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.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

If I could make a list...

Thursday was Tiina's birthday but it was also the day that Jarmo and I were going to the farm to help with the collecting and moving of the hay. Every year there is one day where all the hay bales from the fields have to be thrown into a trailer and then stacked at the top of the barn. Jarmo always comes over to help because its a pretty big job. I was keen to help out because I had enjoyed all the farm activities so far. Basically what we had to do was use our pitch forks to grab the bale and hoist it up and into the lip of the big trailer where someone would stack them up as the tractor moved gradually down the field. Then when the tractor is full we go back to the farm and unload it. After round one, my head was screaming WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING!

It is really hard work and as you hoist up the hay, it goes all over your face and it was a crazy hot day and there were flies everywhere. When we got back to the farm we had to throw the bales into the top of the barn and well in-case you didn't know, hay is an excellent insulator. This meant the inside of the barn was at about 60 degrees! Round two was much better though because well, I was prepared this time and also because I only threw the bales towards the tractor because I had trouble hoisting them far up enough over my head to reach the trailer. I had a turn stacking then and that was hard work too and very itchy! When we were about half way done we got to stop for coffee and Christmas tarts which is a special hay works day tradition. By that point we only needed to load the trailers, I was very glad we didn't need to go in that sauna of a barn again! After a total of 5 hours out on the fields we were finally done, I was very exhausted and now had a whole new level of respect for farmers that do this every single year. I slept like a rock that night.

Even though it is was such a draining experience, it still has a place in my list of top exchange experiences! I don't physically have a list but I know it would be on it. I didn't get any pictures which is a shame but I doubt I looked very acceptable after 5 hours throwing hay so they wouldn't have made it on the blog anyway!!

The next day I skyped mum and told her about my eventful afternoon and I planned on going caching but it was so hot! To all you who said I would freeze here can eat their words because I felt like I was much more likely to melt. It was about 28 but the humidity is crazy, never moving to Queensland! I went swimming in the evening with Tiina and Antti and it was nice to relax with them. I realised I was very used to swimming in salt water and had to tread water a bit more in order to stay afloat! I went to Santeri's soccer game for a while then found my first cache in Kiuruvesi! 6 months living here and I finally found one! It was a very good first week of my summer holidays in Finland. I felt like such a heat wimp though, I should be used to the heat but I was complaining about the weather much more than the Finns! I guess I take the amount of sunshine we have for granted.


Creepy bike riding smile 

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