Showing posts from September, 2019

en månad i= one month in, and 24 years later

en månad i= one month in (or a bit more than that). Also 24 years later.  What to reflect? We arrived in Sweden on Aug. 15th, so have been here for a bit more than a month. Time does fly.  It's nice to be in our apartment. The kids are doing well in school- both making friends and learning the ways of a new school. We had student-teacher-parent conferences last week and this- both sets of teachers report the kids seem to be doing fine. It's nice to (generally) know where we are going- though step out of a routine and I seem to go the wrong way on a train still. Ah well.  Both Chris and I have settled into working on all the research projects that needed moving forward while starting new projects with Stockholm University (Chris) and the Fulbright (me).  The last month+ has been nice to explore a bit, figure out a daily routine, find ways to get exercise, and think hard about what we're experiencing here (future posts coming on topics as disparate as the milk

autumn rullskidåkning: autumn rollerskiing

Just saw a post on the neighborhood facebook page calling for autumn rullskidåkning- autumn roller skiing. Might be time to buy some new roller skis for training this fall. Something I never thought I say after spending years training for cross country skiing this way! Roller skiing is a proxy for being on skis-- the helmets are necessary given how fast the skis stop when you hit a rock. Random example photo of what roller skiing looks like. Why the need to get on roller skis again? With our permission, my dad signed up Chris, me, and Stephen (and himself) for the  Vasaloppet , the largest cross country ski race in the world with nearly 100,000 people. The Vasaloppet is 90 km long, though we're signed up for the 30 km version on 21 Feb. 2020. However, this is still quite a distance for someone who hasn't raced since about 2005; this will require some actual training.  This desire to get out and move is easier here than in the U.S.-- everyone seems to be running, bik

Letter from the President

I have no Swedish for this one. Letter forwarded today to us from the Swedish Fulbright Commission.

personnumer= personal ID number (bureaucracy in its finest form)

personnummer= personal ID number As a Swedish friend noted "I don't know how you can function in Sweden with out a personnummer." What is it you ask? The official Swedish personal identification number. Indeed, it's not easy. And so we have begun a profound quest for 6+4 magic digits that open up the Swedish universe of electronic commerce, phone use, train tickets, email accounts, and grocery store bonus cards. The first 6 numbers relate to your birthday (YYMMDD). The last four numbers are generated by the government and interestingly enough indicate if you are male or female. Though there are only four, these numbers are not easy to acquire. It is not easy even when you arrive in country with a valid passport, a residence permit, and the support of both in-country (Fulbright Sweden, Stockholm University) and international (U.S. State Department) institutions. Why write about this piece of bureaucracy? For one, it's really interesting to us how importan

Skolstrejk För Klimatet 20/9 - FridaysForFuture

Skolstrejk För Klimatet 20/9 - FridaysForFuture School strike for climate, Sept. 20th, Fridays for the Future Started a year ago by the now famous Greta Thunberg (pronounced more like "toon-berry"). Photo from Business Insider Stephen and I joined the Stockholm school strike yesterday-- estimates of about 10,000 people! I'm not sure if it counts as a school "strike" for him as he didn't have school (student/teacher/parent conferences), but we'll take it as an educational experience. Empowering to see that may people out in the streets of Stockholm. It's also challenging to share the scope and scale of what a march like this looks like-- we heard a lot of chants that we have no idea what they were saying, but we understood this one: keep the oil in the soil, keep the coal in the hole.  I made a small sign: "I'm from the U.S. and I work on climate change." Will think of something more pithy for next week's cli

handskar: the "gloves" have come out

The weather has taken a turn towards chillier... notable that the handskar (gloves) and hatt (hats) have come out on my commute to work today. Bike riders are decked out with scarves. The parkas have appeared. A few leaves have started to change, and the dark lingers longer in the morning, comes sooner in the evening. The Tyresta Dagen festival last weekend definitely felt like fall. Time to tap into the pile of warm gear we brought, at least for a few days!

Tyresta nationalpark och naturreservat: Tyresta National Park & Nature Reserve (or backpacking by bus)

Tyresta nationalpark och naturreservat: Tyresta National Park & Nature Reserve (or backpacking by bus) We woke up Saturday to a beautiful day and a promise of good weather during the day on Saturday & Sunday (90% chance of rain overnight). Some quick research revealed a lot of nearby campgrounds for RVs in Stockholm-- not what we were looking for. A bit more research turned up Tyresta National Park -  about 1.5 hours away using public transport. We realized we'd never taken both kids backpacking and before the weather turned, this might be a good time to do so. After cleaning the house (kudos to the kids for cleaning bathrooms!) and a quick stop at our nearby grocery store (such visits no longer take an hour), we headed via bus to a nearby outdoor store for stove fuel and then figured our way onto a train. Small mishap later where Chris ended up on a train after running an errand and me and the kids missed it while waiting elsewhere for him, we reconnected in Stockh