welcome home gift from them I found in my room some flowers, a box of chocolate, a card and a package of "Ballerina"-cookies. My room looked more or less exactly the same as when I left it - the German exchange student we hosted this year, Luisa, had taken care of it well. Thank you Luisa! On Sunday night me and my brother also biked over to his place, and I can't even begin to tell you how nice it was to sit on a bike again!

On monday I slept in until eleven or so (which still inly is 1 am Canadian time), and on Tuesday I got up at ten. Strangely enough I don't really feel jet-lagged at all, especially not by now. This is nice of course - when I came to Canada I was jet-lagged for like a week. Anyway, on Monday I played some videogames with my little brother and then my friend Miranda came over. Later that evening, after having had "korv stroganoff" for dinner (how I've missed "falukorv"!) I went to another friends house where we had a little barbeque with some other friends. It was really really nice to see everyone again and it actually doesn't really even feel like I've been away at all.

Yesterday I spent unpacking. Now my room looks fine again (with stuff like my grad hat, my canadian flag and the thank you card I got from the kids at church put up on the shelves and the walls), but this is how chaotic it looked like a half hour after I got home:

Here at home and in Uppsala some things have changed. We have a new oven and a new computer, the milk is now in the door of the fridge instead of the top shelf (this I didn't realise until I had opened a new thing of milk because I didn't see any opened one...) and it is not until now that I realise how small our dishwasher actually is. The restaurant on the corner has switched name and owners, some new stores have popped up downtown and a couple of traffic lights have been replaced by regular crosswalks. But even though some things aren't exactly like they were when I left, I still feel very much at home. And as for the people - my family and friends - if feels like I hadn't been away for a week even.

But at the same time there's now also all the things that I'm already starting to miss from Canada. All the people of course - my host mom, my sisters and all my friends - how am I even suppposed to live my life without you anymore? But also the small things, like going to Costco on a Saturday afternoon, going to Timmy's at lunch, taking the dog for walks in the middle of the night or going to bootcamp at the gym. Eating french toast and panncakes and eggs benedics, drinking Starbucks or eating a DQ Oreo Cheesequake Blizzard. I guess I simply miss being Canadian!

My year in Prince George went by way to fast, but instead of being sad that it is over I am just very very glad that it happened. There are some people I have a lot to thank for this. Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to my parents who helped pay for this year and who were okay with sending me alone across the world for ten months. Secondly, I owe so much and I am so incredibly grateful to my host family for not only providing room and board for me this year but also becoming just that - a family. Thank you to all my friends as well, both in Sweden and Canada. You mean more to me than I think you know. And lastly, thanks to the people at Shecana who work so hard and put down their own time in order for us exchange students to have the best year possible.
Without you guys none of this would have been possible and this year wouldn't have been the best experience of my life!

You might be wondering what my future plans look like. Well, first of all I have to finish high school here in Sweden. Two more year of that and then I'm off to university, probably in Uppsala but maybe abroad if I can afford it. I have learned so much this year, not only about different countries and cultures, but also about myself, about life and about what I want to do in life. I am not quite ready for a carreer decision yet, but I know that I want to make a difference in the world. It might be a chiché, but I do want to leave our world a better place that I found it, even if this means changing the life of one single person.

To my family and friends in Canada (and all over the world): 

Until we meet again, I wish you all the best in the future! Dream big and live your life with a smile on your face. Don't give up in hard times but trust in your own ability and there's no limit for what you can accomplish in life.
Let's stay in touch and I'm looking forward to see you all again soon!

Finally I would like to express my appreciation to all my faithful blog readers. I know I haven't been easy on you with my extremely long posts, and I'm sorry if bored you to death with my endless stories about food, but you made it through and it has been very encouraging to read your comments throughout the year!

På återseende,

5 kommentarer:

  1. Jag är så glad över att ha följt din blogg under ditt år som utbytesstudent, den har varit så bra och motiverande för min del! Så sorgligt att det nu är över, men nu får du följa min och kanske blicka tillbaka och känna igen dig i sammanhang som jag kommer att få uppleva :)

    Kram Rebecka

  2. hey there,

    I am a germany girl reading your blog the whole year without knowing much swedish. it worked anyway and I wanted to thank you for those funny and heartwarming moments you shared :-)


  3. Tack så mycket Rebecka! Jag är glad att du har fått ut någonting av min blogg och tycker att det är jättekul att du gillat den! Hoppas att ditt år i Prince George blir minst lika bra som mitt! Jag kommer att följa varje steg du tar (dvs läsa varje blogginlägg du skriver). Om du har tid och lust under året (vilket jag har full förståelse för om du inte har) får du jättegärna höra av dig via mail (du har min mailadress, eller hur?)

    Hi Steffi! I'm glad you've found my blog and I'm very impressed that you've read it the whole time without even knowing Swedish! Thank you for reading, it means more to me than you'd think!

  4. Hej!
    Jag hittade din blogg när jag kollade lite på utbytesstudent.se´s hemsida och jag är undrar vilken skola du gick på?!

    Jag ska oxå bo i Vancouver fast dehär året och gå på high school!

    Mvh Linnea ! :)

  5. Hej Linnea!

    Jättekul att du också ska till Kanada! Du har ett fantastiskt år framför dig!

    Jag bodde ju nu inte i Vancouver, utan i Prince George i mellersta British Columbia (men för att vara ärligt så är jag lite avundsjuk på dig som får bo i Vancouver. Det är en helt underbar stad!) Skolan jag gick på i Prince George heter Duchess Park Secondary School, men jag tvivlar på att du har nån användning för det om du ska bo i Vancouver.

    Lycka till och ha så himla kul!
    Kram, Ylva

    Ps. Har du tänkt ha en blogg medan du är borta? I så fall får du jättegärna länka den så att jag kan läsa om hur du har det!