Sudsy Sunset Monday

Sometimes it rains and sometimes people put sudds in fountains.

Taken on a CIEE trip to Madrid in September.

Madrid, Spain, September 2012 Madrid, Spain, September 2012 Madrid, Spain, September 2012

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Wednesday’s Word: One lumpy planet

Did you ever have to or choose to read one of Thomas Freedman’s works? Best know for his commentaries on the globalization and “flattening” or the world, it’s economies, and its cultures his works, and others like them, are often discussed in relation to studying abroad. (Wiki summary here) While I imagine the sharp contrasts between the arguments made in Freedman’s book and what is often the reality is would be sharply visible in third world countries it surprises me what I can see even here.

Living in the protected bubble that is the USA I imagined myself a global citizen. I imagined I would come here, to Europe an informed citizen, and I am, but only in comparison to other Americans. I have learned a great deal about the Europe and it’s politics since arriving, though it only emphasizes how much I don’t know.

My story (however brief) is not unique. I know I have friends here who feel the same way as me, but what do you, the world wide web, think. Wait, don’t tell me yet. Watch the video, it is not very long. What was your reaction? Whatever it is, whether you tell me or not, I bet it will leave you thinking.

Until next time.

~H

Wednesday’s Word: New and Improved Addition

Long ago, in a land far, far away, I started this blog. I imagined that each Wednesday I would post a new word that I learned. Something that was cool, or interesting, or good to know. Well if you have been following my blog at all in the last year, or have ever written a blog of your own, you can guess how that went. Well, it didn’t. Well I have decided to bring it back, to give it a new life and a new form. I am going to share great words each Wednesday  Great videos that I have encountered while abroad. I can’t promise that they will have a theme or a purpose that is uplifting  it might have just made me smile this week, but I find what I am drawn to online reflects what I am feeling about my time abroad. Well… I guess there is not time to start like the present. If you want to see what I mean, check out my next post, which will contain the first Wednesday’s Word: New and Improved Addition.

Top ten surprises from Sweden

Dinner with the gang: pan roasted chicken, roasted sweet corn, broccoli, garlic mashed potatoes, fresh bread, fried onions and garlic, local Swedish beer. Yeah we are pretty awesome.

  1. People looked like ME! I was starting to feel comfortable with the fact that everything about Europe was different from me, including how people look. My first day in Sweden I was tempted to point at people and tell my friends “LOOK there’a another one,” every time someone walked past.
  2. Northern Minnesota and the Swedish country side could be twins.
  3. When we got to the airport we had to walk for like 3 min on the tarmac at night. Don’t believe Ryanair when they tell you the airport is in Stockholm.
  4. People kept expecting me to speak Swedish. I don’t, but I realized what it must be like for the people in our group with mediterranean blood who always get mistaken for spaniards.
  5. Halloween partying in Uppsala. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was surprised and had a FABULOUS time dancing the night away in a college town.
  6. 4:30 PM. That is when it got dark in Sweden. It was the closest I have ever been to the arctic circle and you could tell by the way the light changed.
  7. Diego. My uncle Dave’s friend who I had lunch with in Stockholm. He is a Spanish expat and we had an amazing meal and shocked all the swedes by talking loudly in Spanish.
  8. The food. There is not a lot in my diet back home that closely resembles Mallorcan food, the opposite was true in Sweden. Oh and the food was delicious too.
  9. “Family” Dinner. All of my friends and I made a giant dinner together one night. One of my friends even fried onions in butter for the first time in her life.
  10. Sweden. I never expected to see Sweden while I was here. It was beautiful, welcoming, and I LOVED it.

Little Island. Big Dream.

Today’s word is “Isla(s).”

Pronounced E-sla, this is the Spanish word for island(s).

There is said to be a strong sense of unity and fortitude associated with living on an island. The sense of isolation, founded in reality or not, brings communities together as they protect and sustain themselves. I dream of this community and of being a part of it and finding my lake state has become an island state.