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, October 16, 2011

Niin paljon marjoja!

Another thing you should know about Finns is that most of them are very passionate about their berries! There is a law that in the forest anyone can collect as many berries as they would like, regardless of who the forest belongs too. During the summer Finnish people pick a lot of berries and freeze them to use throughout the year. I think its a great mentality, its just another way that Finland shows that it is very sustainable. Already I have picked strawberries and blueberries and this time I was picking blackcurrants which are mostly used to make juice or berry soup which is delicious! I asked my family if they had heard of Ribena but sadly Finland is deprived of its awesomeness :( We also tried a few other berries that were in their garden, like gooseberries and others that I don't know that names of. 

After we picked all the berries, Liisa and I made apple and blackcurrant crumble and it was quite tasty but blackcurrants have a very intense taste that I didn't enjoy so much.  I rode home that night under a full moon, by then it was dark and it felt almost like I was in a dream because there was a lot of fog and it was all light up by just the light of the moon.

The recipe actually said, now take a moment to take a picture of the sugar on the berries

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Being Suomalainen

On the 4th of August, the running club had a bit of a special event and my first host parents were running there so I went along.  We cooked makkara and made coffee on the fire and it was all very Finnish. I always love when we go to Koskelo, it is one of my favourite places in Finland. 

I love this place, I love this country, I love my life.


At the start of August my host parents were on holidays and we spent quite a few days at the summer cottage. I tried to water ski but I just couldn't do it! I was a bit disappointed in myself but I got to go on the tube thing which was good fun as well.

The last part of July

It feels weird to be talking about day to day things so I am just going to do some highlights for a little while, maybe until I catch up.

On the 23rd I rode to Murennos and spent the day hanging out with all of them. The weather was really lovely and Ville, Eeva and I rode our bikes into the city to get soft drink and it was so peaceful out! We played GH and we had full cream milk ice-cream, flash back to I think March when I had it last! We watched a movie on TV and it was about a Finnish excahnge student in America. One thing I loved about the summer is that I can ride my bike home at 10pm and it is still light! The very next day I rode to Murennos again and this time I got absolutely saturated riding there, the weather can change so much in just one day!

On Friday the 29th I was up early to go to Doris' place to help her make some pulla. I leant some new pulla making techniques and we ate them afterwards and they were DELICIOUS! My pulla can't even compare. On Saturday there was a Soccer Tournament for lots of teams in my city. I went with Ritva and Salla and it was insanely warm, I think that it had to be one of the warmest days for the whole summer. Jarmo, Santeri and Henriikka were all playing so we watched a few games and I took some photos. There was a magician there who did a card trick for us all and I had never seen it before and I wanted to know how it worked! Don't you just hate that! Actually there was a famous singer there that day and I got to shake his hand which brings my famous Finns count to 4! I got so sunburned that day and I had a strange shaped top on and it was the stupidest looking sunburn ever.

I also made biscuits, who can guess the shapes?



Sunday, October 9, 2011

6 Months and 1 year

16th to 22nd of July
It was Jarmo's birthday on the 16th so we spent the morning making some things for afternoon tea. When everyone arrived, I got a few birthday presents. A lovely pair of earrings, some Marimekko cases, some cloud-berries and a cactus! We watched a slideshow on Henriikka's pictures from Australia. One thing about Finnish people is that when young people have a birthday, Christmas or confirmation, it is common for them to receive gifts like sets of plates, mugs and kitchen utensils that they can keep in storage until they move out and then they have a collection of things to use. I think it is a great idea and am going to be asking for those sorts of things for my next birthday. In the evening I watched the very last episode of Sea Patrol ever :( I love that show!

On the Sunday I woke up early and tried to find the motivation to finish my eurotour blogs. I got a way but gave up after before I finished. Ritva and I drove up into the forest and picked some blueberries because I wanted to make blueberry muffins. The mosquitoes were crazy! We came home after just two containers of blueberries and had lunch. We all went to Ritva’s mums place and had pulla and coffee and laid out in the sun on the trampoline. I had ice cream with cloudberries and they were really delicious!

I made my blueberry muffins on the Monday morning and they turned out really, really well. I used this recipe and I couldn’t recommend it any more. I went to volleyball in the evening and I hadn’t been in a while and it was good to be back! We played beach volleyball with some of Henriikka's friends afterwards and it was pretty fun. I thought it was funny how as the game progressed the swearing increased and how much I understood did too :P

The rest of the week was spent doing nothing at all, I was sick and I had gone into holiday hibernation. I went to the library and borrowed some kids books to read in Finnish and on the way home got absolutely saturated. Finnish summer is really lovely but it rains almost every second day! Coming from the direst state on the driest continent, I got sick of it quite quickly. The Friday was my 6 month mark in Finland which was just incomprehensible. 

In more recent news, I moved host families just over a week ago. That means that the next time I pack up all my things, it will be to head back to Australia. Time is running out so fast but I have been trying to not think of it and just live with the time I have. It is also the 1 year mark from when Dad fell which is so crazy! At the time each day felt so long and hard and now a whole year has been and gone. Mum and Dad are in the air right now, heading to Europe, I think its fitting that their flight was today.