Southern California, where the sun always shines

Hi everyone,

After I left Colombia, I travelled to Peru and then back home to Stockholm for a few days. After Stockholm, I spent a little time in Northern California, resting and preparing for the move, school and all of that. I got the keys to my new home that I am renting here in San Diego, on August 26th. Since then, the days have passed so quickly and I cannot believe that I have already been in school for almost 1 month!

It is exciting and very interesting to be back in school, but I will be honest with you; at times it terrifies me that I am back “behind the desk”. It has been so long and my memories of back while doing my undergraduate are not my fondest memories. Then again, I know that it is different this time. University of San Diego is a beautiful and committed school and (so far) it feels absolutely right to be here, at this school and in this program.

What else? Well, it is quite overwhelming with all new information, information and then some more information. Also, to feel so limited in a lot of things I do here due to not being an American citizen. I am really a..foreigner here. And it gets frustrating at times but it is certainly a great way of gaining new perspective of a different kind.

Also also – prior to and when I moved here, I was convinced that I would only own a bike – I wanted to be healthy, active, environmental and save money. After merely 1 month here, I have realised that the distances in Southern California (I have never lived in the US and A before) are…funny. Yes, I say funny because I do not really get it – a little ride from destination A to B that takes you 12 minutes without trafic – seriously takes you 1 hour by bike or almost 2 hours by foot. REALLY?! And yes, of course there are other alternatives as buses, trams/trolleys – but they are not the most effective ones either. First of all, how long does it take one to get to the tram station =)..and then…1 hour on those different transportations, and by car, 10 minutes. Need I say more? I have started looking at car ads. Mostly because I am looking at different volunteer locations and they become quite limited without a car, it is also not only the distance but the non-gentle bicycle routes — not really like back home in Stockholm.

I am still working with Nepal from a distance and the boys at the Monastery have had many amazing volunteers this year, the best thing is that they have had many long-term volunteers (10-12 weeks) which is so great. I am also still in discussion to try and co-ordinate a plan for building a new sleeping area for the boys. I knew that it would take time and I knew it would be difficult, so far all of those hunches have been validated. It will most probably not be ready in a while.

My art? I recently finished and sold a painting that was ordered already back in April. Now, I am waiting for my boxes to arrive (on Friday!) so I can get my easel, paints, and brushes – cannot wait! While I was in Colombia I made some prints that I was going to update the blog with, unfortunately the art is stuck there due to customs and my friends need to validate that the art is not Colombian art leaving the country illegally. Hopefully I will be able to have it here with me within 1 month or so.

I woke up very early this morning (in the middle of the night) and I wish I could say it is jetlag but it really is not haha. However, since 2 weeks back, I have been sleeping quite poorly (this has not occurred for years) and I am thinking that there has been a lot of changes that have taken place and I am trying to get used to it all. I need to figure out a way to get used to it soon but since I am up, it is time to do some reading.

Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
– Andy Warhol