Meet Laura Fagerlund. Laura is a Vice President of IFLRY and a Council member of the Swedish Youth of Finland. She is currently living in South Africa, where she is doing an internship with the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance. In her blog, Laura gives you a first-person account of what it’s like for her to live and work halfway around the world in a country that couldn’t be more different from her native Finland. Want to be notified when Laura writes a new blog post? Then sign up to our dedicated newsletter.
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The last two weeks have been filled with social events and a lot of work. It has been quite hectic, but really fun.
I did my first hike in Cape Town. It was definitely time for one, since I’ve already been here for two months. Cape Town is well known for its dramatic mountainous backdrop enclosing the central area of Cape Town, the so-called City Bowl, and hiking is a common activity. A Monday afternoon me and three friends hiked up Lion’s Head, a mountain between Table Mountain and Signal Hill that peaks at 669 meters. The hike was quite challenging, and we had to climb some parts of it. It was a good workout though, and we relaxed on the top of the mountain while watching the sunset before finally heading down. I will definitely hike more while I am here, the view is amazing!
Last Sunday me and some friends went to Noble Vice: a one day wine and food market in Woodstock, a vibrant suburb combining a village atmosphere with a sense of inner-city living. 30 winemakers and 6 chefs had their own stands, where you could taste and test the food and wine. This is obviously something that would be very expensive in many parts of the world, but thanks to South Africa’s amazing wine regions, you have the possibility to experience these kinds of events without using all of your savings. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The highlight of the last two weeks was definitely my birthday. I usually don’t celebrate it, but this year my housemate and our friends surprised me with both gifts and a birthday dinner! I can’t believe I am so lucky to have found such an amazing group of friends here – I will definitely remember my 25th birthday for a long time. At work, we celebrated with sweets and in the evening a group of friends surprised me with a dinner (including balloons and cake, it was amazing!).
Work has been busy, too. The Democratic Alliance (DA) International Office is helping IFLRY to organise the General Assembly (GA) in Cape Town. Since I am working at the DA and also a Vice President of IFLRY, I have naturally been involved in the preparations. After several hotel visit and negotiations, we have decided on a hotel for the GA, and I am beyond excited! There is a lot of work to be done before the GA, but working at the office of a co-organiser is definitely helpful. The following months will definitely be filled with a lot of GA preparations – and I love it!
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Laura Fagerlund is a Vice President of IFLRY and a Council member of the Swedish Youth of Finland. She just finished a degree in Political Science at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. You can contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @laurafagerlund