Monday, September 15, 2008

Home exchange found!

my niece Allie

After the disappointments with the Swiss family and then the man in Paris, I have to admit that I was getting discouraged about finding a suitable exchange. There didn't seem to be any way that we would be spending the 2008-2009 school year abroad, so we settled on finding whatever we could find, and not worrying about trying to coordinate with the school year. The school doesn't like it, but I don't worry about taking my kids out as long as they are getting equivalent experience and don't fall behind. One year the kids and I went to California with my husband Jon, who was sent for a few weeks of training for his job. All of his expenses, plus a rental car and hotel room were paid for, so we just paid for the extra plane tickets and had a great vacation. I had to help Sara catch up with her homework, but we had plenty of time and she returned to school ahead of her classmates. So when we realized that we might have to take whatever we could get for an exchange, we stopped being so particular about the dates and started having better luck. One Swedish family offered us a month at their place in the summer, but that seemed so short, and so far in the future! Many families wanted to exchange with us over the Christmas and New Year European vacation (they get 4 weeks in practically every European country in December/January!!), and some people even offered us 2 weeks in October (um, no thanks). We finally found a Swedish family with a nice, comfortable house in a suburb of Gothenburg and they offered us either 4 weeks in December-January, or 10 weeks in the summer. Wow, 10 weeks was the best offer we had gotten, and although 10 weeks doesn't sound very long, 2 and a half months sounds pretty great. We decided to accept the exchange with the Swedish family, and they are very nice and the husband speaks perfect English. I like him very much, and we are even going to care for their 2 dogs. He suggested trying to find another exchange that could be consecutive (remind you of anyone?) and so I got started on finding a winter/spring exchange as well. We will be in Gothenburg from May 30 to August 1! The Swedish guy and I have been emailing back and forth to go over details, and I am relieved and encouraged by this good omen: their young son has the exact same birthday as my niece: November 5, 2007! Pretty cool.

1 comment:

bratleynnerw said...

Wow! How awesome for you & your family! It sounds perfect for you & especially for your daughter. With the good omen too about the kids, how can you not go for it? Just an aside, your niece is gorgeous! Have a great time in Sweden. I'm sure your families will miss you, but you just can't passs up a cool opportunity like that.