Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano
Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

31 October 2006


If you go to this page, you can see some pictures from when I toured around Stockholm by myself and with some teammates. The pictures of all the lights (you'll know what I'm talking about if you go to the page) are a memorial for those who have died from breast cancer. Most of the rest of the pictures are either from my neighborhood or historic "old town" Stockholm.¬ag=1

Week One Recap

So I’ve been here for exactly a week now. It’s funny to think it was just a week ago that I was meeting my coaches and teammates for the first time, unpacking my suitcases, and trying to figure out how to get where I needed to be via the subway (well, I guess I’m still working on that one). I feel like I’ve learned a lot and already have become really close to many of my teammates. I really am so thankful for how welcoming, friendly, and helpful everyone has been. I didn’t really know what to expect. And believe me, the experience so far has exceeded my expectations. Yes, I do realize I’m probably still caught up in the excitement of moving to a new place (well, a new country!) and playing basketball for my job (what?! That’s crazy.). Yes, I do have to get my stitches out tomorrow, but hey – at least I’ll have some fun memories associated with my new scar!  I really am looking forward to what the next six months will bring. Please be praying for the team, the coaches, others with whom I may cross paths, and for the rest of my time here. Pray that I am able to give back and be as much or more of a help to others, as everyone has been to me. Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement. I absolutely love hearing from you (and though I don’t always respond in a timely fashion, please forgive me – I am still trying to search out places where I have access to the internet, and often times I am huddled outside typing with my gloves on). And, please, I know I don’t need to say it again, but my door is wide open… I would love for you to come and see what life is like here! God Bless and Happy Halloween!!

Castles, Guards, Planes, and Islands

On Saturday afternoon I met up with Jasmina and Malen at T-centralan. We went into some stores and tried on some hats. There are so many cute hats here. All sorts of different styles. It’d so much fun to get all bundles up and look cute too!  Did you know H&M started in Sweden? Supposedly we went into the largest one in the world. None of us were really in the shopping mood (or at least not in the buying mood), so we thought we’d go see a movie. Most of the movies in the theaters here are in English with Swedish subtitles. Perfect for us Americans! We checked out the theater, but again none of us found any movie that we really wanted to see. Jasmina and Malen offered to show me around Gamla Stan (Old Town Stockholm), at which point I jumped at their offer. Emma met us too as we were walking around. It was a chilly evening, but so beautiful walking through this really old part of the city. Many of the streets were made before cars were invented and, therefore, are super narrow – like hardly wide enough to walk two-by-two through. We also walked around the castle where the king and queen of Sweden conduct their business. We took a picture with a guard! I actually have a few pictures from the evening. I’m going to try to figure out how to post them for everyone. Any ideas? Anyway, after walking around for a while, we stopped at a café (actually called “Wayne’s Coffee” – lol). The four of sat inside for a long time just drinking our hot drinks and talking. Emma and Jasmina both played college basketball in the U.S., Washington State and Georgia Tech, respectively, so there English is superb. Malen is pretty good too, plus I just love her anyway because she’s happy, funny, and really pleasant to be around – makes me smile . Didn’t get to bed too late at all because we had a game the next day.

Sunday: Giovanni drove Emma, Erin, and I to Arlanda to meet up with the rest of the team to fly to Visby for an evening game. The flight to Gotland was only forty-five minutes. The plane was pretty small, with propellers and the ability to see right out the front where the pilots look out. It was pretty awesome to be able to look down at all the islands off the coast of Sweden. There are sooo many. It really is an archipelago. Plus, everything is still really green – it was very scenic from way up there. We arrived by noon and pregame meal wasn’t for close to another hour or two. We walked around historic Visby (more pictures!). Not many stores were open because it was Sunday, so after walking around for a bit we just hung out in a café to keep warm. In America, we here all the time about Scandinavian design. It really is the best (I think!). Lines are so simple and elegant. And, everywhere you go here, I feel like I’m constantly having lessons in interior design since everything is so well decorated. Anyway, eventually we had our pregame meal (spaghetti and meat sauce… want to know what I learned here? Swedes eat ketchup with their pasta!! Shout out to Kel and T – u two would fit in perfect here ;) ). Then, finally it was game time. Supposedly Visby is a hard place to play and they won the championship two years ago. We didn’t play great at all (and I played a fair bit of position 4, which was sorta foreign since I haven’t played 4 since high school… but it was fun too), but we ended up winning. Something seemingly special about this team is how evenly balanced the scoring is. For those of you who were around for my high school days, it reminds me a lot of my freshman year at NFA when everyone on the team carried a good bit of the scoring responsibility. People will stand-out in certain games, but overall everything is very well balanced. I hope it stays this way and I expect it will. I think we won by 12 points, but we were up by as much as 20 (I think… I never actually pay attention to exact scores too much). They’re team had a player that was over 40 years old! Crazy, huh?! I thought so. Shoot, if I can move as well as her when I’m forty, I think I’ll be doing great  Anders was happy with the win and we headed home with smiles on our faces.

30 October 2006

Catchin Up

Sorry, I've been sorta busy and without internet in my apt still. Here's some entries from the past couple days that I'm just finally getting to posting now. Enjoy :)

October 26, 2006 23:56

Day off today. Opened a Swedish bank account. Found some internet access on top of a catwalk connecting a very tall, historical elevator with Slussen. Talked to my dad and mom for the first time since I’ve been here (via Skype). Visited T-Centralan (downtown Stockholm) with Anders and Erin. He treated the both of us to the best ice cream in Stockholm. Yup, it was tasty. Went to the men’s game tonight. They lost on a bank, buzzer-beater, 3-pt basket. Most unfortunate. I had some traditional Swedish meal for dinner… a mix of meat and potatoes all mixed up together in some sauce. I would eat it again. I guess the tradition comes from Friday eating meat, Saturday eating potatoes (or vice versa), and then Sunday mixing the leftovers together to eat whatever I had for dinner today (just in case you were wondering  ). Today is Thursday so I was hoping to watch Grey’s Anatomy online tonight, but I can’t cause the website doesn’t allow you to if you are outside the U.S. Anyone want to record it for me? Just watched reruns from the seasons I have on DVD instead. Perhaps I’ll go shopping for a bowl tomorrow. I really want a bowl for my muesli. Bye.

October 27, 2006 11:27pm

Friday night in Slussen! Lauren and Landry (both Americans) took Erin and I out to dinner tonight at this hopping place called the Fenix. We ate dinner there, but the bar scene was really busy and there was a rockin’ club downstairs . Lauren and Landry ended up staying to dance some, but since Erin and I have morning practice tomorrow we decided to head home. I had an elk burger with lindenberries (I think that’s what the berries are called) for dinner. It was soooo good. If you come here to visit, you might just have to try it!

Before we went out this evening, we had practice at the third gym this week! It’s kinda cool how the club has gyms all over Stockholm. We’ve been able to see all different parts of the city. Anyway, today in practice, Anders –a generally laid-back, calm sort of guy – made us run lines. It certainly surprised me, but I was impressed too. We were doing a transition defense drill and weren’t communicating well enough. So, he said if we weren’t going to talk, then we were going to run lines (sounds like Stanford practice all over again!). Good practice though. I’m really excited for the game on Sunday. It’s at an island off the east coast of Sweden and it takes about 45 minutes to get their by plane. The trip should be fun, but I’m most excited for the game. I just really am enjoying my teammates. They are all different, yet fit together so well. Playing with them makes me smile!

Tomorrow after morning practice I think Erin and I might head into the T-Centralan area. There is a shopping mall, a “culture center,” and even a place where you can pick up a free bus that will trip you out to the biggest (supposedly) Ikea in the world. As long as I’m Sweden I better make a trip there sometime, plus I really need some lightbulbs and a bowl.

October 29, 2006 8:57am

I’m leaving in a few minutes to meet up with some teammates, head to Arlanda, and then fly to our away game versus Visby. Until then, thought I’d catch up with my fun Saturday.

We had morning practice yesterday, which is kinda nice because the gym is less busy than during the week. The court we practice is at more regularly, Frysuset, is a really nice court, but the club/court happens to be located at a high school. This is pretty neat because there can be a lot of coaching, relationships-built, and giving-back to be done between 08 and the school. However, sometimes the gym is filled with eager highschool students – which I think is great, but tends to slightly bother out coach when he just wants a quiet gym for us to practice in. Anyway, practice on Saturday morning is quieter than normal.

After practice, Erin and I decided to go to T-Centralan. It’s kinda the downtown shopping area. Erin wanted to grab some food from Burger King, so went in and sat down to eat. It was so busy… hard to find a seat at all! We did eventually get a booth, but of course the two of us didn’t fill up a whole booth by ourselves. While we were sitting there, a woman came up and asked to sit with us. That was fine; we certainly had room. Erin and I kept talking in English, but I really wanted to speak with her. I started asking her some questions. One of the really helpful things about being in Stockholm is that pretty much people speak English really well. This lady (no she didn’t tell me her name – though I did get a picture with her!) started sharing her story with us. She grew up in Stockholm, moved away, was married, had a kid, got divorced, lived all over Sweden, and now just recently returned to Stockholm. I carry around a little black book to record new words and fun places to visit… when I asked her to suggest some places “not to miss,” she gladly wrote down some places we must go! She really thought we should go on some ferry boats to the surrounding islands. I think we need to do that soon because it’s starting to get colder and soon will become much darker.

After we left BK, we kinda just meandered through the mall. Some of it is outdoors, while other parts of it are indoors. It’s fun to walk around and see everyone all bundled up, especially all this little kids. I’ve never seen so many strollers… and they’re high tech – like with big wheels and shocks. The little babies and toddlers are all bundled up and look pretty happy in there! Anyway, I wanted to a get a birthday card for someone and I wanted it to say happy birthday in Swedish. I figured out how to say Happy Birthday, but then I also wanted it to be a funny card, not just a regular card. So, I decided to ask some people who were also looking at cards if they could translate for me. The first few people I asked kinda just ignored me, or perhaps they just didn’t realize I was talking to them. Then I asked this one guy… he was receptive, I guess. He told me what it meant, sort of reluctantly. Then I asked him if would help me pick out a card. Hmmm, no.  The culture here about approaching random people to talk is much different than in America. People just don’t go up to other people and start talking. So, I lucked out that the lady in BK was so friendly to me. And this guy too, he actually was being much more receptive than is normal (at least as I’m told by my teammates). Guess it’s just something I’ll have to get used to. Everyone is really nice, but you don’t really know that until you get someone to talk to you!

Ok, I’m probably talking about way more details than you care to know. So, we went to another store and I bought a bowl! Yay. Erin also got a headset with a microphone so she could talk on Skype. Just as we were about back to our apts, Jasmina called. Off again?!

26 October 2006


Sorry for that double skype announcement thing. I 'm still trying to figure out this whole blogging deal. Anyway, can you tell I want you to join skype?! :)


If you're my friend, and I hope you are :) , get a free Skype account so that we can talk. All you have to do is go to It's easy, and did I say it's free?! Then we can talk like we're on a telephone, but it'll be through our computers. Sweet. Please do this for me! Talk to you soon. Bye!


If you're my friend, which I hope you are :) Log in to, make an account, and talk to me! Sweet. Thanks and can't wait to chat. Bye!


Finally on the internet, here are the happenings from the past couple days:

October 24, 2006 00:49

It is now 3:49 California time, so it was almost 24 hours ago exactly that I was leaving Harriet’s house to drop-off my car at the Daggett’s and head to SFO. Ten hours to London and a couple more to Stockholm, then immediately to practice!

The first leg of the flight was actually pretty productive for me… I slept at least a little bit and had an awesome time reading Willard’s The Great Omission. I journaled some thoughts and questions, though I wished I had someone to share these reactions with. I watched the Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Nothing special, but the architecture in the movie was pretty unique.

Anyhoo, when I landed in London I had less than an hour between my schedule arrival and departure. As I was trying to get through to security, I was stopped and told that I could not carry both my backpack and a computer bag, that I must exit the terminals and re-check-in because only one bag was allowed on flights. What?! I initially listened and headed off to go through passport control, then I thought that was crazy and that I would definitely miss my flight if I went through everything all over again. So as the security guard was distracted by some other people, I snuck right behind him and got through with my two bags. Yippee! I could make my flight. Good thing I made it through the second time because my flight began boarding before I even made it to the terminal. Short flight – about 2 hours – to Stockholm. The guy next to me was totally Swedish. It was sweet! He spoke English and was writing an essay in English on his computer called “The Evils of Google.” That’s as far as I got to read before I felt too snoopy. Wonder what he wrote.

For most of the flight to Stockholm we were either above the clouds or it was grey outside, so as soon as we descended below the clouds and I could see the ground… I became SO excited! This was it. I’m actually here (almost!). I’m in Sweden to live for the winter. Wow.

My head coach, Anders, wasn’t able to pick me up at the airport because the timing was cutting it to close with practice time. Hannah, a girl who works in the office at 08, picked me up and we took the speedy 20 minute train from Arlanda Airport to downtown Stockholm. A five minute taxi ride to the gym and I had finally made it. Anders was waiting at the door. He pleasantly hurried me down to the locker room and I quickly changed. Only two minutes late for a 7 o’clock practice. Not too shabby.

Practice was terrific! It was really pretty intense (much more intense than I was expecting!). We did a bunch of full court warm-up drills, spot shooting, played continuous four-on-four for a long time, put in some offense, and scrimmaged full court at the end. The girls were all really nice and welcoming. I was impressed by how much they talked on the court. Tara always said we were too quite; well, I think she would be quite pleased with the communication of this team.

The coaches brought me and my bags to my apartment. Then Anders brought my out to MickyD’s (I guess that’s one of the only places open late on Monday night). We talked for quite a while about basketball, the team, competition, oh a bunch of different topics. Some guys was rolled out of the restaurant on a stretcher to the ambulance. We have no idea was that was all about. Hopefully he is ok. Anders walked me back to my apartment. He’s going to pick me up tomorrow morning for practice.

The apartment didn’t get completely furnished in time today, but it’s close. And, I’m happy! To start, it’s way bigger than I expected. Now don’t get any grand ideas, but it’s three rooms if you count the bathroom.  Want to know one of the best parts of it… my sheets are green! And not just forest green, which would have been totally great, but they are lime green. Yay! And though I don’t know my address, I am located right in the most popular part of the city (at least that’s what I’m told, and I believe it). There’s shops, stores, restaurants, and more all along the road. I’ll investigate more soon and see what I can find.

Well, I unpacked and showered and it is now late here. My eyelids are closing so I better let them rest. I feel so blessed to be here. I am so thankful for this opportunity. Shooting practice tomorrow morning at 10am. God natt!!

October 24, 2006 23:50

Hej! That’s how you say “hi” in Swedish. I’m trying to learn more words everyday, so ja (yes) I can say more than just hej . For example, tonight I visited the akutmottagning. Sound it out and see if you can figure it out! I’m learning that lots of Swedish words actually sound sort of similar to English words, they’re just spelled differently. So akutmottagning is like combining “acute” with “meeting.” I had to go the emergency room! And no I was not shadowing a doctor there as I would have preferred, rather I was the patient. Nice. Tonight in practice I was playing defense and the player I was guarding squared up strong because I was, as instructed, defending her tightly. When she squared up with the ball her elbow met my eyebrow… pop! It hurt some, but it sure was bloody. Just like when I broke my nose, all my teammates gathered round and looked awfully concerned. I never actually have to see all the blood, but they do and they freak out. The trainer taped up my eyebrow after cleaning up my face because it was pretty much painted red. Then I went to the akutmottagning with my assistant coach. There was really no wait at all and I was in the room and numbed up with an anesthetic within 45 minutes of the accident. Fyra (four) stitches because the slice was so lång (long) and I now I am ready to play in the game tomorrow. “Valkommen till Sverige” (welcome to Sweden) joked my coaches.

In addition to an eventful practice, I had shooting practice this morning, visited the And 1 warehouse to choose a pair of sportskar (I picked some grey and white ones), ate lunch in the cafeteria (fisk, boiled potatis, and snap peas), and took the tunnelbanekarta (subway) home to Slussen. It rained all day. And I think if I listen carefull it is still raining now. Best be getting to bed for my first game tomorrow. It’s a home one too! Go 08!!

People I met today: lots, but here is a sampling
- Lauren and Landry. She is from Nashville, went to school in TN (I think), and was the SID at Davidson (in NC). Landry played at 08 and now works in the office/coaches (?). They invited Erin and I to dinner with them on Friday after practice.
- Leila. Used to play, but now works with their outreach program to schools that promotes the 5 core values of the club.
- The trainer who taped me up.
- A woman with two kids: A_ _ _ and Mad_ _ _. I met her husband too.
- Some nice girl in the office who taught me how to say, “how do you say” (I forget though; I better find that paper she wrote it down on for me).
- Met some more people… but can’t think now. Good night.

October 25, 2006 22:28

First game tonight! I’m not even sure of the name of the team we played. I think they had to ride sex hours on a buss to get here. Erin and I took the tram to the game. It was at Alvik (one of the tva clubs that make-up 08; the other club is Frysuset). The court there is like blue rubber and the nets are funny on the ends… sorta frayed so that the ball drops straight down and the net doesn’t catch up on the rim if there is a swish. The uniforms are sweet! They are black and white with sponsors all over. There is one sponsor that is written in red, but the two other largest sponsors in color is written in green! Yay. That makes me happy. Since it was a home game (or at least that’s what I gather), the whole team was announced in numerical order. They turned off the lights and some young girls who play for the younger club teams made a tunnel of sparklers for us to run through. As for the game itself, Anders called me to him during warm-ups to let me know I wouldn’t be starting. There are a couple of the guards that are very good and have been on the team for a long time. Totally fine with me. I feel better about it that way anyhow and am happy he didn’t start me. We played fyra tio-mineuta (four ten-minute) quarters. I didn’t have a very good first half – lots of missed threes. Argh. The team didn’t do great either. Our help defense was horrible. Defense in general just wasn’t good. We were tied 35-35 at half-time and it had been suggested that we should maybe win my 20 points. The other team had one American and a very good shooter. Of course, everyone else was very capable too. Anders was not so happy at half-time, as would be expected. He told us we all needed to step-up and take responsibility. We came out fired up in the second half… Jenny, Mollen, Erin, Agga, and I started the third quarter. We went on a 24 – 8 run (I think that’s what Ander said after the game). We ended up winning by maybe 25 points or so. I actually don’t know the final score. It was so much fun to be out there playing again. The fans were very enthusiastic and all the little girls came running up after the game asking us for autographs. 08 wasn’t so great last year, and Anders said this was the first time in a couple years that everyone watching the game was so enthusiastic and into it. I’m glad we were at least somewhat entertaining. Hopefully they will come back and watch more games .

Tomorrow we have the day off. Erin and I are meeting up with Anders to take a walking tour of the part of Stockholm we live in. I am one subway stop away from Gamla Stan (which is the “Old Town” Stockholm). I haven’t really had much time at all to explore outside around my apartment yet, but supposedly it’s a really desired area. I have a grocery store right between the subway station and my apartment… which literally is located not even a half block away. It’ll be fun tomorrow to explore around the area more. I am going to try to go to bed soon and get on a better sleep schedule. I’ve been not waking up till tio in the moron (10am). I generally love the morning, so I want to change that around. Hmmm. What else. It was cooler today. I had some gloves and a hat out, but I didn’t use them. The cool air felt nice after the game tonight. Oh, I got a cell phone today. Only bought a Swedish plan, so that I’ll have to talk to everybody back home via Skype (go there now,, and get an account. It’s free and then we can talk! I need to get internet in my apt though, right now I have no tv and no internet). Alrighty, that’s all for now. God natt.