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)