Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gislaved VK's Foreigners Talk About Their Time in Gislaved and Sweden

Playoffs await. Värnamo Nyheter sat down with GVK's three foreign professionals to gauge the feelings.
GVK's pros during their interview with Värnamo Nyheter
Three professionals, two homelands. For Americans Rafdal and Sherman and Brit Dyakiewicz, it has been a big change to move to Sweden

VN sat down with them to hear their thoughts about their new homeland.

How is it to play and live in Sweden and Gislaved?
Lauren Rafdal: It's different. The atmosphere is different. I like that everyone cares. People wonder when our next game is and how it went last time.

Meghan Sherman: It's not a huge amount of people in our age. For us, coming out of college,  where we tend to be surrounded by people of our age, this is really different. Everyone here has a family, either parents or sambo. It makes us miss our own family. When you are at university, the team is your family. Here, everyone has their own family. So if we three aren't together, we spend our time alone.

LR: Everything she said, I agree.

Everyone laughs.

MS: It's pretty tough to mentally keep at it all the time when our whole life revolves around volleyball, and it is not the same for anyone else here.

LR: But that's why we are here, too.

What were your expectations in Sweden before you came here?
MS: I thought that everything would be what you [Swedes] think about Alaska: wilderness and wildlife. And moose, everywhere! I have been here for three years and still have not seen a moose!

LR: I thought it would be more snow. But I have heard that this has been one of the mildest winters you had.
MS: And the Northern Lights ...

LR: Yes! I thought that I would get to see those too.

MS: I was so disappointed.

LR: I thought everyone would be blond with blue eyes too.

Dyakiewicz sits quietly so I turn to her with the same question.

AD: When I came here the first time I thought, "What is this place?". Coming from London to this. But my second year, I was used to it and know what to expect.

MS: I'm from Florida. I lived ten minutes from the beach. I hate to wear socks and shoes. This is the longest time I've worn pants in my life. At home I can sometimes wear shorts at Christmas.

LR: I went to college in the snowiest part of the United States, so I know about snow.

AD: And I went [to university] in Canada so there was a lot of snow too.
Enjoying a day off in Halmstad
What's the oddest you have encountered?
LR: It is strange that everything closes on weekends. It's not the weirdest thing, but it's definitely odd. At home, you can go to any store you want 24 hours a day.

The discussion continues with, among other things, alcohol prices, even if they are reluctant to name just alcohol, and maternity leave.

LR: I'm surprised that you get a year's maternity leave. We get three months. Although not a concern, ha ha. And you get five weeks of vacation. We only get one.

Are you serious?
MS: Yes. Do not move to the US to work.

Everyone laughs again. The discussion continues about including churches and religion before we get into the playoffs waiting. I ask Anna about when they knocked out Engelholm later.

AD: We stuck to the game plan. EVS led with two matches but we won anyway.

Won you not 3-1?
AD: Really? Maybe I'm confused. Haha. But whatever so we were down. When it counted, we managed to beat them.

They look forward meeting Engelholm again.

AD: We were close to them in the last set we played against them at home. It's clear that we just keep better and better.

LR: Playoffs are always exciting. You prepare throughout the season for this final exam, and the playoffs are the exam!

Now we wait to see whether GVK can obtain a maximum score on the test.

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