A new phase

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Drying laundry

Today I pack and prepare to go to Åhus, where I’ll live during the week-days this summer when working in Kristianstad.

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Packing

Since it’s eight weeks, it takes a bit of planning, and yet not that big of a deal since I will be home most weekends.

It certainly is a new phase for us though, to live apart more and for me to work full time.

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Last night's dinner preparations

I have already signed up to work until next February, so it’s a phase or change that’s a bit more long term than we’ve been used to over the past years.

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Some sunny days together

So, again, reminding myself of the changes in life that always come, that anything can happen at any given moment and it’s just to ride along and see what comes.

Scared, excited, humble and grateful.

Love,
Wivan

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Small things that are great

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Midsummer eve

Yesterday was Midsummer Eve, and a lot of Swedes celebrated the light, life and summer.
In the night, after dinner, Anders pampered me with a pillow, blanket, great coffee and chocolate when we sat outside in the shade.

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Ready for a swim

It was one of those moments when it becomes so clear how valuable those small things are, and how useless it is to live in either the past or the future.

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Summer

On Monday I start working at the radio station in Kristianstad again, eight weeks of summer job. And now I have also signed to continue working throughout January next year. Goodness, we haven’t planned this long ahead for ages. But now it’s time, and of course I have had thoughts of “where and when will I find a place to live during work weeks?”, “how will it be to work full time?”, “what will my weeks look like?”.

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Picking Elder-flowers for lemonade

Last night, in the bright summer night under a blanket and with peace inside, I just understood how useless those thoughts are. There are certain things I can do to prepare, but most of “what will it be like…”, is still to experience. There’s no use to think too much about it, because in a few months I will know from experience.

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Chillaxing in the shade

All my life I’ve been wondering what it’s like to have glasses. Now I know, since I’ve got my first pair and have started to practice wearing them. And I guess I could never have imagined it being like it is. So why spend time on it before it’s even happened?

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I feel a lot more good looking than the pictures turn out!

That’s it for now. It’s a wonderful summer day and I am busy enjoying it!
Lots of love and sunshine,
Wivan

One step at a time

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Borrowed from Internet

How do you make a change? One step at a time.

Want to climb a mountain? Take one first step, and then another, and another…

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Everydayawe.com

Reminding myself to let life be a process, nothing to rush or try to arrange in beforehand. There are plans for the fall, thoughts about how I want it to turn out and since I can be a person of action, I would love it to just be a list of things for me to do or organize. But it’s not – there are others involved with timelines and decisions out of my control and I have to just live with it.

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Itsavol.com

For example; we have decided to stay in Sweden at least over the fall, probably longer, and I’ve applied for some jobs. The outcome of that is out of my control at the moment. I did my part, and now it’s just waiting to see what happens.
In combination with that, Anders and I will need a place to stay during the weeks – so we’ve been looking at mobile homes and small apartments online. Nothing to decide on or act on just yet.
But it would be great to know how it all will turn out, what the fall actually will look like. Well, isn’t that what many of us wish a lot of the time?

The problem with having too clear plans or expectations is that we tend to miss the opportunities that show up, or forget how to be flexible and adjust to what is in the moment.

So, let’s take one step at a time and let the path light up bit by bit.

// Wivan

Back together

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Saturday afternoon

After 23 hours of traveling from Frisco, Colorado to Malmö, Sweden, I did a pit stop at a friend’s house before going back home to Anders.
This was a genious move in order to get a headstart on the jetlag. I was alone in my friend’s apartment and simply went to bed early, with ear plugs in and slept rather well till the next morning.
Then I was ok to go on the train to Karlskrona.

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Train ride from Malmö to Karlskrona

After visiting grandma for a couple of hours, I finally went home to Anders. After 3,5 weeks apart it was so nice to get back together!

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Sunday "fika" in the sun

It’s been 18 years since the first time we met (in person), and we’re still excited to live together, to grow and expand as people – and yet we have that core between us, that spark and love that’s kept us together through high and low.

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Beautiful Swedish summer

It’s been a couple of days with long walks, talks and good meals together. It’s two weeks until I start working again, and it’s great to have some time just for us.

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Flowers and rocks

Ciao for now,
Wivan

Before leaving Colorado

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Me and niece E on Mount Royal

Yesterday and today I got to do a couple of hikes, as I had hoped for but not really planned into the non-existing schedule of mine.
Yesterday it was only me, and this morning my niece and I left the house a little after 4 am to see the sun rise over the mountains.

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Before sunrise

Let me say, it’s a bit rough to wake the body up by climbing uphill in the dark at 4.30 in the morning.

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The top of Mount Royal before sunrise

It was so worth it, though!

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We got to wait a bit before we saw Miss Sunshine

And if the climb was a bit hard at times, it’s at the same time a great metaphor for life – sometimes we walk in the dark, only seeing what’s in reach of the headlight. As you continue walking, the light helps you see further and eventually the surroundings lightens up.

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How the sun warms up both people and mountains

This was a great start of the day with many hours of traveling ahead of me.

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Beautiful natural sculptures on Mount Royal

Yesterday I realized how good these three weeks in Colorado has been – every day I have done things that I like, and I’ve gotten to spend my time very freely.

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My day-pack is pimped with some new stuff

Until next time!
//Wivan

When enough is enough

Regarding the money: we will not send you any money. If you are looking for economic help you need to find someone else.

Usually I prefer to be polite and nice when writing letters, but today I had enough and went for the very clear line above.

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We payed for this roof repair

Since leaving Sri Lanka we have kept an e-mail conversation going between us and “our” Sri Lankan family. They asked us for money (€500) to celebrate their New Year in April, and last week we recieved another e-mail where they asked for money to buy a three-wheeler/tuktuk.

Living in the Western world, under circumstances not  possible to compare to how the locals in Weligama live, it was very hard for us in the beginning not to give money every day when we were there. But bit by bit, we learned about the culture, their habits and thought a lot about what actually would help in the long run.
And sorry to say; giving money is most likely not a long-term solution for people in a developing country.

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Some fishing boats are owned by Europeans

When speaking to help-organizations and finding out how they work, it’s seldom money but education that helps over time.
For us, it seemed like teaching English to  locals was a good thing – when they speak better English, it’s easier for them to go into the tourism industry that’s about to boom.

Another thing would be to talk about saving money, to have a small amount at hand when something unpredictable happens (or when the rain period comes, as it does every year). Many people in the villages live from day to day. Regarding teaching people about economy, we got stuck in language difficulties. As we did when having ideas of different ways to make money.
So it seemed to always come back to the language.

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Food market in Sri Lanka

Anyways, today I decided to be very clear about our view of sending money. Usually Anders and I discuss this before sending, but today I just had enough and wrote an answer directly.

We are now realizing why some people asked us in the beginning if these family members were taking such good care of us just because they wanted our money. Many Westerners have had experiences like ours, and ended up giving, giving, giving. And I would prefer to actually help the development in some way, maybe by finding some good material for learning English that we could send them. Perhaps something on DVD so they not only read but also can hear the language.

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The English memory game I made for practice with village girls

Today I practice saying ‘no’ when enough is enough.
//Wivan

The amazing ‘Me before you’

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Me before you

Just got back from the cinema (again), and could go right back and see this film again. Me before you.

It’s based on a book by Jojo Moyes, and since seeing a trailer before it came out, I just knew I had to see it.

I tend to love and be deeply touched by movies, books, songs and podcasts that reminds me of the importance of living while we can. Of treasuring the moments we have, and be with the people we love and care about.

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Live boldly

The actors Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin both do a great job in giving life to the main characters.
The story is catching and touching at the same time as it is a wonderful reminder of… Life. And love.

We were several people crying at the theatre and honestly, I need to sit down in quiet and just be in the feeling of this movie now. Maybe I’ll go see it again tomorrow afternoon. Future will tell!

Love, and lots of life!
// Wivan