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Riga, Russia and all that jazz March 5, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.

A friend of mine, a Russian foreign student in Uppsala translated the above as: “Welcome, to all international students!”. Or something like that. First the bad news, I’m not going to Kiruna. I was pretty excited to go but the times others could go just didn’t work out with my classes, such is life. Second, the good news is that next week Tuesday I will be going with Ryan, Meg and Ryan’s little brother (whose name escapes my memory) to Riga. “Where is that?”, you ask, why in Latvia of course! This capital city is one of the largest cities in the Baltic states (Tallinn and Vilnius the others) and I’m really excited to take a look. We will only be there for roughly 8 hours but that should give us time to explore the highlights and get back on the boat. I also found out today that I got off the waiting list for Russia and am going for sure, which is of massive excitement to me. I never really thought I would make it to a place like Russia in my lifetime and going with an established student travel group puts my mind at ease much more then if I tried to go alone. We will be going to St. Petersburg and Moscow and should have time to explore both thoroughly. The picture below is of a famous Lenin statue in Seattle (Fremont) quite close to where I go to church. Sigh…what to do with those crazy granola-crunching communists in the NW 🙂 …it should be a real treat to see Lenin, the man in person.

School is good and my group in class is making good progress on a research project focusing on how immigrants in Sweden feel about the quality of their health care. Naturally as a foreigner in a foreign place discrimination is (sadly) unavoidable and we want to take a look at how that could effect the quality of care, at least in the minds of those who receive said care. I get to visit a big SFI (svenska för invändrare) class where new immigrants first learn Swedish and hand out my short questionnaire. I’ll let you know what we find out when the data is analyzed.

The weather in Sweden is sloppy – sometimes a little snow and sometimes rain. Thankfully a good deal of snow has already melted and I can already start to see (or maybe its blind optimism…) signs of Spring time in the air. I hope you are with me when I say “I can’t wait for summer to come”. Have a great week people.



1. Mark - March 6, 2007

Ah, good ol’ Lennon. Still no one has run with my idea to chalk his beard and put a red hat on him during Christmas….if you want some thing done right…….anywhooo like I said today I think it’s great that you’ll be on your way to Russia! I can’t wait to see the pics…btw the weather here in Seattle is AWESOME right now…warm, sunny, smells like Spring turning to summer already. Another month and I could be out tanning! Just thought I’d rub it in. 🙂

2. Brendan - March 8, 2007

In Soviet Russia, blogs comment on you.

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