Laila with two homes

Laila Karlsson from Sweden has been working as an anaesthetic and intensive care nurse at the Kirkenes Hospital since 1988. “I have two homes, one in Sweden, and one in Kirkenes. I see them as equal and I´m just as happy when I go back to Sweden as I am when I come back here”. Laila is also a professional traveler, heading next to Fiji and Australia. This adds the ‘extra glow’ into her life, as she puts it. Her choice of becoming a nurse has been with her ever since she was a child. “I have always said I would like to work with sick children and with people. It has always been that way and there was never a question what I was going to do.”

When she retires in a couple of years time and move back to Sweden, it is the people she will remember most fondly; the open and friendly atmosphere amongst the colleagues, and how warm and welcoming they are. And then it´s the nature. “I could even stay just for the reason that I could look out of my living room window and never get tired. “I see something new all the time- every time I look outside. It is fantastic!”

In the start of the 80s, when Laila was looking for jobs up north, Kirkenes' reply was 'could you come yesterday?' That settled it. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

In the start of the 80s, when Laila was looking for jobs up north, Kirkenes’ reply was ‘could you come yesterday?’ That settled it. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

One of the first perks of life in Kirkenes was discovering reindeer wandering just outside the living room window. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

In the start of the 80s, when Laila was looking for jobs up north, Kirkenes' reply was 'could you come yesterday?' That settled it. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

In the start of the 80s, when Laila was looking for jobs up north, Kirkenes’ reply was ‘could you come yesterday?’ That settled it. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Laila appreciates the low stress level amongst the locals. “People are more easy going in a cosy sort of way. That does not mean being lazy, but people here don’t stress in the same way as they do down south. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Setting up the intensive care unit for the dwarf birch © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Setting up the intensive care unit for the local birch © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The sun is starting to set at such a pace that we are struggling to keep up © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

The sun is starting to set at such a pace that we are struggling to keep up © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Spirit and style, all in one package © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Spirit and style, all in one package © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

 

 

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