Monday, August 18, 2008

Starting School in Sweden
The Big girl on the Big Day..... The Big School (with Steiner inspired architechture and old swedish houses)The Big Church that the school shares a parking lot with School
The Big Windmill on the Hill near school
We chose a Waldorf school for the Swedegirl, the Rudolph Steiner Skola in Hardeberga. We like the intentional gentleness and the spiritually inspired approach to childhood at Waldorf schools. We also love that they serve vegetarian meals made from food bought at the the local organic farm (no weird nitrates or food coloring here!). This school runs from preschool to high school. Our girl is in the age 18 months to 4 year group with three teachers and a total of eight children. Next year she will go to the 4-7 group, then could move on to the primary school and high school. This school is part of the regular Swedish school system, so she can attend at no extra cost to us. In the States, Waldorf school would easily cost us thousands of dollars a year.
Swedish preschool is called 'Dagis', and is available to all parents at a no or very minimal charge based on your income. The number of hours you can use a week depends on your situation. I am a student and my husband works, so she can go to the school any hours we choose between 8-4pm. They serve an oatmeal breakfast, two snacks, and lunch. After I stop going to school, I will have the baby be officially registers with the Swedish system as being home on maternity (so they can send me money for it!), and we will be limited to 25 hours of school a week. The amount of time children are allowed in dagis when there is an at- home parent depends on which county/ kommun you live in. Some only offer 15 hours, others like ours, offer 25.
Dagis starts with a period called "inskoling" where the mother stays with the child though the adjustment period. My girl has been in a waldorf inspired home daycare for sometime in Florida, so when I came along for inskoling it made the adjustment time harder for her. It was great for me to observe the school, and to get a feel for the teacher and how things flow. However, she was confused when I stopped coming. It would have been easier if it was clear school is her place, not a place I go to as well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moving in Day...Hoo-ray!!!!
Vacation in Gotland was just a few days after we arrived in Sweden. Before Gotland we stayed at our sister in law's house. I borrowed a few books for our trip, including "The Road" by Courmac McCarthy. It is about a man traveling in a post apocolyptic world with only his young son. Well, after sending our furniture off to Sweden weeks before moving out of our old home, then staying with relatives before and after our transition, then staying in a cabin on Gotland...let's just say "The Road" was way too much like my life to strike a note with me as anything profound. Perhaps it was aggravated by the fact that all this change was happening in my first trimester of pregnancy when the only feeling that is stronger than fatigue is hunger. But I too, felt I had been on the run, scavenging for food (where is the lunch meat without nitrates in this land and why are there so many meatballs?), and sleeping where ever I had a chance to lay my head. It had been just over two months of living on borrowed beds when our furniture arrived and we were finally able to move into our new house!!!
After the move in was complete we went to the local store to stock up on some food. There was a light rain, and a rainbow came out as though Mother Nature herself wished to tell us
~~~~~~~~~~~~WELCOME HOME! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is no place like (our new) Home.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Gotland Medieval Festival Gotland is an island off the coast of Sweden. The largest city is Visby, a walled medieval town. The city is stunning, but it was even more so since we visited during the annual medieval fair. People had elaborate authentic costumes and there was period music being performed through out the city. Booths offered delicious food, and hand made wares of iron, felt, and fur for sale. We were not in the shopping mode, but I was most tempted by sheepskin slippers. We did end up getting really fabulous wooden butter spreading knife, though.
I have more pictures forthcoming, right now they are on the laptop that is waiting to be revived by the inhome tech support man, who has quite a lot on his plate these days...Check back later for more pictures and more Gotland posts!
Botanical Garden in VisbyThe Visby botanical garden was really fabulous, it felt old and full of medicinal secrets. The path we traveled through the city required we walk through the gardens to get anywhere.
Echinacea and Bees!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Day at The Beach, Swedish Style.

We had a great vacation with my husband's extended family on Gotland, and island off the coast of Sweden, in celebration of my Father in law's birthday.

Yes, it was cold. No way I was going in, it was windy and cold!!!
Sister in alwand brother in law agree.