I am using this blog to tell everyone what I'm thinking and doing beforehand, during and after my exchange year in Finland for 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The last month

So the 1 month mark for my exchange passed a few days ago! SCARY!
I have done quite a lot of preparation stuff, I did a test pack a few days a go, my suitcase came to 17 kgs which was with pretty much everything in it except a pair of shoes and my christmas pressies! My pins also arrived in the mail about a week ago! All 2800 of them! Dad is going to sell the ones I dont need, i'll probably keep about 400 of them. The main ones are a kangaroo, a kookaburra and a kangaroo with a boomerang.

I had a talk at my rotary club the other day, it was basically the talk that I would give to my finnish club talking about australia. I felt I went pretty well, I might have spoken a bit fast but the speech was pretty impressive if I do say so myself! I also got to wear my rotary blazer, I had a photo with Irene in it, I will post it when she gives it to me! I got an email from my travel agent 2 days ago saying that my tickets, passport and visa are in the mail and will be arriving within 7 days! Yay! Can't wait for them to get here, that will make it seem very real!

Anyway this was just supposed to be a short post, I will do a bit of a Christmas in Australia post soon when I have sorted through all my photos, I took hundreds! I will leave you know with an amazing photo that my Finnish counsellor sent me that was taken from his backyard and also a photo I took of the sunset at Brighton Beach on Thursday.

Also a list of awesome links to check out!
I hope everyone had a nice Christmas! 
25 days! 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Final Briefing and an array of other topics!

Hyvää iltaa!

Our districts final briefing was on Saturday and to be completely honest it was rather boring, we went over all the technicalities, like quarantine, insurance and the rotary support network. As much as it is very important information, i'd heard most of it before and I just so happened to be really, really sick so spent most of it trying not to die in front of all the rotarians! We did however get out blazers which was rather exciting! Mine is a bit big, but you wont be able to tell when I have pins all over it! We also got a a rugby top thats green and yellow which was cool and also a set of business cards; my picture is very nice ;)

I've spent most of this week sick which kind of made this week suck but I did do a bit of Christmas shopping with my Nanna, who is visiting from Melbourne, and Renee and also with Lisa! I picked up a really nice jumper for 20 bucks! Today I went and saw "Devil" with Kate and Lisa, it was an alright movie but wasn't really that scary, I had a free ticket so I didn't mind! 

I did a fair bit of vocab cramming yesterday, learnt a lot of new greetings and how to respond to greetings, I also learnt the seasons and things you might find in a bedroom (pillow, sheets, bed, etc) I feel kind of silly sitting there repeating the word to my computer, not because it cant hear me but because I just can't make the same sounds as the Finns and it is rather discouraging. I know that I will pick it up through repetition but I dont want to look silly by miss-pronouncing a word when I first get there and i'm afraid that will stop me from putting myself out there and trying and I really really want to just try my Finnish! I guess I must just hope that everyone will be supportive and understand that sometime I can't say the words right! To all the outbounds reading this, even before I have left, I really feel like investing in the language has helped me because I am familiar with the sounds and the sort of sounds that different letters make together which i'm pretty sure will make it easier to pick it up when I arrive. Some say you should focus on grammar but I am happy learning new Finnish words that I can add to my vocab and improving my pronunciation.

There isn't really anything new on the packing front, it is stressful and I worry about how im going to get everything I need in to one small suitcase and make it weigh under 20 kgs :/ I will get there, slowly and steadily. Another thing that anyone who is my facebook friend may have noticed is those constant links I post about voting for a competition! It is a comp to win a trip in Finland and it is for my dad, if you want to vote for him, click here! It would really make his year seem a whole lot better if he won! On a unrelated note,  I sent my first mail to Finland yesterday!

Now for some cool things I found over the last week: 
Also if you have never seen Scandinavia and the world comics, you should definitely check them out! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

50 Days

Just a quick update on things that have been happening! 
Last Sunday was the 2 month mark for my departure and it was also the day of the Geocaching SA Quiz event! It was a really great day and I picked up some really awesome path tags and a badge for my blazer. 
My Table: the winners table! Winners of 7th place no less! 

Probably the biggest event lately however would be Dad coming home! He has been home for almost 2 weeks now and it is so great having him home again!
Clay was so cute, he kept trying to lick dad's face! 

I have officially finished school now, I spent 3 days at a child care doing work experience but today was my last day so now I can focus on my Finnish and other important things like watching BONES and Gossip Girl! Holidays <3 I have started to pack though, its so exciting, I have my final briefing on Saturday which means I get my blazer! 
I won't start really packing till after Christmas though because besides all the mess Christmas normally makes, I just want to focus on having an awesome Christmas then worry about packing for A WHOLE YEAR!! I have started to get a few pre-exchange jitters, I'll get really scared for just a few minutes and then it will be like 10 minutes later that i'll actually realise that it was my exchange that made me scared! With all the Christmas stuff going on it also made me sad to think of the birthdays and holidays that i'll miss, but to quote my sister: "but you'll be in FINLAND!" I have been trying to think more like this but its expected that I will be a bit sad. Christmas is by far my favourite holiday and the realisation that is my last with my family for a long time has had me a bit down in the last few days. 

Other exciting things that have been happening include my friend Aiesha who left for her Europe/Asia tour last tuesday! The group are going to Shanghai, Zurich, Vienna, Rome and Tokyo! We had a bit of a farewell thing for her on Monday but all my photos came out blurry! If you are from these cities wave at the big group of teenagers with blue jackets on! :)

We also made gingerbread houses in Home Ec class on the last Thursday, they were so much fun! I love to make stuff and I hope to make more crafty food things in the holiday, I actually made a new blog for all that sort of stuff which you should all check out because its pretty cool ;) http://peculiarprojects.blogspot.com I know its a kind of lame name, I'll change it when I think of something more creative! 

You also may have noticed that I have given my blog a major facelift, I made it simpler looking because my old theme was giving me a headache! Too many colours, I like it simpler! What do you guys think?  

First day of summer was a bit of a fail, top of 22 degrees :P hahaha I hope it gets hotter fast!! Its weird to think that next year I'll be having a white christmas! All my CS friends have been commenting on the snow they've been getting and to think that won't be weird soon! 

As you may know I am a Geocacher (if you dont; read this earlier post) Anyway an anonymous Geocacher put little presents out for heaps and heaps of the SA Geocachers under the name SecretSantaGeocacher and we got a really adorable little Bike geocoin. It was such lovely thing to do for the community and really meant a lot to many teams. 

Sunset as we went our retrieve our gift 

Isn't it cute! 

So my little virtual sticky notes inform me I have covered all my points of interest, I never blog this thoroughly! Ahhh well its good practice for when im in Finland!! I have just realised I have posted once in between my 100 days to go and my 50 days to go! LAME, I promise I will try and do better. 

2 days till Final Briefing
23 days till Christmas
50 days till Finland
223 days till Harry potter (yah I know its sad im already counting)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter, Flights and Globe Genie

So you may notice that Harry Potter is listed first before the exciting news of my flights, what a bad exchange student I am! :D
I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 last night with two friends i've known since I was about 5 and I LOVED IT! By far the best movie mainly because it was very true to the books, there were a few scenes that could have easily been tweaked to make them more canonical (have I ever mentioned I love that word, its such a cool word to say) but apart from that, there were no glaring differences. There was also a little added scene that wasn't in the book, I dont want to give it away for those who havent seen it, but I thought it was really sweet. Absolutely cannot wait for the next part which I believe comes out around July 13th in Finland.
My favourite scene was dobby's speech!
I also got my flight details a few weeks ago, it makes it seem so real when you actually know what time your leaving! I leave around midday on January 21st on a domestic flight to Melbourne. Im glad its domestic because that way I can meet my Nanna and maybe my cousins at the airport and say goodbye to them. I have about 2 hours in Melbourne which will be taken up by customs and finding all the other Finlanders. Then we all fly off to Singapore airpot and we've only got about 2 hours there and then its straight back onto a 6 hour flight to London. By the time we get to London its 5am the next day and we've got a 5 hour layover and then onto a plane for a 5 hour flight to Helsinki! I arrive in Helsinki 26 hours after I departed Adelaide but it is 6 am Finland time when I land so I'll still have to stay awake for the rest of the day! I believe that when we arrive in Helsinki all the Aussies catch a bus to Tampere which is only a 2 hour drive and then we settle into our orientation campsite (and hopefully they let us sleep!)

Yesterday was the 9 weeks left mark and tomorrow is the 21st which means 2 months left! I've got a caching event tomorrow and then 1 more week of school, then 3 days of work experience and then Im free! Free to prepare and to get right into some finnish learning! I have also been doing some lose planning for when my cousin comes to visit me in Finland. Were both not sure when or how or what yet because I have to speak to my family about when the best tim for her to come is but i'm quite excited because we hope we can both go down to Savonlinna which is where ou Great- Grandfather was born.

Also if you are into travel, you should check out this site: Globe Genie. It is really awesome, it randomly transports you to a spot in the world. You sometimes get boring streets but sometimes you get beautiful scenery or a street with really strange houses. I really love it but be warned its really addictive! I actually ended up in Kiuruvesi after about 2 hours, it was really exciting! I just clicked teleport then and I've ended up in France

14 days till Final Briefing (BLAZERS!!!!)
34 days till Christmas
61 days till Finland! (wow, so close!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

100 days to go

So I know I haven't posted in AGES and im sorry, I have actually had heaps to write about I am just darn lazy :P

I have a city! I almost had a heart attack as I read the comment my host sister put on my facebook! I am off to Kiuruvesi! Its about 6 hour drive north of Helsinki. Its a small city about 10'000 people and I think its beautiful. I'll add a few photos now instead of going into detail about it.

Aerial View

I have two host family's already and I've talked to my host sister from my first family and my host sister and host Dad from my second family. I have pics of them but I still have to check with them if its cool to put them here! So hopefully my next post will be a host family introduction! 

I also have a host sister in Australia too, Irene! She's really cool, we both go to the same school so I see her there and also all the rotary functions. Im actually really sad I won't get to live with her :( She'll be living with us (well the rest of my family) from about April - May sometime till she goes back home to Austria in July. 

My finnish has been coming along very slowly this last month, I have been doing so much stuff! I had a wonderful trip to Googs track in the holidays but there will be a post about that soon too! I bought the coolest snow jacket and the awesomest snow pants! The jackets blue and the pants are brown and they are pretty freaking cool! I have a temperature forecast on my dashboard set to Tampere and I haven't seen it over 10 degrees this week so I really hope my snow gear is as warm as it is awesome! 

If your my facebook friend, you probably know that my dad had an accident last weekend. Thanks to all those that have been supporting me and my family, it means a lot to us. 

I think thats all for now! Hopefully I'll have two more posts very soon! 

31 days till Harry Potter
46 Days till Final Briefing
67 days till Christmas
94 days till FINLAND! YAY! Double Digits! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hello, Im still here!

Sorry for the lack of posts, I have one in my draft folder, still waiting to be finished!
I just wanted to post this link for a survey I have made for my Home Ec project.
If you are from Finland or you are on exchange in Finland, please check it out!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

You can learn stuff too!

One of the main reasons I like reading exchange blogs is not just to hear about peoples exchanges but also to learn about their countries, both their host one and their home country too. With that in mind I thought it was appropriate to post an short essay I had to do about the history of Australian Rules Football in PE on Tuesday. It was written with the assumption that the reader knows something about AFL but I still think it does a good job explaining the connection that some Aussies have with AFL.
Australian Rules football or as its more commonly know as, the AFL. Is a game that was created in Australia and remains to this day a symbol of Australian sport. It is believed that the first game of footy, as most Aussies call it, was between Scotch and Melbourne Grammar schools and was held on August 7, 1858, it was created by Tom Willls as a way of keeping cricketers fit during winter. The rules back then would have been rather different but it is from that game that the rules of AFL gradually formed to be what we know them as today.
In 1877, due to huge interest in the game, The Victorian Football Association was formed to create a league. The original teams were Hotham, Melbourne, Geelong, Carlton, Albert Park, St Kilda, Essendon and East Melbourne.
In 1888 an English team toured Australia playing 25 matches against different teams, the English ended up wining 14 of the games! A return tour by the Aussies was planned but never ended up happening. The attempts at international expansion of the game died and it became unique to Australia.
The game continued to thrive and new teams were being added to the VFA. In 1897, a few of the stronger teams decided to create another league of their own which was known as the Victorian Football League (VFL) The original teams were Collingwood, South Melbourne, Essendon, Melbourne, Fitzroy, Geelong, St. Kilda and Carlton. They had their first game on May 18, 1897 and it was a very popular sport in Victoria.
The sport continued to grow at an amazing pace! New umpires were added, teams began to wear uniforms and games were being played interstate and not just in Victoria.  In 1897 the scoring was formalised with 6 points for a goal and 1 point for a behind, it was this year that the first finals were held and they were won by Essendon.
In 1912 numbers were added to the players jumpers and Essendon won the first back to bake premierships 1911, 1912. One of the early stars was Roy Cazaly who started playing for St. Kilda in 1911. His amazing marks coined the now famous phrase “up there Cazaly” which was also turned into a song.
In 1982 South Melbourne Football Club relocated to Sydney and became the Sydney Swans. During the 1980’s the interstate interest in VFL grew and it led to  two non-Victorian clubs, the West Coast Eagles and the Brisbane Bears who began playing in 1987. The league then changed its name to the Australian Football league after the 1989 season. In 1991, the first South Australian team joined, by the name of Adelaide, they later became the Adelaide Crows.
These days there are 16 clubs in the AFL all with massive fan following. The sport is played internationally by New Zealand, South Africa Scotland and Japan but it will never create an impact half as big as the AFL created for Australia. 
Thanks for reading! I will post an update soon! Lots of news!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

District Orientation!

On Saturday it was the orientation for district 9520 and district 9500. It was up at a conference centre in Belair and it was freezing! There was 21 outbounds for 9520(my district) and another 8 from 9500. All the inbounds were there too and there must have been about 25 of them. I was the only outbound to Finland from both the districts but there was two inbounds form Finland and also a Rebound who did a presentation and it was really good to be able to hear all the amazing things she got to see in Finland. I talked to lots of the outbounds and the rebounds too. We didn’t really get much of an opportunity to talk to the inbounds because a lot of them left after lunch and most of them had only been in Australia for a couple of weeks so some of them were still learning English anyway. We had our blazers and rugby tops measured and we also had our photos for a business cards taken, given that it was raining and I’d just tried on 40 different tops beforehand, I am absolutely ecstatic about getting my business cards :/

After we’d had all the formalities and I’d met all the other outbounds and knew what countries they were off to we heard from two Rotarians about Rotary and youth exchange. After that we had a talk from Tim who was representing Terra Australis (our travel agents), he told us all about the visa process and gave us lots of tips on how to make getting to our countries as smooth as possible. Then we had a very formal lunch and we were all presented to everyone and we got a big applause, I almost tripped walking up the steps and almost died of embarrassment. Then we had a long talk from a psychologist who talked about dealing with homesickness and other emotions and problems that sometimes arise. I’d heard most of what she’d said from various CS people already! You guys are the best :D. After that we talked about safety and about the sort of precautions we need to take to ensure we’re not taken advantage of because being a foreigner can make you very vulnerable, especially if you aren’t fluent at the language.

After that, everything wrapped up and I think the main things I took from the day were:
-        Exchange students are awesome.
-        Learn as much language as possible.
       Ask heaps of questions and if in doubt SMILE!
       Plan, plan, plan and plan.
       Homesickness is a bundle of laughs.
       I need to get fitter :/

It was quite an enjoyable day despite the rotten weather! I didn’t end up going to the bonfire with my counsellors because dad was very sick and I didn’t feel that great either. I’m glad I didn’t because I woke up with a terrible headache and a sore throat the next day. I’m feeling better now and I’ve been doing lots of research on better language programs because the one I’ve been using is not working for me.

I have also been facebook stalking all the new inbounds who have just left Karkku and they’re all starting to put up pictures of Tampere and their home towns. Its fun until it’s over and I realise I still have 6 months left. I’m also friends with a lot of this years Aussie inbounds and mum’s always asking me to look at their pictures to see what they’re wearing so that I know what to buy :P

Anyway thanks for reading my blog! I know I post insanely long posts!
I have quite a few little flags on my counter now and it still makes me excited to see a new one! I think the most recent is Turkey!

My new word: terveydeksi which basically means “to your health” so it’s the equivalent of bless you but I wouldn’t have a clue if they actually say it when people sneeze! I know this seems like a strange word to learn but someone CS brought it up so we were all looking up bless you in our host languages.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New stuff, Milk and random planes!

I love the blogs with the awesomely random title so heres mine :)
I have officially started my second semester at school (Yay! I survived the first one) This means I have new subjects and new teachers! So far I am quite enjoying my new subjects, especially Earth and Cosmos. In other school related news I love my new elective, Genealogy, because it means we get to go to the state library and research our ancestors. I found the church that my great-great-great-great-great- grandparents got married in on Google earth! Its quite an addictive thing to do if you have the right resources. I am also going to Uni open day tomorrow and they have a talk on Uni exchanges so I hope to maybe listen in on that just to see what sort of options I might have. 

I have been collecting all my Aussie things and also pins and badges into my "exchange draw" and it is filling up fast! I have a kangaroo toy, a can holder with a kombi van on it, some SA cards and heaps of other Aussie themed things! I also bought a tiny soft reindeer from Ikea because it was so cute! My Nana also brought over some of Robyn's (my Auntie) old Rotary things so I now have a rotary bottle opener and a very cool black and white photo of my Auntie with her host club and their banner! I also got one of her business cards and that was in black and white too! I have my district orientation in 2 days! I'm really excited! Mostly to meet all the other outbounds but I hope we learn some helpful stuff too! The same day me and my parents are going to a bonfire bbq party thing at one of our clubs Rotarians olive farm. Its an annual thing that they do after they've picked all their olives, it should be good fun and i'll get the opportunity to talk to heaps of the clubs members. I also just remembered that the inbound for our club will be there too! I'm pretty sure she's from Austria so it will be great to meet her too! 

I was in biotech class the other day and I randomly came across this little table because we were researching pasteurisation. 
I'm not gonna lie that the fact that Finland's percentage is low was quite a relief because I detest UHT milk! I realise how weird this must sound but i'm sure that if you're an exchange student you know what its like to obsess over EVERYTHING about your host country, even their milk drinking statistics :P

And the random plane part of the title was that as I was witting this a plane flew over the house and A - I don't think i've ever seen a plane near my house before and B - it made me smile stupidly at the thought that I will soon be on a plane off to Finland! (you see what I did there :P)

Thats all for now! Oh all the Finnish Inbounds for 2010 are all in Karkku right now! Hopefully soon they'll get to their host families houses and I can hear all about how their first week in Finland went! 

I'll be sure to blog after orientation, thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Presidential Handover Dinner and My Birthday!

Over the last two weeks, I had the presidential dinner for Rotary and also my 16th birthday. The rotary dinner was on Wednesday and It was where the presidency was passed on to the new president from the current president and everyone is introduced to the new board of members and there are awards given out and lots of speeches are made. I had a great time, I sat at a table with 2 rebounds both from quite a few years ago and I got to to talk to them and they gave me lots of advice.

This was the Rotary logo that Sophia made from the stars we had on our table All the women got yellow roses and everyone got a cookbook that everyone at the club had compiled. 

I learnt a lot about Rotary. They have a new theme each year which means a new logo and a new motto. The new motto is Building Communities -Bridging Continents. 

My 16th Birthday was on Sunday the 11th, I went to the city with my friends to have a photo challenge. (if you don't know what that is check out this)
Everyone had a great time and it was great to catch up with all my friends for my birthday. I got lots of great presents but the standout was my digital camera! Dad gave me a few geocaching things which was good and I got a lot of traveling things too; Finland Lonely planet guide, travel bag, beanies, gloves and lot of other things that are going to be great when I leave. I almost cried at the end of the day because I love all my friends and Family so much and it is going to hurt so much to not be able to see them for a whole year! 

Now just a few of my favourite pics from the day, click for bigger sizes. All the photos are on Facebook so if you're my friend, you can see them there!







Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First Rotary Meeting

I had my first Rotary meeting tonight, so I thought I would do a quick post telling everyone how it was! lol I just read that! a quick post! That sounds verrrrry unlike me :P

Anyway! I went to my clubs meeting today because the Inbound for our district, Ingrid, was doing a speech and showing the club a slideshow of her exchange and David though it would be a good idea if I came so I knew what I would have to do. I was really great to meet everyone from the club and to meet Ingrid, who's from Norway btw. She did a wonderful speech and its a shame shes leaving in a week because she seems like such a nice person, She goes to Brighton too, which is pretty cool. I got a little Norwegian flag pin and a what I assume is a Norwegian coin to pin onto my blazer! :D
It was cool to see how a rotary meeting works, us RYE kids not only have to accustom to a new language and a new country but we have to accustom to how Rotary works! We rose for the national anthem and there was a bell in the middle of the table which the president banged every time! I got asked lots of questions and was given lots of congratulations and it was a really nice night. Next week is the hand over dinner which is a bit more formal and apparently there will be a few more younger people there, so that should be nice!

My Papa died on Saturday, he was very sick and he passed away in hospital with Mum and Nanna nearby. I'm glad he is out of pain now. You don't realise how much you miss someone until you can never see them again :( I didn't go to the funeral though, it was too hard to get us all to Melbourne and back. I wrote a poem for him and Nanna brought it to the funeral. It sounded poetic in my head but it sounded kind off silly when I wrote it down, but I don't care, It said what I wanted to say perfectly.

Thank you for being a football genius

Thank you for your love of trains

Thank you for all your stories.

And thank you for videoing our mud pies, were sorry we tried to make you eat them.

Thanks for your jokes, that were so bad that they were funny

Thank you for all the times I ever spent with you

Papa, thanks for being Papa, the best one I could have asked for.

Love Julia

Turns out my previous statement about not being able to keep it sort has turned out to be a lie because I think I will go to bed now, I have a class party tomorrow and then a farewell assembly for the principal on Friday and an early finish and then...... drum roll please....... HOLIDAYS!

Heres us all when we went to see the pandas on Christmas eve, I'm the one with the funny look on my face.

This was last years Christmas
I'm gonna miss you Papa xoxo

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Semester 1: DONE!

Hello there! I am so very sick, I thought I was getting better, but turns out I’m not :( I missed a few days last week and I came home early today. Its Immersion week this week and Immersion week roughly translates to a bunch of pointless activities that keeps us all out of the buildings so we don’t disturb the year 12’s doing their exams. It means we have been out on the oval most of the time which has really helped me get better. It’s weird having the semester end before the term ends, it also means we’ll have work to do over the holidays, YAY :/ Its good at the moment though because there’s no homework and I am really not in a state to do homework, so I’m not going to get behind.

We are going to properly start our new subjects soon; Earth and Cosmos, Biotechnology and our Special Inquiry Project. I have been thinking a bit about what Im going to do for my SIP and I’m thinking I might do “Why do finish schools always rank so highly in the world?” The SIP teachers all said we need to pick something that interests us: tick, something that we don’t already know a lot about: tick, and something that will make us need to do extensive research and can be completed over an 18 week period: TICK! It will be interesting to study this seeing as I will be in the Finnish education system myself next year.

 Enough about school! I saw Toy story 3 on Saturday and it was absolutely amazing! You could tell that while it still appealed to children, they had definitely catered for the older audience that grew up with the first two films. It was hilarious as expected but also very emotional. I almost cried twice! I did feel a bit weird when I got to the cinema because there were all these mums and dads with these really young children but it was totally worth it. It was in 3D and I was next to a little boy who flinched every time something “came out” of the screen! I still remember seeing Spy Kids 3 in 3d but back then it was Red, Blue split! How the technology has changed since then!

I also had youth group on Friday night and it was really fun! It was a “Fast Food Formal, we went to 3 different fast food places and had tea. It was a strange idea but it was nice to see all my friends because I haven’t seen them in a while. It was also the sort of official goodbye for Kim and Steve because they’re not leading next term which is really sad, because I really like Kim and Steve :(

On the Sunday I went Shopping with Bianca to get some formal clothes to wear to Rotary functions and things when I’m in Finland (here too I guess) It was a very successful trip and I got lots of nice stuff and I was absolutely exhausted when I got home! I had never bought so many clothes at any given time in my life! Its Stocktake time to, so everything was marked down!

Im watching Torchwood at the moment, I absolutely love it! If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it, all the seasons are good, but the thirds the best. I also downloaded a free trial of Microsoft 2010 and I am already in love with it! I’m such a nerd :P I wish I had got around to getting my free Windows 7 upgrade when I bought my laptop, because its expired now!  

Anyways, thanks for reading, if you haven’t noticed I’ve got a little flag counter now and I already have about 10 flags! It’s probably because I have a link on My Cultures Shocked signature! I like it, it lets me know that people DO read this!

Oh, I forgot to say I have learnt some Finnish! I did a Live Mocha activity and to be honest at the end, it all left my brain in 5 seconds flat so I did it again and really concentrated and I know a few words, Mies which means Male and Nainen which means Female :) these are the ones I tell people, because while I can remember a few others, they are tricky to pronounce, but I’m working on it! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

June Long Weekend

I have been putting off this post for a while and I have no idea why!
Over the long weekend the whole family went up to Jamestown which is near Clare in the Barossa Valley. It was for the annual Geocaching long weekend event. If you don't have a clue what i'm talking about, check it out here. It is normally the best thing that happens in the year after Christmas and maybe birthdays :)

On the Friday we spent most of the morning packing and then we slowly made our way up and we found about 35 caches on the way with Team Ermalesh. On the Saturday dad had a few committee duties and then we went around and did the quiz and hid our cache up in Bundaleer forest. On the way up I was filming all the surrounds and forgot to watch where I was stepping and I tripped over this huge log and fell on my face, everyone though it was hilarious but my leg still hurts. Apart from that the Bundaleer forest was lovely, it also had this weird structure made out of scrap pieces of metal that doubled as a musical instrument!

Sunday was the actual event day where we went off and found all the game caches. It was just Mum, Amy and I and we started off pretty slow because we picked a cache that had gone missing so we wasted heaps of time trying to find it :( Then we went into the forest and sort of teamed up with Anja, Marty and Adrian and did all the forest caches with them. There was one cache that was 1km up a hill, needless to say it wasn't much fun! The view was spectacular though, I took heaps of video over the weekend, it was such a picturesque little town. We didn't place very well but we all had a great time bashing around in the forest with everyone. The highlight for me was the presentation night, it was very different from other years, we'd swapped the quiz for Red Faces acts and they were all great! We had a Kath and Kim act and some Geo-songs and it was also a mad hatter tea party so we were supposed to wear funny hats and some of the hats were so good! Another highlight was the dinner on Saturday night, freddo had made these place mats and after a while everyone started making them into paper planes and you couldn't walk two inches without getting hit or stepping on a plane, it was insane! 

Overall it was a great weekend but I ended up very sick because of it! :( This is definitely very high up in the list of things I will miss when I'm in Finland. 

As you may have also noticed, I have given my blog a massive face lift! I think this design is much nicer and I like having the Nav Bar up the top because it makes it easier to follow people. Please follow and comment! I love getting comments from people how I haven't seen or talked to in a while, it makes my day! 

I have done quite a bit of exchange related stuff lately, I bought some Aussie stuff yesterday just a scarf, a flag and some tattoos. I'm buying it all now because theres heaps to choose from because of the soccer and I'm going to miss all the Australia Day sales. My passport is still being completed, it turns out its not as straightforward as one thought! I have also joined the cultures shocked forum and it has given me so much advice already! Its basically a forum for anyone who's been on an exchange or about to and even parents of exchangers! Its really good for advice on packing and what to get your host families and you can get lots of inside info on your country. One member who went to Finland a few years ago told me about Name Day  its like a second birthday and each name has their own day! Julia's name day is on April 12th, I think its pretty cool! I also found out that the most successful volleyball coach in Finland is a Kosonen! I think having a Finnish last name in Finland is going to be cool! It'll be like I fit in :) If only I looked more like my sister! Mum says she looks a lot more European than I do, even though I look more like dad, weird....

Tomorrow I'm going shopping with Bianca to get some formal clothes that I can wear to Rotary functions when I'm over there, I also have to make sure that it goes nicely with a green blazer! I actually have two rotary functions coming up, one for the Norwegian girl that is in my district at the moment and the other is the hand over dinner where the President of the club (also my counselor) hands over to the new president. These should be fun because i'll get to meet everyone! 

Anyway I have no doubt you are sick of reading by now, so I shall say goodbye, till next time!

p.s. Thanks to everyone who I stole photos from

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

How I see everything

Dad and I went to the Footy today and it was Crows versus Fremantle. It was also Tyson Edwards very last game after he abruptly decided to retire a fortnight ago after being dropped form the Saints game. Being a senior player, I grew up following Tyson and he was my favorite player for a while. It was sad to see him leave because it felt like a bit of my childhood was leaving. Ruccito's retired, Simon Goodwin is about to, Ben Hart retired and so many other players that I knew when I was really into the Footy about 4 years ago have all left. Soon there will be no more players that I know the numbers of or recognise on the field and I felt really sad because I loved going to the Footy and even though I still do now, it felt like as the players left, my memories of all those games went with them.

Until today I hadn't realised how much the Footy affected me, I always went to the Footy with my dad, so I loved being able to spend time with him and I remember feeling jealous of my youngest sister when she went to her first game because I always though it would be exclusively ours. I also loved how culturally different the Footy made me feel. The AFL is exclusively Australian and it is very easy to spot so many very Australian mannerisms that make up the world of the AFL. From the beer, to the pies and even how they commentate the games. I think that this post is ending up more exchange related than I first thought because my exchange trip has made me see everything that I love so much about Australia and I love it for doing so! I always dreamt of living in another country or just different state, always for a superficial reason but this exchange has opened my eyes to all the great things we have as Aussies and I couldn't be more honored to have been selected to share that with another, completely different country. Sure I'll miss the footy and Tyson Edwards, but without my trip, I don't think I would have ever realised how much all these things meant to me.

We won the game by 23 points and Tyson Edwards kicked 2 goals and had 32 disposals which was an excellent note to go out on! As he left the ground I had a tear in my eye and I swear Dad did too. I can't quite explain why it made me so emotional it just did. I guess the best comparison I could think of would be how when Micheal Jackson died everyone was sad because they had been impacted by his music, well I was impacted by the Footy.
I actually got to meet Tyson Edwards in 2004 and Ill finish off this post with a few of the pictures I got with him.(I lie, the computer won't let me)  Needless to to say Tyson was my favorite player after I got to have a tour with him :P