Many people prefer calling me Mark since it’s the Name on my Passport, however Mark Gerald suits me more I guess… Born and Raised in Uganda though, from a small Fancy Island of Seychelles socked in the Indian ocean, So Why Sweden ….????? I have not had a conversation with any one in Sweden and they miss this big question, however before they jump to that I always ask them why Jönköping.
Anyway, coming from a tropical country, where everything is natural and not ecologic, I set out for an expedition I never thought would ever happen. 12 degrees Celsius was so cold for me when I landed at Arlanda in October, and some people were putting on shorts, I got scared but they say a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step and I can do it now as well.
Cultural shock hit me so fast in my hey days, supermarkets closing early and it got worse when I had to take cola and Fanta for 2 weeks I didn’t know the water was good to drink from the tap, in Africa we either buy or boil water. My greatest regret is missing the kick-off, so had to quickly fit in now, had to make friends, but my question was how?????? One of my first friends Lars brought the best idea of Bar hopping, little did I know that all goes till 2:00AM in the night. Traditionally in Uganda, till you see the sun, you don’t get away from the bar or meet some people out but the next Monday. I was so excited when I saw a couple of them only to ask me where we would meet, I froze, but had to gather up myself and melt, day in day out I started to know how things work in Sweden.
December 5 I saw my first snow flakes, damn I was super excited and couldn’t wait for the huge snow to fall, little did I know my wish was to be granted in 10 days. A lot of it fell and yes, being my first, we went out snow ball fighting in my place of residence, without gloves, I enjoyed it so soft and pure white, made my first snow man and maan I felt good. Little did I know that my hands were going to hurt me, at the end of it I went home, stupidly opened the hot water and dipped in my hands. You can guess the horrible feeling I got, learning is a continuous process for sure. Tried ice skating and till to date, after I fell down, I have never tried it again, however, this winter, I am in for it I have to learn it, what will I tell my family when am back home.
I met lots of people in the spring semester, including my awesome flat mate Mauricio, we blended in so well, he introduced me to a couple of crazy but awesome Americans and Germans who Baptized Me Mark the God Father because we had the best pre party in Råslätt. I played futsal and on turf for my first time, come on we have natural grass in Uganda and the only turf surface is reserved for national football team.
Mark is a person who loves to work and organize events, so what happens? The biggest challenge was to organize the annual JIBS Entrepreneurship challenge. It was a challenge for me as well, since I was recruited a few days before the real challenge. It lasted 3 days and we had to market it, that was when I realized it’s not easy to only talk to people and convince them to participate in an event , but also tell them there will be 1 liter of free beer at the mingle and a cash price for the winners. Because that’s when you will have people’s attention
I love to meet people and I meet awesome people through this forum and was lucky to organize it for the second time in a row. During this, I mingled with JSA so much and their presidents as well as the one from JTH(engineering school). This has increased my desire to aspire for the presidency one day to inspire the great students of mighty JIBS ….