Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Beware the Swedes are Crazy!"

I am back from Stockholm, Sweden!

So after Tallinn, Estonia my group crossed the Baltic Sea over to Stockholm, Sweden. It is freaking cold and windy and I don't like cold and windy, just in case you were wondering. :)

We stayed at the "Quality Globe Hotel" next to the Globe, which is the largest spherical building in the world (I really think they wanted to make sure we could find it, at night it glowed red from the lights.)

I'm only going to tell you about one of the visits we made here because it was the best and the others weren't really that exciting...

We went to a "preschool" that was for children from birth up to age 7 and it was a Reggio Emilia school, which is based of a man from Italy who believed that during this time in life children are developing their identity and should learn through exploration.

When we got there they came outside and took a group photo of us and within minutes their were posters up with this photo on it to welcome us to the facility and to let the children know that the visitors were there. We went inside and removed our shoes (custom for over here because of the snow) and the children walked us to our seats.

Then two precious little boys (about 5 yrs old) handed us each a coffee cup, poured us coffee or tea, add milk if we wanted it, and gave us each a cube of sugar along with a cookie.

We were then given three different performances: we saw a ballet dance by five little girls, saw a free style dance (to Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas) by three little boys, and a belly dance performance by five more little girls. It was so freaking adorable!

After Neville (the owner from Australia, picture and Australian English accent with a twist of a Danish English accent...amazing) gave us a few minutes of a lecture about the principles, values of the school he let us roam free and go see the place.

About two seconds after walking into the first room (mind you the kids just roam where ever they want) a little boy came up to me a stole my camera...yes he stole my camera. I kinda just followed him around to see what he was going to do, since there was no possible way to speak to him. He walked around and took about 50 pictures of the place, it was really neat because then I could see the place through his eyes: what he thinks of as important and what he loves. I would post pictures but since there are pictures of children in them I am not allowed to post them on the internet. Sorry :(

One of the most interesting things that I learned about this school is that there is a total of 62 languages known by the children combined. For example the little boy who stole my camera could speak five different languages, too bad one of those five wasn't English.

Well that's all I've got for Sweden...it kinda felt like a bigger Copenhagen with a little bit of an Americanized touch. Oh, but before I end I must add that while I was here I got a bruise...probably the biggest bruise I have ever gotten and is about the size of a honey pomelo because I fell down the lovely stairs that are between the Globe and the hotel...hurts so bad :(

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