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, January 31, 2013


I had another District camp this time in Pieksämäki , It was so great to see all the Aussies again and meet the newbie’s! It was very weird seeing them at the very beginning of their exchanges. They asked the same sort of questions and commented on all the same sort of things we did at the start which is really weird! It was a really fun camp, we gave little speeches in Finnish, had a mini Olympics, went on a hike through the forest and SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS! Yep! It was about 3am and they were only white but it was definitely them! I didn't get any pictures, they lasted all of 3 minutes and then they were gone. It was a very strange time to be seeing them and so far south, we were very lucky!

I really loved the weather in September and I would often take a walk in the big forest that was a few hundred metres from my house. It wouldn’t be a blog about me without a story where I made a fool of myself though. They were working on the track so that there would be a bridge for snow mobiles or something and it meant that there had been a lot of digging around the tracks and after a few days of rain, they turned into great big mud pits….. On one of my walks I was faced by a mud pit and simply had to walk through it. Even after that somewhat small mishap, I was faced with a dirty great big trench! I had to jump and hope I didn’t slip in, it was deep enough and wet enough that it would have been very hard to get out! I did love the forest though. 

September brought a lot of planning as Mum and Dad had booked in their flights and I was responsible for organising lots of activities with the Visit Finland people. It was an exciting time! It was also very nerve racking as I was picking my subjects and pathways for year 12 around this time too. Strange to think back to when it was just planning and now it is over! 

I also got to see another play at the local theatre in September, it was being directed by a friend of mine, I saw the play 4 times through rehearsals and then an actual showing with Tiina. The local theatre was a really important part of my exchange in the last few months. I loved it and wish I had been more involved or at least, watched, earlier. 

As many Rotary students will know, changing host families will mean there are these inevitable "phases" that your exchange will go through, little things like the route you go to school, people you become friends with or family traditions that become part of your life that mean a lot to your exchange experience, when you move families you may or may not be able to keep those  special things but they mean a lot. One very special person in my exchange was my host grandma Doris. I loved all my host grandparents and they were all very lovely people but Doris was such a beautiful person and I was able to spend a lot of time with her during my exchange. Sometimes we would just have lunch or sometimes we might walk to the cemetery to water the flowers or walk down to the lake where it would drop a few more degrees. I was very grateful for my friendship with Doris, my Nana here in Australia is one of my best friends so it meant a lot to have a Finnish Nana as well.  

That awkward moment when Ana POKES SOPHIE IN THE EYE XD

Finnish beauty

Lunch time shenanigans

This was a pretty rad place (y)

At the theatre with Tiina :)

Group shot!

The beautiful Finnish Autumn 

Going on a bear hunt, going to catch a big one!

Oh no! 

Would have been helpful before I walked up the hill...