I have a bit of catching up to do I think! Even though it has only been a few days, much of interest has happened in those days that is worth writing about!
Saturday: Petra and her mother and father came for a visit! I surprised myself and started crying when I saw her, it was like hugging a little piece of home and it caught me off guard. We ate some lovely food, talked for a long time, took a walk and talked some more! It was blissful speaking to her in English and hearing about how she has been adjusting to being home. I will stay at her house while I am in Helsinki, something I am thrilled about. We have all sorts of plans! I might even be able to see Stina in Tallinn too while I´m there which would be brilliant!
Sunday: Me and Äiti went to church. It was a beautiful old church, yellow and white on the outside and painted all white inside. There was a huge silver organ, a gigantic painting of Christ, and several ships hanging from the ceiling. They were there to represent how we are all ´in one boat with God´. That Sunday was special because there was a group of young teens having their confirmation ceremony. The church was packed with family and godparents, all dressed up like for a wedding. The kids were dressed in long white robes, and paraded in carrying a huge cross. There were hymns, and prayers, and the normal things ( except in Finnish!). The confirmation bit was very quick, each teen was blessed by the priest while their godparents stood by. Even though there were about 25 kids, it was over quickly. Then communion, which I took part in. The wine was real and the bread wafer stuck to the roof of my mouth! Note of interest: the wine was the most unpleasant thing I have ever tasted!!! After the ceremony the teens all have huge parties, Ilona went to a friend´s that afternoon. I am describing it all in such detail because it was a Finnish church after all. The denomination ( I guess) was Lutheran, but more than that I´m not sure. After church we ate and then got ready for a total change of gear... the concert!!!!!! I have one word for you: WOW. Wow as in loud, wow as in yikes, wow as in exciting and wow as in I loved it! First there was Pete Parkkonen and his back up band. He was amazing ( and cute...) !! They danced and yelled and screamed and were really great performers. He even sang ´Womanizer´ by Britney Spears, and did it well too! The fans for Pete ( which you say Peh-tay btw) were mostly young teen girls, although the park was packed with families. For the next performer however, it got even more packed, if that was possible! Popeda, a boy band that had been playing together for 30 years is HUGELY popular in Finland, and the fans crowding to the stage for their show were much much older. And much younger too, which surprised me. There were old men dancing there, teens sitting on each others shoulders and whooping, and little girls standing on chairs and singing along! I didn´t like them as much, maybe because they sang in Finnish, and maybe because they were around 45 years old!! But the park was full of dancing, clapping Finns! Afterwards I couldn´t hear properly, it was so LOUD! I got an autograph and a hug (!!) from Pete, and a picture with the bass guitar player, who had really awesome long blonde hair! Happy me lol.
Today( Monday): Not much really, but I went blueberry picking! Not at a farm of somewhere like that, but actual, Finnish style berry picking... in woods. There was miles ( it felt like) of bushes, inbetween tall redbrown pine trees...we picked about 2 buckets full! Then at home I tasted ´blueberry milk´, a Finnish treat ( Blueberries, covered in sugar, drowned in milk and consumed.. yummm). Äiti also made a blueberry pie! Whoo hoo! Tomorrow we leave in the morning for the Moomin world near Turku. I´m not thrilled about being in the car again, but I think I will have a blast anyway.