After thirteen years Patricia Cowern definitely feels like a Swedish citizen and a permanent resident of Porjus in Jokkmokks Municipality.  Patricia feels even more at home in Porjus since her son and his family moved from the UK to the village a few years ago. “It’s wonderful to have my son and grandchildren in Porjus” says Patricia.

Patricia has broadened her activities and her photographic gallery in the old railway station building in Porjus.  She now offers northern light spotting trips, hostel rooms and photographic training courses. Also, thanks to the collaboration with a Japanese university, there are now five web cameras set up in all directions at the station house in Porjus.

Together, they provide the country’s best aurora borealis display system and probably the best northern lights photographic archive in Sweden. “ Hopefully we can continue to do this until 2016, by which time we will have the whole eleven year cycle of the aurora borealis logged,  which will be absolutely unique and quite an achievement”, says Patricia.

Patricia Cowern with friend

The hostel building that Patricia had moved to Porjus in 2003, has 22 beds and in winter time, has almost exclusively international guests. People from the U.S., Australia, England, Italy, Poland, Germany, Japan and even Colombia have spent the night in Porjus in the winter. “Now we are waiting for spring and the motorhomes”.  “We need to expand and build a caravan and camping site, but first and foremost, I am looking for three or four cabins that I can add to the hostel. Then we can provide more toilets and showers in and around the hostel rooms, instead of building an expensive service building, “she explains.

Thanks to a project for business owners with a foreign background, Patricia has participated in computer training and had consultancy assistance to enable her to manage her own website. In addition, she has learned more about accounting issues. She has also told other participants in the project about her business experiences.

Ever since Patricia Cowern started her business in 2001, she has enjoyed excellent support and assistance from Strukturum.“Strukturum is a great central information and support base to work from. They know all about how the municipality, county administration and other agencies work, so when I have an idea, I discuss it with Strukturum.

They give me good practical advice and they can also look at my ideas objectively and with a fresh pair of eyes.Sometimes I get ideas from them, such as a course in photography for websites for small businesses, as just one example,” says Patricia, who has been inspired to develop additional activities since her son moved to Porjus. “Whatever I build, I will hand over to him and his family. There will be the chance for them to continue my work in the future if they want to, “she says.