Thursday, June 25, 2009

Moi! I know many days have passed since my last entry, but I have not had access to a computer until now! I am in Turku, Finland currently, at the Scandic Julia Hotel. I have already done many things since last I wrote, and I really don´t know how to tell about them all! The orientation in D.C. was very nice, although very long and sometimes boring. We were lectured on Finland and Finnish culture, we did many interesting activies too. For example, we were split into 4 groups that each had to do a presentation of some aspect of Finnish culture for the staff at the YFU office in D.C. My group did a presentation on Finnish design and marimekko ( a popular fabric design) which included a mini fashion show! On Tuesday, we dressed up and went to Capitol Hill, I met with staff members from Senator Liberman and Senator Dodd´s offices! We then went to the Finnish Embassy, which was beautiful, and had learned more about Finland from the people there. From there, we drove to the Finnish Ambassadors home! It was really amazing, all fancy and like a mansion. We had a wonderful dinner buffet of Finnish foods, including a strawberry and cream cake that is very popular in Finland! We all got pictures with the Ambassador, but I can´t post them here because I can´t get them off my computer at the moment.The trip here was quite exciting, an 7½ hour flight from Washington D.C. and then a 2 hour flight to Helsinki. I had to run across the Frankfort airport because I left my carry on bag at security by accident, which was quite an adventure! I sat next to a very nice Finnish boy on the plane, who had been an exchange student in the USA for the last 10 months and was returning home. He didn´t realize at first that I was American, and thought that I was Finnish!!!!! I thought that was hilarious :) I am still extremely jet lagged, although I slept more than 12 hours last night, and was very nearly late to the morning session. I missed breakfast too! We went walking around the city last night, it was SO beautiful at the river that runs through Turku, there were many people sitting on the banks and on the restaurant boats anchored there. I took some pictures too, which I cannot get here now. I already and in love with Finland, it is amazing! The most stunning thing about it ( so far) is the silence. I had been told before that Finns are comfortable with silence, but I had not really understood it until I got off the plane and walked into the Helsinki-Vanta airport! There was an entire airport full of Finns, and no one was saying a word. The Silence was huge, but not painful or awkward. at all. Instead, it was like a breath of fresh air! Everyone knew that it was okay to not talk, and were comfortable doing so. I LOVED IT. It made me feel like I shouldn´t talk either, for face disapproving glances from the Finns. Our group of 14 was so loud as we stood around and walked through the airport, it felt very odd. The orientation so far in Turku has been really great, this afternoon we had a quick Finnish lesson and later we get some free time. We do some touring tomorrow, and have more free time ( I will enjoy that alot, like I did today, except today I got lost on my way back to the hotel!!!!). Friday we also get to try the sauna, which I am verrrrrrry excited about. We WILL wear our swimsuits though! Saturday we finally get to meet our host families, and then I will be able to write more often. I will probably not write until then. I hope this wasn´t completely confusing, my brain is quite tierd from trying to understand Finnish! I already have SO many stories!!
Moi from Finland!

8 comments:

  1. So glad you are finally able to post here! I've been checking your blog for news of your travels, and reading this, I am happy happy happy for you. xxx GG

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  2. Dear Megan, You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw you had posted a new entry in your blog! We love all the stories and your keen eye for detail. You are such a good writer! When I saw your flight to Frankfurt was delayed an hour, I hoped you wouldn't have to run too far in the Frankfurt airport. What a story about your suitcase! How funny that an American thought you were a Finn! How wonderful that you are enjoying the sunshine 4,000 miles away. Many hugs and kisses from your happy mother.

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  3. Hi, Megan, your mom told me about your post.

    (Great-Uncle) Kip

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  4. Good Morning! I see I posted wrong about your airplane seatmate -- it's even better! What was that conversation like, talking to a homeward bound exchange student, as you are an outward bound exchange student? Today is a strange day here: Dad will go visit Grammy in Massachusetts. Bethany is Babysitting; Jamie has a playdate; Petra is sleeping over at a friend's. Tonight I am going out with Whitney,Deb, and friends. Keep up the great stories (when you have time!) Love, Mom

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  5. Hello Megan - I hope you don't mind that I am following your adventure in Finland also. Traveling is so exciting. I know that you are going to have an incredible trip. I have been privilaged to do a great deal of traveling, but I come home transformed every time. So will you!! I am especially interested in the trip you will take to Lapland. This is a place I would like to go someday. I have been to Helsinki and toured the city as well as their outdoor markets. I will look up in our Atlas where you are and follow along. Have a fantastic time and enjoy every minute!! Janice Novak

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  6. Hi Megan!
    I am so glad you have had some adventures. Running across airports = fun story + exercise. Just imagine what everyone thought of you as you were running!
    Megan, in your heart are a musician like me. When I travel, I am very tuned into the sounds of a place. Don't forget to keep recording your sound impressions. Since silence is well prized, what ever sound occurs must have more weight. You'll have to tell me about Finnish music as well. I know a few tunes and they are beautiful.
    I'm sure your parents approve of your bathing suit useage. It is very kind of you to reassure them!!
    If you get a chance, you'll have to tell us about the quality of light - do you have an extra long day?
    Mom sent pictures of you at your temporary home. You look stunning and beautiful as always. The family looks very sweet.
    Remember - the bumps make this journey more interesting. Try to enjoy them when they happen.
    Tons of love, my world traveller.
    Your Godmother,
    Laurel

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  7. Okay - LOL, I used Steve's account to post here and had NO IDEA that his nickname was "Just Darn Angry" - it's the name he uses for posting on polical blogs.

    You will find it amusing to know that he is now "Fairy Godmother" when he posts about politics thanks to me. :>)

    Love,
    Laurel

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  8. Thanks all, love you!!!

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