Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

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

14 December 2006


December 14, 2006 10:38pm

The days sure are flying by! In a week from now, I hope by now I’ll be all packed to fly home!! But until then… I’m going to enjoy the Swedish Christmas spirit : )

Yesterday was Lucia Day, and though I still do not completely understand the traditions, the different events I went to were uniquely beautiful. No one seems to explain to me exactly what Lucia day is all about (I could just look it up!), but generally… this is what I’ve heard: Lucia was an Italian girl. For some reason or another, she was killed (and burned to death?!). Anyway, the holiday has something to do with the “bringing of light into the darkness.” Therefore, whatever girl is chosen to remember Saint Lucia must wear a crown of burning candles – light in the darkness!

I attended a Lucia Concert in one of the churches in downtown Stockholm… Swedish carols and Lucia songs were song by children from a prestigious city music school. The boys and girls both wear long white gowns. The boys wear white, pointy caps – some with stars on them. The girls wear red ribbons about their waists and green wreaths on their heads. Of course, Lucia wears the crown of candles – real burning candles a top her head! It’s pretty amazing. I have a few pictures… not too many, and they are a bit blurry (I didn’t want to use my flash in the early morning concert at the church), but still they can give you a sense of what I saw. I attended the concert with a group of girls who work at Fryshuset… they were all excited to go to the concert and celebrate the day in a traditional manner… of course they all had their own favorite songs that they remembered from childhood when they too were dressed up for the holiday. After the beautiful concert in the church at 7:30am, we grabbed some breakfast, then headed to Fryshuset to see the Lucia performance put on by the high school kids. This was more of a modern dance, hip-hop, rap show about the holiday. What would be expected of high schoolers!! Everyone has their own way of celebrating : )

That afternoon Erin and I were asked to coach a team of 11-year-old girls. That was really fun! Except, haha, they were so quiet! Before we started they were laughing and loud and just goofing around. As soon as we started coaching, you could hear a pin drop. Eventually we were able to get some of the girls talking and even joking around a bit. I really enjoyed our time with them. I couldn’t help thinking of when I was 11 and playing basketball… Mr. Bailey, Team Connecticut, Saona, Jess Allen, Brittany, pork and bean dinners on hotel roofs, Cheese Champs!!… lots of special memories : )

Let’s see… what else… been in lab a bit. No real updates there. Still good though. And, still thankful for everyday that I show up there, for the opportunity to be doing real research, and probably mostly for the chance to be working with and learning from such a diverse group of knowledgeable people.

Working on doing some Christmas shopping. Hope I can bring everything back through customs! Am getting excited to come home, though I wish I could snap my fingers and be all over other parts of the U.S. too!! Anybody have any suggestions on what I should do when I go to Grenada? I need to get some tour books for there and start doing some research! Yay yay yay.

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