David- Outbound to Sweden
August 29, 2012
are just sitting there.
Why are you just sitting there?
You could be out doing something. You could be out traveling the world. You
could be out submitting your Rotary Youth Exchange Application.
You could be chosen to go to Sweden. You could
be on a plane with a nice Chinese Guy who let you play with his old Game Boy
during the longest flight of your life.
You could be meeting some of the nicest people
you will ever meet. You could be crying your eyes out.
You could be standing next to a lighthouse on
the rocky shore of the Baltic Sea. You could be picking wild Strawberries
and running away from Sheep in the process. You could be allergic to cats.
You could be watching your Host Mom's cat die
right in front of your eyes, but you could also be going out for an Ice
Cream after that visit to the Vet's office. You could Fika three to four
times a day.
You could be learning a new language with the
help of Family Guy. You could be paying $10 for a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.
You could be getting stuck in the rain on the way to a Music Festival. You
could be dancing in the rain. You could be laughing at the fact that most
Swedes say Irun instead of Iron. You could fall in love with long, licorice
type candies in various flavors.
You could be eating fish that is a year old and
smells like a dirty diaper. You could also be gagging. You could be riding
on a train and not know how to open the door to get out. You could be
getting lost in Stockholm Central. You could be visiting an Ostrich Farm.
You could be rowing back to shore because your motor went out in Nyköping
You could be eating pancakes and pea soup every
Thursday evening. You could be missing your bus stop on the way to Language
Camp. You could be gaining weight from meatballs, and meatballs alone.
You could be missing your old life, your family
beyond your wildest belief. You could be feeling awkward in social
situations. You could be experiencing the most challenging, most rewarding
time of your life. You could be missing out. You could be...
My God...I've been sitting here far too long.
To the future,
David- Outbound to Sweden
December 7, 2012
I am not going to write a novel of an entry, nor
am I going to tell you about all the great things that have happened to me
since I have come to Sweden. I am here to tell you the truth.
Exchange is so much more than what Outbounds write in their journals.
Exchange is so much more than pictures of statues or historical sites.
Exchange is so much more than that one Rotary trip that everyone goes on.
Exchange is so much more than simply living in another country.
Exchange is so much more than learning a language.
Exchange is so much more than what anyone can possibly prepare you for.
Exchange is so much more than this.
You must find out what Exchange is on your own... but just know, it is
nothing what you expect... embrace it.
To the future,
A Warm Fire in Stockholm
The Tale of a Swedish Thanksgiving
The Stockholm Tunnel Line
Fika with Friends
Me, turning 18.
When there is a deck of cards, and a group of exchange students.
April 11 2013
Somewhere over the Arctic Circle, Sweden
I almost just got kicked off of a train.
I almost saw the Northern Lights.
I almost thought it was noon, but the sun was high at three in the morning.
I almost fell to my knees when I saw my Mom for the first time in eight
I almost lost my breath at the sight of fjords resting in the ocean and
rising into the clouds.
I almost laughed to death with my friends in a late night conversation,
inside of a room no bigger than a common closet.
I almost used up all my tears when I saw my Mom sitting at a table of the
kindest, most wonderful people I will ever know.
I almost feel like I am home, falling asleep in the sun on Easter Sunday
with a family so kind, I cannot describe it beyond this.
I almost couldn’t believe it when I heard Rotary of Iceland wanted to host
me for one week.
I almost can’t love my friends more than I do now.
I almost fainted when I was told I would be going to Croatia to go diving in
the Adriatic Sea.
I almost cannot tell any one of you, any of you reading this, how a year can
be ‘I almost did this’ and ‘I almost did that’.
‘I almost got the language.’
‘I almost made friends.’
‘I almost travelled.’
‘I almost asked.’
‘I almost received.’
Don’t let it happen.
The only other thing I can say is this: I am almost done with my exchange