Regn: rain and random reflections on a Friday night

Regn: rain and and a few random reflections on a Friday night

Friday night is apparently taco night in Sweden- eat tacos and watch a movie. It's a rainy day and the end of the week- a good night to do so. Except that if you go shopping for tortillas and salsa, they don't sell the beans anywhere near. And we're not quite sure what qualifies for tacos in Sweden. Anyway, we gave it a try.

We watched "The boy who harnessed the wind," a film about a real kid in Malawi who figured out how to build a windmill to drive the pump for the local well and ensure that the crops actually grew when the rain didn't come. Well worth watching.  Worth noting that we watched it with Swedish subtitles which was irrelevant for the 50% of the movie in English and involved a lot of guesswork for the 50% in Chichewa (a language spoken in Malawi).

What to say about this week? We figured out how to get the kids to and from school on the metro bus. It helps to not lock a backpack in a locker if you have the bus passes in the backpack. The kids were incredibly calm about school after the first few minutes of getting there on Wed. Swedish lessons started today for Stephen. Elizabeth has already figured out who to invite for play dates.

Back to school night with parents from all over the world was quite exciting. They told us all about the potential curriculum and books to be used- we have no idea how they compare with what our kids were studying. We do know that Swedish schools are more focused on ensuring adequate time for kids to play- interesting to hear what is emphasized or not.

We were considerably less concerned than other parents about EAL: English as an additional language (a new phrasing for us). I can only imagine trying to navigate Sweden when you don't know Swedish and are learning English as well... people will readily switch to English if you apologize and say "jag tallar inte svenske"- I don't speak Swedish. At least it works for Chris. I apparently look quite Swedish, so people have a much harder time believing that I don't actually speak Swedish.

The many systems of life: computer chargers, SIM cards in telephones, groceries, finding used bikes, having keys to get into the house or a locker, etc.-- all take a huge amount of energy to navigate and we keep not quite getting all the pieces together at the same time. No car= a few extra bus or subway rides (or even a wild trip on a scooter for Chris). We'll count it as a success that Chris now has an office, key and pass to his office at Stockholm University; I've managed one conference and get to do another next week; and the kids seem to like school. Good enough for now!

The rain promises to let up tomorrow, so we're hoping to take a ferry into the archipelago around Stockholm.


  1. Hi Lara and Chris--so exciting that you are having this grand adventure! I loved Stockholm, walking the streets, and vising the Vasa--what a wonderful exhibit. I loved working on that farm in Northern Norway many moons ago--so hope you get to Oslo to see the Vigelund sculptures--a must-see destination.The Burgels are actually 8% Scandinavian per my Ancestry genetic analysis, which surprised me. Who knew?? So fabulous to hear about your Fullbright project, Lara--and Chris, good luck with your work at Stockholm University. Enjoy your ferry adventures today. XXOO Barbara


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