I almost never write about my home country, Sweden. I thought I should do that too, in case someone is interested in what we have to offer here. ;)
Last weeks I’ve been in Flen, in Södermanland. A small town with about 6000 habitants. It’s just about 2 hours drive from Stockholm.
I’ve been actually working in the kitchen on a confirmation camp with the Swedish Church. And not any confirmation camp at all. One that is open to all kind of people, they don’t care about chromosomes as they say. So there are people with some kind of handicap, like autism, downs syndrome, adhd, or just nothing at all.
” Confirmation is a rite of initiation in several Christian denominations, normally carried out through anointing, the laying on of hands, and prayer, for the purpose of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit. (…) In Christianity, confirmation is seen as the sealing of the covenant created in Holy Baptism. ”
On our way down, we stopped to buy some food. We had a very small car, and very much food… So started our 2 hour roadtrip like this:
I’m myself not confirmated, not even baptised. But if I had been, I would have liked to attend to this camp when I was about 14 years old. It is beautiful, they do many fun activities (like their own t-shirts, cups, bookmarks, go kayaking, hiking etc) and they sing a lot. It’s very cozy.
Here in Sweden they are protestants, and I’ve learned a lot about ”our” religion during this time. I don’t consider myself of any religion though, but I think this one is the fairest inside the christianity. Our priest at the camp is for example a homosexual woman, married to the bishop of Stockholm. So yes, in this religion, it is ok to be who you are. It’s fantastic. I grew up in Spain where they are catholics, where women can’t be priests, where priests can’t get married, where the church think being homosexuality is not ok.
I am proud of Sweden.
I got the job through a friend of mine, and I worked together in the kitchen with my boyfriend Duilio and a girl named Alva. We worked two weekends here during spring, and now 3 weeks during summer, then 1 more weekend in autumn. It’s a big sort of ”conference center” in Flen. Quite an outdated center, but on a nice location, just by a lake and with surrounding green forest and horse pastures.
After 2 weeks my cousin Jose from Barcelona came to visit, his first time in Sweden. He helped us in the kitchen too. He was quite serious in the beginning, everything must have been so new and weird for him. Not only to come to Sweden, which has another culture then Spain, but also to this camp, with this religion, all kind of different people and different rules. We eat early compared to Spain, breakfast at 8.30, lunch at 12, and dinner at 17.30. He eats dinner about 11-12pm! Haha. Total change!
For example, before and every meal, we sing a song (something to thank the lord for the food or alike). If someone wants to say something, they raise their hand, and when you see someone with their hand up, you stop talking and raise your hand too, until everyone has their hand raised and is quiet. First time it happened with Jose he exclaimed ”Que pasa?!” (What is happening?!) haha.
We had to prepare breakfast, lunch, fruit-time, dinner and afternoon snack for about 40 people everyday. We worked from 8am to 8pm, and every 2-3 days went to the supermarket after that to buy lot’s of food. (About two supermarket trolleys full every 2-3 days).
We only got two days vacation in 3 weeks, on the 17th and 18th day. We were completely exhausted. Both me, Alva, Jose and Duilio. We got a small cabin just about 100 metres away from the camp, lovely cabin, where we really enjoooooooyed our time off. SO MUCH!!!!
When we finished of dinner we went to the supermarket to buy some food, alcoholfree beer (not allowed with alcohol on the camp, but really wanted a beer), chips and chocolate. We went down to the lake for a fika, and then when the mosquitoes were eating us to much, back to the cabin where we played cards and kept eating unhealthy things until late, and next morning we slept until 11am. HEHE!
Next day, after a good nights sleep we went on a small trip to Katrineholm (a close-by city with about 60.000 habitants).
We visited super cool and super big antique shop, had some ice-cream in town and went to a nice bathing area where I took my first swim in the Swedish water since like 5 years back. Then went back to town for a nice meal (I had veggie nachos) and then back to the camp, just doing nothing.
Our last day (and second day) of vacation, we went to another bathing area just about 5 minutes drive from the camp, supernice! Me, Jose AND Duilio jumped in the water, and even from the diving tower! Had a blast, ate pie and had a whole day of just sun and swedish summer.
When we got back it was time to pack our things up to move back to our small rooms by the kitchen, and go to the supermarket to shop for the remaining days of the camp.
The last 4 days passed by quickly and easily, we had a big buffet on the confirmation day for 130 people, but we got catering from the supermarket so we could manage that. That day I walked over 14km just inside our walls!! Not strange I felt so tired in my legs in the evening, haha.
Our last day was this sunday, we cleared out all the food that was left, cleaned the kitchen, or rooms, and left around 15. Then in the evening we were invited over to the priest Gunilla for some drinks and a great dinner. Sweet end of the camp!
Anyhow, now I’m back to my regular job at Ljud och bildmedia. Working 8am to 5pm and since it’s summer and vacation time, we barely have any customers, it is very cool. But in a little bit then one week – then I have vacation – and I’m going to Spaaaain!!!! I haven’t been there in 2 years, so I’m really looking forward to it now!!
A few more pictures: