Hello all! It’s time for a new blog post! Here’s an
update on what’s happened in my life since the last post.
Our Rotary district in Finland, district 1400, had its
district conference, an event that all the exchange students are asked to
attend. District 1400 covers over half of Finland, but we have the least amount
of exchange students, only eight this year. Sadly, one of us couldn’t make it,
but the seven of us had a lot of fun in Oulu during that weekend. On Saturday
night we had to do a short presentation, where we introduced ourselves in
Finnish and another student and I had a little “speech” (in Finnish, of
course!). After that we were planning on singing a song, but our small group
didn’t have many talented singers. We decided to just read the song out like a
poem. Though this all might sound disastrous, the presentation went really
well. We were complimented on it for the rest of the night, and our district
chair said it was one of the best he’d ever seen. Now, most of my district
friends have headed off on Eurotour, a Rotary trip that takes the students
across most of Europe. I’m sure it will be an amazing experience and they will
have a blast, but I decided that I would rather spend my last month on exchange
in Finland with my friends and my new country.
|At my first cocktail party!|
|Majito (the one in the big red dress) and I decided to dress with our families cultures in mind. She wore a traditional Ecuadorian outfit, and I threw on my kilt.|
|You know you're at a fancy party when the plates have cup-holders. We were so impressed|
During the test week I only had three exams, and so I had
almost a week with “nothing to do”. I decided to visit my little brothers’
elementary school for a day to see what it was like. The teachers and students
were very excited to have me there, and I had a lot of fun at the school. Though
I spoke Finnish with the kids most of the time, some of them were brave enough
to ask me questions in class in English. I was very impressed with their
language skills at such a young age! I spent half of the day with Onni, my
eight-year-old brother, which was a comical scene as we walked down the hall.
To say I stood out in the line would be an understatement. The kids at the
school never made me feel out of place or anything of the sort, but after that
day I felt very old… Realising how long it had been since I was in grade 5 was
a quite a shock to me!
Also during exam week I visited an Angry Birds theme
park. For those of you who are unaware, Angry Birds was made by a Finnish
company, so Angry Birds is a big deal here. They have a lot of merchandise all
around Finland. The park was made for children, but it was enjoyable enough for
me. My two little brothers and sister had the time of their lives, and just
kept on going. About half way through the day I thought I was going to
collapse, and I fell asleep almost instantly on the bus ride home. All around
enjoyable day, though!
|A giant trampoline that you could jump from into the giant foam pit (see picture above)|
Saturday was our last day of school before summer. Yes,
Saturday. It wasn’t really school though, we had a sort of assembly that
wrapped up the year, since the exams were all done. I spent most of the
assembly trying not to think that it was the end of the year and that I
wouldn’t be coming back to the school on Monday. The phrase ‘time flies when you’re
having fun’ has a very applicable at the moment. I’ll spare you the teary
details, I’m not really in the mood to cry right now.
ANYWAYS, after the first and second years had their
assembly the third years had their graduation. Muhoksen lukion
grad class of 2014 consisted of just fewer than 40
students, compared to the 135 in my grad class in Canada.
I mentioned in my last blog post that I wrote a Finnish
exam, and I was very stressed about the results. Well, they arrived just a few
days ago in the mail and… I PASSED!! My Finnish level is rated at a 3/6, 1
meaning that one can speak very, very little Finnish and 6 meaning fluent.
Though it may not sound like much, I’m ecstatic! I’ve been in Finland for
almost ten months and I am half way to fluent. That’s a huge accomplishment in
And finally, I turned 19 on the 26th
of May. I
had an amazing birthday with my great Finnish friends and family. The kindness
of those around me never seems to end! Though it was a beautiful day, I
couldn’t help but feel a little lonely without my Canadian friends and family.
I’d spent every birthday I could remember in Canada, and it was interesting to
look back and see how far I’d come from the past year.
You are going to get a post soon again about a trip I
just recently took. Maybe even in the same day as I post this one. We’ll see…