Chaos day
Wednesday the 28th of September

My phone stopped working on the same night mum came here. Very convenient... but I got in tough with mum through another phone. During Wednesday, me and mum drove around in Kelowna to fix my problem. Some said that I had to buy a new phone because it wasn't the SIM-card that was broken (my phone said that it didn't have a SIM-card in it even though it had). Not an appealing suggestion when my phone is just one year old. Mum got an idea to go to someone that could repair phones. When we got there it took about 20 minutes before he had "repaired" it with a piece of paper in the SIM-card holder to push the SIM-card down somehow. Cost me nothing except a couple of hours.
We enjoyed a well deserved dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory before joining the other girls to watch Kelowna Rockets. Exciting game!

Work in progress!

Peachland, Pincushion Mountain
Friday the 30th of September

A 2 hour hike at Pincushion mountain with mum and Hannah. Lovely weather and views!

The true explorers 1 and 2.

At the top!

Vernon, BX Creek and Falls Trail
Saturday the 1st of October

Me, mum, Hannah and Vivian wanted to see some waterfalls and found a trail outside of Vernon, not that far from Kelowna. When we began walking it turned out that the falls were at the beginning of the trail. After looking at them we continued on the trail and realised soon that you could walk from the other end of the trail as well first, which makes more sense. But what to do. We had an amazing hike in the forest and I realised how much I've missed walking in a forest (Kelowna is in a semi-arid region). I enjoyed it all.

The waterfall and a cool tree beside it.

Hide and seek photography

In the evening, mum and I went to have dinner at Earls Kitchen and Bar. Loved the steak! And of course, the chocolate pudding.

Horseback riding, Myra Canyon Ranch
Sunday the 2nd of October

At 9.00 am, we were ready for a 6 hours horseback riding tour at Myra Canyon Ranch. First we got up to a top to see the view and then back down again with a detour that included galloping! So much speed between all the trees.

On the way to the ranch I felt that it looked like Sweden. Me on my horse thinking I'm a cool cowgirl.

Me and mum with the burnt down landscape in the background.

Ready to eat at a fancy restaurant!

Wine tour, Lake Country
Monday the 3rd of October

Six wineries in approximately 8 hours... well it was an experience but it was enough with three wineries which both me and mum could agree on. In the beginning our interest for what wine it was and how it tased were on top, but later it dropped and then it was more like "This was nice, this wasn't". I know more now then before what kind of grape a prefer which is greaWint!

Winery, outside and inside.

We had company of a couple from the US, so lovely and sweet. Before the tour I was worried about what kind of people it would be with us. I had no need to worry at all, it all turned out perfectly.

A non-organic winery and an organic winery. Seeing the difference?

After much hassle, mum went home to Sweden on Tuesday when I was in school. Got me a bit worried, but as usual it turned out well.

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Thursday, 22nd of September

Night out at Levels after playing volleyball. So much fun with these people!

Rock climbing and camping
Saturday, 24th of September

We went to Skaha Bluffs and rock climbed which I have never done in my life. Looking at the wall was terrifying enough but I wasn't there to watch other people climb it. I had to try as well. My first climb didn't go well at all. I got up halfway of the wall when I slipped with my feet even if I just stood still, but I had a good grip with my hands so I didn't fall. My heart beat fast and I thought that I was fine and could continue. The next second I panicked and didn't want to climb anymore so I got down on the ground again. It felt like I failed because everyone else succeeded to climb up to the top. I didn't want to climb anymore just to fail again (my stubborn and stupid self took over), so I watched everyone else succeed and felt bad and sad. Hannah told me later that the rock I stood on had come loose and fallen down which explains why I so suddenly just lost my grip.

The wall I failed climbing and Hannah when she got to the top.

The view from the top.

But Hannah didn't give up. She was determined to get me up on a wall again so we queued to another wall (it was many people so you had to wait for your turn). When it was supposed to be my turn the instructor at that wall said they were going to close it because it began to get late. Fortunatly for me, I have a friend named Hannah who convinced the instructor to let me climb one last time.

A tired and sad Lovisa preparing to climb once more, just because Hannah said so.

On the way up and..... I made it to the top! It was a happy and content Lovisa that came down. How lucky I am to have a friend who knows what's best for me when I don't.

After climbing, we drove to the camping outside of Penticton. In the evening, Kelownas most famous band (Wild son) performed on a stage at the camp. I would describe them as a rock band with a violin which was amazing!
Bad picture but it's the best one I got.

Now when I've been here for 3 weeks...

... I can conclude that it is very exotic to meet a swedish person in Canada. I get the same reaction every time from different people when I tell them that I'm from Sweden. Everyone goes "Wow" and adds something more to it. And of course, the name Lovisa has to be repeated at the very least two times before people understand how to pronounce my name. The "v" is especially hard to pronounce. You think I should be used to it now, but I get surprised every time that they don't get my name. It's not rock science (haha).



Tuesday, 20th of September

We had lab outside, measuring the elevation. Almost the same as one lab I did in Sweden, but then we also measured the height of the groundwater. We chose our own groups and since it was only 4 girls in my lab, we became a group. Got quite a lot of attention from the boys as well during the lab, a bit annoying because they assumed we needed help which we didn't (or not clever enough to get it...). If we don't ask for help, we don't need any help. Easy!

Wednesday, 21st of September

I'm finished! So happy! And today (Thursday), I got the canvas on as well. It's going to be such a huge painting. Beginning to wonder how I will transport it to Sweden...

And of course I have to pose beside my new, ownbuilt , stunning canvas stretcher!

All you can eat Wednesdays! We went to Montana's to eat lots and lots of pork ribs. So delicious! With different kind of sauces. My favorite was the chipotle and honey one. I strongly recommend it. I ate 2,5 ribs along with ceasar salad and coleslaw (in the picture below) and ended the meal with a smal bowl of vanilla ice-cream!

Thursday, 22th of September

Finally! One machin in the gym that has kg and not only lb. I've tried the treadmill this week and the length is in miles and the velocity in miles/hour... had to convert it on my phone, trying to remember the right digits. So tedious.
In general I'm proud of my self this week for achieving to do work out at least once per day (twice a day when I did powerwalk in the morning, which I've did trhee times this week). Later tonight I'm going to play volleyball with our team called "Vodkanagan". Half of our team are Australians and one of them named the team. It's good that we're not that serious and do it most for fun. Otherwise I wouldn't have fit in.

This weekend I'm going rock climbing! Looking forward to it! Such a newbie.



Thursday, 15th of September

During the painting class we started to begin to build our own canvas stretcher, which is for me just wow. It's the frame which the canvas cloth will be stretched on and later become a painting. In other words, I'm going to do a painting from scratch! Pictures of work in progress. Still not finished.

In the evening, me Hannah and Vivian went to a henna party at our RA (resident assistent). We thought that we would get there and after a while get a henna, but it ended with me doing 6 or 7 hennas on other people there. First time I ever have done henna. I'm quite proud of my self. But our RA who was the one who have done henna before, she was so delicate with her henna painting and it was so beautiful and neat. We used henna with no chemicals in it so therefore it wasn't that black when we washed of the overflowing colour (look at my dragon in the corner which is a couple of days old).

Here are some of my creations. The right ones are on myself. (Of course I chose a dragon. Could have chosen a flower as well, but no).

Friday, 16th of September

We rented a boat and went wakeboarding and tubing for 4 hours. So much fun! I was the only one who didn't speak english as my first language. I thought it was funny though. I only did the tubing (a ring that you climb onto) but Hannah tried the wakeboard and was successfull the third forth time! Didn't take a single picture of it...

In the evening, we ate at The Old Spagetti Factory. Delicious!
Hannah was excited about her drink.

Divide lake with VOCO, 17th-18th of September

We began the day with an hour drive to the foot of Okanagan Mountain. During the first part of the 12 km trail it drizzled which was fine. I could still enjoy the hike, but after a while it started raining and blowing. I felt miserable, because I was soaking wet and my muscles were screaming as soon as the slopes got a bit too steep. When Hannah and I eventually came to the lake (almost at the top) after 5 hours, it had stopped raining. We made it to the lake! First thing first and we started to build our tent which we got together after some thinking. Cold and tired, we desided to take a dip in the lake to get rid of the sweat and dirt. Everyone elsesaid we were crazy and brave. Anyway, it was really refreshing and such a good feeling when I got my dry and clean clothes on. The other ones in VOCO (a union which arranges hiking trips for example), had started a fire which we spend the whole evening around. I didn't sleep much that night. It was blowing and raining, and it almost felt like the tent would fly away. When the first light came, I went to sleep...

The bginning of our hike, and the view at the top of Okanagan Mountain (so many rain clouds!)

Around nine, me and Hannah went up and had breakfast. No rain, some clouds and the sun greeted us. What a lovely day! After getting ready we started to walk down again. Our legs didn't hurt as much as we thought they would do.

Our tent, two early birds (or not...) and Divide Lake.

Just going down is not so pleasant either. I wished several times during the hike down that we could get a small uphill here and there so my knees could have a rest.

Two happy girls on the way down with amazing views.

The view on the way down and the view when we finally came down again after 3 hours! Hannah walking uphill.



Myra Canyon, 10th of September

We went by car to Myra Canyon which isn't far from Kelowna (you can see Kelowna in the picture below in the distance). It's a 12km trail around the canyon one way and we rented bikes to get to the other side and back again which took approximately 3h (including lunch and breaks for some photoshooting).

And then we went into the tunnel...

To get around the Myra Canyon, there are bridges made by wood which was quite amazing to see. The bridges give the landscape more character than it already has (even though I usually prefer landscapes "untouched" by humans).

The crew! Hannah, Olivia and me.

Hannahs birthday, 11th of September

After a night out, we woke up happy and energetic. We made pancakes for breakfast with nutella, strawberries and vipped cream. Then we surprised Hannah with a present (not the lovely flowers or balloon in the picture).

Todays shopping, 14th of September

Instead of buying books for a course (which I've done for my other courses), I got a material list from the painting class which felt a bit like I was going to the Diagon Alley in Harry Potter to buy everything on my list. It was expensive and I ended up with not buying everything I needed either... Fun with painting but sooooo expensive.

In the evening I had a mandatory safety class to get premission to work in the woodshop (we're going to make our own canvas stretchers etc. so cool!). During all the talk about the safety with all types of machins (mostly saws), we made our own pencil box. Pictures of "work in progress" and when it's finished and also looks like a coffin...



After a 20h flight to Kelowna on three different aircrafts with almost no food and draughty inside, I woke up the next morning with a cold. I had to buy food of course, and that's what I did that day beside laying in my bed. Not the best day exactly. But I got better and could almost enjoy the introduction day for exchange students, the day after.

The left picture is from the aircraft, crossing the Rocky Mountains.
The right picture is from the top of campus looking over the valley.

I live on campus with three other girls, all exchange students from Australia, Hong Kong and China. We share kitchen and two bathrooms. So far so good! It's so close to every building in campus and the gym. I think I will enjoy it very much here.

In the left picture you can see my residence. Living on the second floor with a balcony!
The right picture shows how my room looks like.

Yesterday was my first day having classes. All my lecturers seem to be nice, but it was just an introduction to every course.
During the time I've been here I've gotten the same reaction from several people when I tell them I'm from Sweden. They just go "WOW!" with different kind of faces. It feels like I'm a rare species that they never have seen. So weird and fun in the same way. My teacher in my painting class introduced me to everyone, telling them that I'm an exchange student from Sweden. I guess it's because I'm the only exchange student in the class. I felt like I was back in high school again, but it didn't matter. My teacher took good care of me.

Today I took a walk behind campus in an area with trees and I saw the sign to the left. I didn't see any bears, only a really cute chipmunk. I've seen lots of people walking and running through the area so I think I will be just fine as long as I don't walking there at night. It's so close to campus and there is a golf course and a farm around it. It seems weird why this area would contain lots of bears. The rest of the day we spent on the beach, bathing and getting tanned in the sun (me, my roommate Hannah from Australia and Olivia from England).



To Kelowna of course!

In the very far southwest of Canada with a population of 180 000 located in the Okanagan Valley, on the Okanagan lake, there can you find Kelowna. Surrounded by mountains, I can't think of a better place for me to do my exchange studies. And it is not a huge city either. In other words, perfect for me (even though it wasn't my first choice, or second, or...). I really don't know why I only applied for exchange studies in much larger cities in the first place. Lucky for me it didn't go as planned.

And the most critical question (when you go to Canada and winter is coming), How cold does it get there? I researshed for half an hour to be sure I got almost the same results every time. Actually, it is almost the same temerature as in the area of Stockholm in Sweden, even a bit warmer. My suitcase is extremely grateful for it. Maybe it's time for me to prepare for the long journey that starts 8.00 Sunday 4th of September. Can't wait! It's going to be so exciting!