Finland

Trip Start Jan 23, 2005
1
12
35
Trip End Dec 2005


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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hello everyone! We arrived in Helsinki via ferry boat from Tallinn, Estonia on May 18th. We have had a great time so far with the Oranen family. They live in a very small village about 35 km outside of Helsinki called Veikkola. There are four kids in the family, Ilu (23) is the only boy, then Ilona (19) who was a rotary exchange student in Tulsa last year, Linda (14) is quiet but as sweet as she can be, then the youngest girl Asta (11) who has more energy than you can imagine. Mr. & Mrs. Oranen are both teachers and very smart as well as incredibly gracious. The family is hosting an exchange student right now from France, her name is Lea who is 17 and just as crazy as the rest of the family. Everyone here speaks English very well, even Asta. They learn it in school along with Finnish and Swedish. But this family speaks a ton of different languages, Mrs. Oranen is from Germany so sometimes we hear them speaking german instead of Finnish or English.

It has been suprisingly warm here, probably around 65Ī each day, so we have been spending most of our days in various parks around Helsinki just hanging out and soaking up the sun. We have met most of the Rotary exchange students who are in Finland this year and had a great time getting to know a few. Last Friday we went to meet them on an island for a picnic and a game of crochet. On Wednesday we all met at a beach in the city, it was pretty hot so we laid out but didnīt get into the water because it was SO FREAKING COLD!

Shannon (Erinīs younger sister) got here on Monday evening after visiting her host families in Belgium from her exchange year. She had a great time but I think she was very glad to see us. We are all getting really excited for the VodkaTrain, which we start on Monday May 30th.
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