Your Saviour Has Returned

“You’re late,” you may be thinking.

“A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.”

However, I must admit that I am no wizard, and I appear to be a couple of months late in updating this blog thingy of mine. So much stuff has been happening that I could be posting something new and interesting several times a week, but for some reason I lost the inclination to write about things for a while there. Now, however, I am seized with the desire to bring y’all up to date with my situation.

Big things have happened since November, so I suppose I’ll start at the beginning: Lapland

Lapland is the Northern area of the Nordic countries, way up in the cold dark North, and they decided to send all the Rotary exchange students in Finland up there for a week. We stayed near the town of Muonio, deep within the Arctic Circle, and too close for comfort to the Swedish border. ~150 exchange students were packed into 4 buses for the long drive there (16 hours in my case), luckily when you’re surrounded by such amazing people, even that length of journey is an amazing time.Our time in Lapland was simply terrific. The first couple days were spent skiing, some downhill and some cross-country (I choose cross country as it was less expensive and the ski hills here are a bit smaller then I’m used too). As well as skiing we spent our time at the ski hill sledding and just generally frolicking in the snow. Despite the temperature being -15 to -20 (not really that cold actually) I never wanted to go inside. Even though I’ve lived with snow and cold all my life, it wasn’t until now that I realized how much I love the winter. I think I might become one of those people who travels so that I’m always where there is snow.
We also got to go dog sledding, rode in a reindeer sleigh and learned about the Sami (natives to Lapland). The only thing missing from the trip was the Northern Lights. Despite being very, very far North, and the lack of light pollution, the Aurora Borealis decided not to show itself.

I made a little video of the various animal pulled modes of transportation.

I’ve been taking fewer, and worse, photos lately, but here are a few from Lapland. The ski hill at 10 in the morning or so, some snow and the Swedish border, which was just minutes from where we were staying.

 

Here you can see the sun setting in Lapland. At two in the afternoon.

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New Host Family

Almost immediately after Lapland, I moved to my second host family, Mikko and Pirjo Torala. They are amazing, which is good since I’ll be staying with them for the rest of my exchange. The best part is that they are very dedicated to helping me learn Finnish. Whilst many exchange students families are mainly speaking English, because it makes things easier, Mikko and Pirjo have the incredible patience to speak mainly Finnish, and put up with my slow understanding and awkward speaking.

Christmas

Christmas was delightfully white here in Helsinki, a foot and a half of snow or so. The Christmas traditions here are very nice. Finns celebrate on Christmas Eve, which I’m already used too ’cause my family in Canada are crazy or something. The main Christmas food is a big salty ham. It’s delicious, but I ate it at every meal for three or four days by which point I’d had enough. My host sister Eini who lives in Turku (another Finnish city, which is often joked about, poor thing) was in Helsinki for the holidays, which was nice because she has perfect English. On Christmas Eve we went first to the graveyard to light candles on relatives graves, and then to my host Grandparents house for Christmas dinner. The dinner was amazing, as well as the ham there were various mashed vegetables and delicious raw salmon which is cured with salt and things. The best part was going to sauna, ’cause who doesn’t love a Christmas sauna? Right?

I didn’t take any photos during Christmas, but here’s one of my new haircut to make up for it.

Well, that’s more or less it since last I wrote. It’s a new year now and all continues splendidly. Rock on y’all!

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~ by end720 on January 17, 2013.

One Response to “Your Saviour Has Returned”

  1. What colour was the reindeer’s nose?

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