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 29, 2011


The first of May is Vappu, May day and its a really big event in Finland but mostly for University Students. I got to eat Vappu doughnuts and special drink that people drink at Vappu time. 

With May comes mothers day! Liisa made an amazing cake. 

Here it is all finished. 

The spring time is the busiest time for farm work because all the snow has melted and the fields have to be made ready for either grazing or planting. The soil is pretty rocky in Finland so every spring the family goes out and collects all the rocks from the many many fields. Off course I joined in and I actually kind of enjoyed it. It was good honest work and everyone needs a bit of that every once in a while. It was also pretty damn exhausting though, I counted up the hours we spent collecting rocks and it was roughly 18 hours all together! 

The biggest event in May would have to be the Ice Hockey World Championships! The match was Finland vs Sweden, Finland's natural enemy. The only time Finland had won the World Cup was in 1995 and it was against Sweden. We'd won 4 silvers since then and one of those to Sweden so to be honest people were not that hopeful for the game. I was though, I was so sure that this would be Finland's year because how awesome would that be, my year would also Finalnd's year of triumph! I watched the game with Antti and Ville and everyone else was asleep so when anything bad/exciting happened we just had to use our hands to show our dissapointment/excitement. First there was dissapointment, Sweden got a goal. I was gutted, I knew that Ice Hockey was like Soccer the final score can be very small at times. But then Finland got a goal, and then another and another and another and before we knew it it was 5-1 and less than a minute on the clock! Oh but whats that FINLAND SCORED AGAIN! 6-1 SUOMI!!! The crowd went wild and the news reporters are zooming in on the sad Swedish people. It was incredible! There was a big party in Helsinki the next day and its all anybody talked about for the next week at school, our English teacher actually got really mad at us for talking and lectured us about coming to school to learn and not "gossip" :P You should all watch this video of Mikael Granlund's amazing goal in the game against Russia which made the guy a legend! 
Also watch this video, it pretty much sums up how freaking excited the Finns were (well still are!)


Finland lost only one game the entire tournament! 

I went to Jyäskylä for the weekend with Eeva and Ville!

I met a moose!

Jyäskylä was a really beautiful city

District Camp!! 

We went to a paper mill

D1430 <3

It was such a lovely night


So 2 months have whizzed on by and I haven’t blogged at all! I’m sorry to all you who actually like reading my blog, April and May were very busy months and everything was normal to me that it felt strange sitting down and writing about regular day to day things. I will recap some exciting things that happened in April and May though because I want this blog to be a somewhat overview of my exchange. As some of you may know I just returned from the most amazing trip around southern Europe and there will definitely be more detailed posts about that soon! 

On the 9th of April I swapped banners with my club. My host president doesn't speak any English but he gave a little speech and my counselor said that he asked me to tell my home club that Kiuruvesi Rotary Club is the best in the world! Who ever said the Finns aren't funny! 

We ate outside for the first time in mid-april, it was freezing but it was still nice to sit outside and sort of enjoy the sun. 

I made ANZAC biscuits!

And my host mum made delicious peach pie. When she cooks, she just goes by memory and throws stuff in, I said that it would be terrible if she got it perfect and couldn't repeat it to which she replies "I always get it perfect!" Its very true!
This same day I went on my first bike ride in Finland, I still had to have my winter coat on but it was nice to ride around the city and actually explore a bit. 

In my test week I went to Iisalmi to see my Tutor, Reeta and we hung out with 2 of her friends who were also ex-exchangers and we had a great time chatting and shopping. The roses were from one of the political campaigns going on at the time. 

Collecting twigs for some traditional Easter crafts

Ready to go!

Adding all the decorations


There was some special sort of "knighting" thing we had to do with them. 

If you go to a Finnish University you get student overalls that you can put patches and things on, sort of like a rotary blazer. Liisa had been waiting for ages to get hers and then they finally arrived! She thinks she looks a bit like the purple tele-tubbie, I have to agree. 

We were in Oulu for a graduation party, the dinner was in this really neat old building. 

You could really start to notice it getting lighter this month, this was taken at almost 10 at night!

Looking for eggs on Easter morning.

Sucess! Chocolate eggs are pretty serious business.

Tiina's collection

We went down to the beach in the evening and the lake has completely thawed out.

A Lada, made in the Soviet Union. 

At the end of the month Eeva dyed my hair. It was a deep sort of red colour and its so subtle you can only really see it if its really sunny.