This time round I decided to go and experience life in the Arctic. Not just as a tourist, but as a volunteering igloo builder. Also not just when it is cold, but also the full extend of polar night. I remember before I left for Sweden, I read up about the extreme weather and season I’ll be exposed to. So in the mornings I will tell myself of five things I liked about myself and in the evenings I’ll be thankful for five things I experienced that day. (Now I am wondering about the use of the words morning and evening when it is just one dark moment?) These reflective moments kept my self esteem high and my thankful tank full. It helped alot. But so did taking small tea breaks. Not sure of the facts but just to keep all your vitals warm your body burns up so much more energy in ave -20 deg C. Many days I only ate once a day, and after a few of those I could feel my energy levels compromised. Problem is you just do not get hungry. So I tried joining the other staff for a fika or two daily. Which just means a tea or coffee break in Swedish. It did wonders.
Breaking the contant darkness we had these late sunset type pink clouds and sky for about an hour daily. It was something very special to witness, and awaiting the aurora borealis made up for the abandoned feeling of the sun. As well as these fascinating beautiful pearly purple clouds, or the chrystal pillars when the temperature dropped below -30 deg C. I saw the northern lights about every day. Purple, green and pink dancing flames. My favourite was to watch these through the sauna window while my Swedish colleagues be pumping some dance music hits with each a sauna beer in the hand. Singing along, changing all the words to something ‘aurora’, and then taking a break from the 90 deg F heat inside with a viking bare bum snow roll outside.
Working with compact snow has been one of my most favourite experiences of my life. I learned so much in this short amout of time and hope to have some more of these experiences in the future.