Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

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

21 December 2006

Happy Birthday Noah!!

December 21, 2006 2:09pm

Happy Birthday Noah!! Been thinking about you a lot today and wondering what you are up to. How are you celebrating? Wish I could be there with you. Will see you soon! : )

So, I’ll be flying home in 24 hours! Yay. Thought about trying to fly standby today, but then figured that would complicate the pickup situation – plus, the odds of getting onto a flight at this time of year probably aren’t high. That’s ok that didn’t workout though because it’s been a good day of just walking around and taking in my last bits of Swedish Christmas before leaving for home. And, it’s crazy it out there (at least, in any area with any bit of shopping!!). Went looking for a couple more gifts and, boy, it may be crazier here than at home! In Sweden, people exchange gifts on Julafton (Christmas Eve), so perhaps – technically speaking – there is one less day here to do shopping than at home (though, who really wants to be out buying gifts on Christmas Eve even at home!). Despite the hordes of last-minute shoppers, it’s fun to try to just meander throughout the commotion.

I did have a very quiet experience before walking downtown. This morning I visited Almgrens Sidenväveri och Museet. It’s the last functioning Swedish silk factory, and there is a complete museum telling the “story of silk” in Sweden. I met one of the weavers and she taught me about the technique behind weaving these beautiful silk textiles. I learned about the different steps along the way – it’s quite a long process requiring lots of moths and cocoons – to get the tiniest bit of silk. She said that if all goes smoothly in her weaving, then she weaves about a centimeter of fabric every minute (each centimeter has 80 lines of thread!). She was working on a piece of silk with many little white moose against a rich, blue background. She’s been weaving her whole life, and her mother was a weaver too. After talking with her a bit, I explored the rest of the museum. I was the only visitor there. It was so peaceful just to go about the museum and learn all there is to know about the history of silk in Sweden! I didn’t have any particular expectations for the visit there; I simply picked to visit this museum (for my weekly museum visit) because it’s the first one in an alphabetical listing of museums. Turned out to be a terrific choice!

Now I am going to go pick up a couple packages that arrived today (thank you – whoever sent them – I don’t know yet, but soon will!). Then I have practice at Klubb Activ tonight. Last night was our last bball practice of the year. No more basketball practice with the team until January 2nd. Imagine if we had that kind of break in college?! No way. But, it’s different here. Everyone will stay in shape doing other sorts of workouts and shooting on their own. I think it’s really good to have this break here. Will give everyone time to refresh and be fired up to start again in January. I know we all enjoy playing with each other, but sometimes everyone needs a mental break. I wish we had even more bball practices that we do. So, it’ll be fun to start anew in January and have games too! (too long without games right now : ) ). Alrighty, need to run before the shops close that are holding my packages. Perhaps the next time I write I’ll be home!! Praise God for an incredible two months here – they’ve really flown bye. I’m excited to share my experiences with some of you (in person!) over the holidays, and look forward to returning here for the even colder winter months to embark on some new adventures!! Off now… oh, by the way, today is the shortest day of the year. Here, the sun was up at 8:46am and will be down at 2:48pm. Sounds pretty crazy (at least compared to what we’re used to in the States), but it doesn’t seem that strange when you experience. Maybe I’m just used to it now. I thought the darkness was going to be a much bigger deal. I sorta like it. : ) (though, I do miss the sun too!). Ok, really good bye now. Hej då och god jul!!

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