Today has been much better than yesterday. I am still not adjusted to the time yet, but my stomach seems to be getting on board witht the changes. Right now it's 11:25 a.m. Dothan time, and here it's 6:25 p.m. I can hear my host family preparing dinner and vacuuming the house for more guests.
So I promised to share with you about yesterday's Swedish meal. The entire experience was amazing! It started with snacks and cider at a traditional Swedish-like cottage. My team of 5 from Alabama were there in addition to each of our host families and a few extra visitors. We heard, while we were chatting outside, a type of yodeling. That's the best way I know how to describe it, perhaps a mix of yodeling and singing. It was the dinner call from a Swedish lady who has a beautiful and full voice. We made our way to the barn where we shared in a potluck comprised of different Swedish foods. Most I attempted to eat, but I took it easy so as not to upset my stomach again. Some of the foods laid out were- salad, bread, 3 casseroles/quiches, honey dew melon, ham, half of a salmon and pickled herring. I did not eat the latter two for fear of the reprecussions- I can say that members of my team tried each and found them to be quite tasty. We wrapped up the meal with two types of dessert, a chocolate fudge like coffee cake (I don't eat chocolate for those of you who don't know) and a cream puff pastry which wasn't too sweet but tasted dainty and nice. I ate mine with a dessert hot tea, everyone else had coffee. I've yet to meet a person who doesn't enjoy coffee AND beer- they take both at each meal.
After a great dinner experience I came home to my second host family who is treating me so nicely. No electrical explosions- yet. They do have a dog that is the size of a small horse. He literally weighs more than me! The lady of the house, Simona, takes the dog, Bronco, with her to work each day. He is very docile. I tried to get him to snuggle in the bed with me for comfort, but he was having none of it. Maybe tonight I'll sneak him a treat to coax him! I'll have to post a picture of him on the facebook fan page for this trip- that's where I'll be posting the majority of my pictures. WTVY's web guy, Jason Wright, has helped me get this blog together and is responsible for posting any pictures you see on here, so thank him for helping out with this! firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Today we toured the city of Vesteras. It's beautiful. The cobblestone streets and traditional Swedish architecture make the town feel cozy and warm. It's not hard to love it here with all the warm faces and people willing to try to speak English to make me feel welcome. I did have a funny exchange with my host mama. I asked last night if I could take a shower before bed to which she replied, "But of course, if I were in your clothes I would want a shower too." It's funny sometimes how phrases can be translated. That still has me grinning. I also must tell you that my team leader, Gary, asked his host dad this morning if they could shower at the same time (he was concerned about water pressure.) The man looked at him so confused and asked him to repeat it, obviously concerned Gary was requesting a group shower. Glad they got that worked out.
I'm now going to get out of this Mickey Mouse sweatshirt and hot pink pajama pants I've been in for 30 minutes to warm up (it's freezing here) and put on something respectable for the wine tasting and dinner my family is hosting here tonight. I'll share details about that tomorrow.
I want to thank each of you who posted comments on yesterday's blog. I can't tell you what it means to feel supported when you are alone across the globe. You guys mean the world to me. Yay- off to enjoy some wine and then hopefully get a great night's sleep.