Joplin is not home, but it works

Kristin Wilfing - Director of Photography

Kristin Wilfing – Director of Photography

This could be fun, or maybe not, a Swedish photographer writing a column. I don’t usually communicate with words, but through photos. And compared to this, that’s easy, just point and shoot! More important, they are universal and can be read and understood by anyone, a universal language, preferably in black and white.

This is my second semester at Missouri Southern. It’s my second home, but I’m still learning new things and experiencing cultural differences every day. I often get the question what I like about the United States, and Joplin, and why I decided to come here. To be honest I really don’t know. It was somewhat a spur of the moment thing.

I took a class in graphic design online through my school, Mullsjö Folkhögskola, and I loved it. Six of us came here in April 2005, and when Dr. Chad Stebbins asked me to take photos for the Chart, I couldn’t resist. I had to come back for one full semester.

I almost changed my mind though, when the man who interviewed me for my visa at the American Embassy in Stockholm asked me why I wanted to go to Joplin, if I didn’t have higher standards than that… I am glad I didn’t!

I have learned and experienced so much during my time here, not only about graphics, but also about myself. I have learned to appreciate my country and the things I took for granted, like public transportation, for example.

If I wasn’t walking back home, I could always jump on the bus or train and go anywhere anytime. Here I am instead dependent on my sweet friends to take me where I need to go. Thanks!

And the food, I miss it, dark break, my favorite cheese and salt licorice. On the other hand, I really missed the grilled cheese and ranch dressing during summer in Sweden. I am still fighting the cafeteria to get me breakfast cereals without marshmallows and sugar.

But most important; I have learned that no matter where you live, we are all the same. I have found beautiful friends here, people who I now consider family. You all make it easier the days I miss my family and my friends back home.

The day I leave will be a sad, sad day. Thank you for welcoming me into your country and your life!

I will be glad to do the same for you one day!