Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

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

11 December 2006

Peppermint Bark & Nobel Day

December 10, 2006 5:31pm, 10:24pm

Won the game yesterday, so now our record is 9-2. I think we’re third in the rankings, but that could change depending if a team on the top loses a game before the Christmas break. We don’t have any games now until January, though some of the teams are not finished up yet. Malin and Maddy both had really good games; which was great! I’m so excited Malin did well… she’s a great player and just needed to make some shots to get her confidence back. Maddy is always solid and she helped us a lot by attacking the basket. I didn’t shoot so hot… never have at Fryshuset… don’t know why; I really like the gym. It’s my favorite actually! I just haven’t had a good game there yet; well, maybe for the playoffs! So anyhow, right now, a bit of a game hiatus – a whole month of no games!! We will continue to have basketball practice, morning shooting, and workouts at Klubb Activ, as well. I can only begin to imagine how ready we will be to play a game when that first one in January rolls around!! : )

Wow, right now as I type this I am watching the acceptance speeches of all the Nobel Prize winners. It’s Nobel Day here in Sweden! A really really really big deal (and deservedly, so!!). Is the event aired on television in the states? I hope so. It is awesome. So very inspiring. It’s amazing to think about the impact that these award winners have had on our world via all different subject areas… and to think of the combined effects from all the winners throughout history… wow wow wow. I wish I was at the ceremony in person, but watching it live on-tv (and being in the same time-zone) is pretty special too. I am filled with so much pride as the winners coming from Stanford give their speeches. And, I’m filled with inspiration to go out and make a difference!! May we all be blessed to accomplish only a bit of what these terrifically gifted individuals have contributed to science and humanity, as recognized by being winner of a Nobel Prize.

Anyhoo… make to real life – or at least, my not so impressive life (lol)!! Oh, but wait… I did get a package in the mail. That’s pretty big time ; ) Really though… THANKS ANNE!! The peppermint bark is delicious. I can’t decide if I should bring it to share with my team or labmates or perhaps I should just host a little party at my little apartment. I wish I could be at Stanford right now to see you and thank you in person!

Maybe it’s the nostalgia associated with the holidays or maybe it’s just that I’ve been away from my California home for over six weeks now, but whatever it is, I miss my friends and I miss my family. Don’t worry – I’m not depressed or anything like that at all – but, I definitely am missing people. I just have been so blessed with having absolutely AMAZING people in my life… and I don’t like being apart from everyone! I am very much enjoying meeting new people…. but it’s like that song I used to sing in Brownies: ‘Make new friends, but keep the old. One if silver and the other’s gold!’

Last night I had a chill night with a couple of my teammates. Just what I wanted! I’ve had fun going out a few times now, though sometimes – like last night – it’s nice just to watch a movie and chill. We rented a movie about a very well executed bank robbery and starring Denzel Washington as the detective on the case. Have you seen it? I forget the name (or really, the name on the cover of the dvd was probably written in Swedish, so I don’t know if I ever actually knew the name). Anyway, Denzel’s great to look at – as always! (even though he is getting obviously older) and the strategy of the robbery was quite intriguing.

Let’s see… today I went to church: twice! I went this morning to Immanuel International Church. Still very much enjoying the service there and the people I’m meeting. I invited Lily to meet me there… she is the girl I met at New Life Church and had lunch with a couple weeks back. I’m glad she came to church with me and I think she enjoyed the service too. Listen to this small world… I met a women there who’s sister-in-law went graduated from NFA. Crazy, huh?! (maybe I already blogged about this connection, but I am repeatedly impressed by this). Then, during fika after the service, Lily and I met a couple of people from the UK – both of whom came to Stockholm on short term work projects, but now both have been here for over five years each. One of the guys does consulting (I gave him my contact info because somehow we got talking about kids and babysitting – and he said he had some colleagues that have been looking for a babysitter… oh, maybe I will get to babysit a bit yet! I will not give up hope on getting to hang out with little kids!). The girl works in environmental policy-making… it was a bit unclear to me exactly was she does, even upon me asking more about her job, but regardless of how little I understood of what she was saying, sounds like she has a pretty interesting job – anything involved with environmental policy, I think, would be (ok, that was probably more detail than anyone cares to know). The other service I went to was Catholic Mass! Soooooo good – no, great! – to go to mass. I haven’t been to mass since back at Stanford in MemChu; it was absolutely wonderful to go to mass today. I don’t know why I didn’t research Catholic churches immediately when I arrived here. Oh, well – better late than never. I attended an English mass, though of course there are services in Swedish too. The presiding priest was newly ordained (as in, within the month) and many of the traditional prayers that we sung in mass were played to the same melodies I’ve sung many times before. The congregation here was also very diverse… I don’t think I could identify if there was even a “majority” ethnicity present. The diversity in every international service I’ve attended is one of the elements of worship here that impresses me the most. It’s quite awesome to be praising the same Lord, together with people from all over the world – and not just saying or singing that people from all over give praise to God, but to actually be doing it. Anyway, I think it’s very special and a true testament to the captivating power of Jesus Christ! Maybe I will continue going to church twice on Sundays… the morning service and evening mass are both very different and I love each for unique reasons. Well, I’ll be home for Christmas mass at St. Francis soon enough too!

What else what else… shopped a bit at some more Christmas markets today. I don’t really ever buy anything, though I love just walking around and seeing what it is that other people like to buy. Ventured on the red-line to the “Street” Market at Hornstulls Strand. The stands there were filled not only with jul-time gifts and yummy foods, but the artwork for sale – photography, paintings, beadwork, glasswork, pottery, and more – was beautiful to look at, as well. Additionally, the market was right on the water’s edge and the sun was setting (before 3pm!) while I was there. I tried to capture the magic of it with my camera, though I don’t think the pictures did it justice. I did meet a couple really nice guys at a chocolate stand though. The two guys were selling these fine, handmade chocolates – a family business – and one of them is studying to be a… what do you call it?... wine-guy. Pierre is really into the food and wine scene, while his brother or maybe just friend is studying to be a doctor. They want to come to a basketball game… well, they’re going to have to wait a while! Pierre let me have a chocolate though – I couldn’t decide which kind to choose, so I asked him for his opinion – I personally love dark chocolate, but he suggested I try their Christmastime, white-chocolate, saffron specialty. I’ve never had anything like it, but it really was some of the best chocolate I’ve had.

Well, I could probably go on about other little stories and the such, but my eyelids are getting heavy… going to curl up in my little covers so that I can get up early and go into lab! Want to set some PCR reactions about before shooting practice tomorrow morning. Wow, we’re almost halfway through Advent! Still waiting for the Best to be here!!

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