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.

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been so busy over the last week, mostly with school but I’ve had work and the long weekend event planning has kept me busy too. Normally I embrace busy, but lately I just wish i had some time to chill and read, which I haven't done in a long time. 

I bought some Thermals a few days ago, they are black and no one will ever see me wearing them because they aren't the most attractive thing around. I also my passport all organised and i went and got another photo done. Now I just to have it endorsed and its all ready to go!

I have also been doing lots of reading and chatting to exchange students and one thing I found out is that it takes roughly 20 hours to fly to Helsinki! 20 HOURS!! Thats just air time, I will have to stop over, probably twice, and all up it could end up as much as 30 hours! I hope I stopover in London! That would be nice, even if I couldn't go and see anything, it would be nice to say id been to London :P I basically just did an Adelaide to Finland search on webjet for the weekend we leave and most of the flights fly to somewhere else in Oz before heading overseas but some of them fly to Singapore straight from Adelaide and then down to London and the over to Finland. I would probably prefer this because I don't really want to spend 4 hours stopover at Sydney airport! Unless I got to stopover in Melbourne and Nanna could see me off! I could end up stopping anywhere though, I guess it also depends on the other outbounds, I'm pretty sure Rotary try to get some of us to travel together where possible. So if there is a German outbound, I could just as well end up in a German airport! 

Anyways I am worrying way to much about my flight! I guess its hard to imagine what will happen when I actually get there so its easier to just put all my energy into how i'm getting there! Jenni (my cousin) said that she is 99% sure that she will come and visit me in Finland, which is awesome! Moni also wants to see if she can work it into her Europe trip! 

We were talking about The Declaration Of Helsinki in Biodiversity the other day and it felt nice to be learning something about "my" country and thats exactly what it felt like, it felt like I was learning something about my own country which was nice. 

In unrelated news, I posted my very first YouTube video ever! :) I'm not going to post a link because its embarrassing and if you really want to see it, i'm sure you can find it somehow. I am also turning 16 in less than 6 weeks! :O I have no idea what I should do?! I thought about maybe just seeing a movie or everyone coming over for lunch. I don't want a party or anything big, I just want all my friends to be there, so i'm gonna start planning now, so no one goes away! I was originally going to be at Wirraway for my birthday which would have been cool, but i'm glad that I get to spend it home with all my friends and not just Megan. 

Anyway that all from me! 
Only 232 days left!!