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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 2 and 3 of Karkku

I am in Kiuruvesi now! I had a wonderful first night and also first day and there will be a longer post about that later. Here are just some quick summaries I wrote up a few days ago. 

Day 2 of Karrku

In the morning we had our first Finnish lesson, it was very good and the Finnish language is very logical so once you understand it, you just need to practise a lot to remember it all! We played a small ice breaker game where we had a finnish word with the same letter as our name and I was Joulupukki! SANTA!!
Sometime between the end of our first lesson and lunch it started snowing again so we all went outside and danced in the snow and took some pictures. The next lesson was on the alphabet and the different sounds that all the letters make, I was pretty stoked with myself because I can roll my r’s! Its one of those things some people just can’t do, like folding your tongue. Our teacher said that the Finnish president can’t roll her r’s! Kahvi and pulla time as usual and then out onto the soccer field for some snow soccer!! It was great fun but a bit slippery! There was a bit of dispute about one of the goals but our team definitely won ;) I got into a snow fight with Jooel but he is much stronger than me so he just threw me into the snow, which was good fun!
We had a quick presentation about Sauna after that and it was very interesting! One thing all the Finns told us was that we had to jump in the lake, It is a finnish thing and everyone does it! The lady giving the talk said only about 20 percent of Finns actually jump in the lake so we’d all been tricked! I don’t really see why they are so scared of it. I was talking to my host sister and she was surprised that I had actually gone in the lake because she had never done it hersef, I thought that was pretty funny.
I had my first clueless encounter with a finnish person today, I was going to the office to get my laptop and a little girl who looked about 7 looked at me and jabbered something at me and I just smiled and nodded at her and she giggled at me! There are two little girls that are sometimes running around the rooms, they sometimes come up to us with their wrists stuck together with tape, giggling their heads off , they are the cutest! I skipped sauna today because I was feeling a bit sick and it was also especially cold. When we went down to the sauna lounge we played this strange clappy game that I was really bad at and we all watched multiple people try to beat beth at speed, it got pretty intense while Lewis was playing because he almost beat her at one point!

Fast Finnish Fact # 1: There are more saunas’ in Finland then there are cars.

Joulupukki: Santa

My first snow!

Playing soccer

Go light coloured jacket team!

A cool shot I got of the trees

The weird clappy game

Karkku day 3

Today was amazing! Plain and simple! In the morning we had lessons which included the months, the seasons and also numbers. At the start of lessons we did this hilarious song and dance which basically documents the life of a banana including being digested and then being popped! We play the strangest games here! When lessons were over at about 3, we had a slideshow presentation about life in Finland which included all the holidays and what sort of things the Finns do during the year. It was very interesting and we learnt a few funny things about the Finns but I can’t remember any specifics right now. We also learnt all about Christmas and joulupukki and who should turn up as were talking about him but Joulupukki himself! We all sat on joulupukki's lap and he gave us finnish lollies. We had a delicious dinner then we all went and got rugged up for our wilderness training! There was this beautiful husky dog that went with one of the groups and while we were waiting we all fussed over him.
Then we split into groups and I was in the bear (karhu) group, our first activity was finnish crepe pancake things which were called lätty, We cooked them on a fry pan with a really long handle over the fire. We ate them with jam and sugar and they were delicious! After that we had a shot at cooking some finnish sausages or makkara, ou cook then on a long stick like a marshmallow, so not straight onto the fire but more over the coals. We went for a short walk down to the ice cave which was like an igloo but its just snow compacted together, it was so awesome! It had two chambers and you had to slide under and then slide up into the main chamber which had a hole in the bottom for our feet. It was really warm inside; we were all sweating by the time we got out. We learnt about how to make them so that they’re safe and you have enough oxygen! We had a quick shot at this weird spear thing that you sort of throw with this weird pole thing but we didn’t stay long because to do it you had to have your gloves off and the temperature was down to about -18 so it was freezing! We had try at the snow shoes and they were really fun! I stopped to take a picture of Sophie and then she said she’d take one of me and I stepped backwards not knowing the snow sloped and I fell straight in and this was almost waist deep snow so I had to get pulled out :P After we had all had a shot we trekked about halfway across the river to where they had a fire set up and some ice fishing! Lewis got to pull the line in and it actually had a fish on it! We got to try digging the hole which includes drilling the holes and then cutting the rest out with a funny scissor/ spear thing. We also tried the salmon that had been cooked on the fire and there were some ice sculptures there that a famous ice sculptor had made! He let us ruin them though by having a shot at the carving. We all joined up as a big group now and by this time most of us were freezing! We went for a short walk back to the campsite but halfway through our leader told us to stop and be really quiet and not use our camera flashes. I looked over and there was this big brown shadow curled up beside a tree and a lot of people were OMG its an actual bear!! The nature guy threw a snowball at it and it didn’t move and then he threw another and it got up and started running towards us! It was obvious as soon as it stood up it wasn’t an actual bear, I think if I had actually thought about it, awakening a real bear in front of 30 exchange students should have seemed a bit suspicious! That concluded our wilderness night and we all went inside and got a diploma saying we survived the finnish wilderness! Yay!

Makkara : Sausage
Lätty: Pancake/Crepe
Karhu: Bear

Joulopukki! He looks an awful lot like Jooel... hmmm


Cooking our lätty

Group shot! 

In the ice cave!

Christina, Eamon, Me and Sophie's glove

The fishing hole


Drill that hole!

Carve that ice!


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