My first week in Finland

My first week in Finland has been crazy. After a 31 hour flight from Sydney with two stops along the way, in Dubai and Heathrow, we finally arrived, and got straight into the action. We went straight to our first accommodation, which was an old school house, that was converted into a hostel, on an old fortress island in the bay of Helsinki. The island was turned into a fortress by the Swedish king, that expected all enemies to be coming in from the sea, and not over land, like the Russians. The next day we went to our language camp for a week of learning and fun. On top of learning a language, we experienced many new and exciting things such as Sauna. The Sauna was very different from the ones in Australia. It was a lot hotter, at around 92 degrees, so we didn’t spend nearly as much time in it. After a period of around 15 minutes, we would either go for a swim in the frozen lake, or roll around in piles of snow. The lake was so much colder afterwards. All of the water would freeze on your skin and in your hair. We did this two times, the first time all of us were too nervous to go naked, so i just wore my speedos. The second time most of us got the courage to go fully nude. The lake certainly seemed a lot colder that time. Other than the Sauna, we had two nights of experiencing new things. One night was devoted to just having fun in the snow, where we ran around and kicked exercise balls in a sport similar to soccer, and sat on plastic sheets and slid down hills. That was particularly fun. The second night was called life in the forest, and we got to experience what medieval or ancient Finns experienced. We got to try Fire cooked rainbow trout that was honestly some of the best fish i have ever tasted. We then went down to the lake to try our hand at drilling holes in the ice, and we were taught how to escape if we fell in with a pair of small metal spikes that we were given. The next activity was to look at how traditional Finnish pancakes were cooked. although slightly burnt, mine was delicious with jam. The last experience was snow shoeing and cross country skiing. Sadly my feet were far too big for the limited range of cross country skis that they had, so I sadly missed out on that. I hope i get to try it sometime in the future. At the end of the week we met our host families for the first time and although it was a bit awkward, it was lovely. We sat down and had lunch with them and then left for our home for the next 4 months. The car trip home was really fun as they are really talkative. We had one stop on the way home to get my new Finnish sim card and i got to see the local shopping centre. We also picked up my host brother’s suit for the upcoming ball, and also a pair of shoes for the ball. We finally arrived home to this lovely big house with heaps of room for me and even a tv. 

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