It’s summer and the anticipation grows! I know that I told myself over and over again that I will study more finnish right when school gets out, but I haven’t. I have been....too busy? Yeah let’s just go with that....
But I have been doing a lot of things, for one thing I have cleaned out my closet and I will soon be having a garage sale to fundraise for next year. That has taken up a lot of my time. Also I have been out with my friends, enjoying summer, ect. I am putting studying finnish off and I do feel bad about it but I will focus on it eventually. I promise, there is no way that I would let myself go off to Finland with only the vocabulary that I have now.
So I have officially gotten my first host family! Which has made me super pumped! I originally emailed the host family that was on my guarantee form and they emailed back soon after. I was very excited about them when another host family emailed me and said that they would be hosting me in August. Naturally I was a little confused. So I talked to my YEO (youth exchange officer) and he said that it is normal that the host family that is on the guarantee form isn’t always the first host family and that the second family to email me is probably the first host family I will have. So I started to get excited about this family as well. Another exchange student from my district is in Finland right now and it’s so funny because he is staying with the family that will be my first host family! It is very coincidental!
Facebook is possibly the greatest invention of all time! I am just going to put that out there(and I still haven’t seen the social network yet!). It is so helpful in finding and talking to people from all over the world who are going through the exact same thing! I have found many people who will be going to Finland next year and those who are already in Finland and people who live there. It is so great! I can't really imagine what being an exchange student 30 years ago must have been like! Having to receive information by actual mail! Can you imagine?The thought seems to scare me as an exchange student! Now it is so quick and easy to email my host family or my YEO so quick and get a response within a day. Or instant messaging people in Finland and getting to have an entire conversation being worlds apart! If there is anything that is more handy than Facebook when it comes to talking to people all over the world, you will need to tell me about it!
Anyways....As the days go on I find myself thinking about all the american things that I will miss. First and foremost I will miss my cat. She is such a big part of my american life, it makes me sad to think that I will have to spend a year without her :( Second I will miss some of my favorite TV shows. Most of the shows that I watch I don't really care about and I can miss a year. But the shows that I will miss the most are The Daily Show with Jon Steward and The Colbert Report. They are very american shows. And I know that by going on an exchange I'm trying to get away from american culture. But they are some of my favorite shows, and I love being "update with american politics" (I put those in quotes because it really isn't a news show but one of the only ways I can actually pay attention to politics) especially since I'm going to miss the primary elections for 2012 and I always like to see the political bits of Saturday Night Live. I am going to miss websites like hulu and netflix. I was aware that they don't stream in other countries but then I was reminded of it the other day when a friend who is already on her exchange posted about it on Facebook and it started to seem so real :( And of course I will miss my friends. I am spending a lot of time with them now that it is summer and I keep thinking that I will spend next year without them. Of course I will make new friends but that is also one thing that scares me a lot about the beginning of next year. Everybody tells me that Finns are very reserved and that I'm going to need to break the ice. I would be able to do this but it is also in a language that I barely speak. So I am freaked out a little by this thought. But I am sure that I will be able to accomplish this.
It is easy to put my exchange out of my mind right now with summer in Summit county. I know that other future exchange students are not having such luck but I am spending a lot of my time with friends and the weather here as been absolutely perfect! It reminds me that I am glad that I'm not leaving just yet because summer in Summit is the best time of the year! Also I have a huge trip to Norway coming up and I will be trying to speak a lot of norwegian with family when I'm there. This will help me with my swedish when I'm in finland because Swedish is basically the same as norwegian just some small differences. Here are some pics from summer in Summit County.
As you can see I am able to put my exchange out of mind and not explode from all the excitement!