Leende – this Swedish word means “smile”. With that I want to introduce you to today`s blog post. I thought “smile” would fit the post just perfect because I will give you a little update about my last weeks – and they made me smile quiet a lot. As you all already read in my last posts, my time here in Sweden is just wonderful! Even now, when I only think about how lucky I am to be here I have a smile on my face.
But let`s start at the beginning. In my last reportage I wrote a little about my work here at Rapatac, explained the purpose of this special place and tried to spread the unique concept of it. If you didn`t read it yet you should definitively check it out! But although my work here is the main part of my voluntary service and it really is a lot of fun every day, there is so much more to tell.
Besides working I spend a lot of time with my new friends here. Me and the other volunteers try to explore and experience as much as possible so we always find something to do on the weekends and sometimes even during the week. So far we went hiking, explored some cities and towns around us, went to clubs, cooked together, played games, or just met and talked. We get along really well and I`m super happy that we all are super adventurous and motivated when it comes to using the time we have here in Sweden as well as possible.
One tradition for example established after our weekly Swedish lessons. After 90 minutes of fun language learning provided by three local volunteers we always go out for lunch together – trying a new place every week – before we then start working. It’s a fun way to explore different food places but also to catch up with the other volunteers that live and work in Gävle but join us for the Swedish lessons here in Sandviken.
Besides all that my family from Germany visited me last week. It was great to see them again and introduce them to my new home. Since they stayed only for about 6 days I took 2 days off from work to have some more time with them to explore the area together. I got to show them my town, the surrounding area and my favorite places I visited so far as well as my work place with my colleagues and friends. Other than that we also had the opportunity to explore some new places together, ate a lot of good food and spend some quality time. We even saw mosses for the first time – that was an experience that I will never forget!
But as much as I enjoyed their visit and loved showing them around after that week I was pretty exhausted because I spent all my free time next to work with them. So, after they headed back home on Saturday we had a relaxing weekend with the other two volunteers from Gävle, went on a hike and gained new power for the next exciting week at work.
As I am writing this, another week has already passed. It is crazy how time flies by so quickly. Since the work at Rapatac is so varied and exciting I am always looking forward to it, what makes it go by even faster. Other than that and all the exploring I really try to focus on my Swedish right now. That’s why it`s a little hard to find enough time to write for Youth Reporter at the moment… although I`ve got so many things to tell!
Soon a lot of other exciting things are planned, so for sure it won`t get boring around here. This week the kids have höstlov (fall break) what means we have a special program here at the center and will also celebrate Halloween. Then, our other two roommates and co-volunteers will arrive soon and in a few weeks we have our arrival seminar in Stockholm.
But more about all that later. For now, I hope you all have a great day. Remember, there are always reasons to smile!