Stairs In Luostarivuoren! Gah!
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So I have gone to my first and second Rotary meeting! They are not the most exciting things in the world because I cannot understand anything that anyone is saying, and there is like no people there under the age of 50 other than myself...but otherwise they are nice. This last one that I was at today I presented a 25 minute presentation on the US and Colorado and basically all about my life. I was a little nervous to present, but it was overall fine, I got lots of compliments afterwards saying that it was good, and that I didn't seem nervous at all. So that was good.
Pizza on Exchange Student Wednesday
So am I making friends? Yes! That is a good thing to report! I have one other exchange student at my school who takes a lot of the same classes as me and we both arrived at the same time, and in the beginning we stuck together a lot, and now we are slowly making other friends so we don't spend every class just talking to each other, and that is good because it means that we are both making progress! Hurray! When I came here, at the language camp, the tutors that were there supposedly told us about "finnish culture" but I am discovering a lot of what they said to be stereotypes and untrue as most stereotypes are. One thing is that finns are very shy and will not talk to you at all, this is untrue, I have found them to be very friendly! Not as friendly as americans or say, italians, but they still talk to me. I have found finnish boys to me more shy than finnish girls though.
Huge sign advertising Turku as the Culture Capital
My favorite class in English Class. Mmmm....i wonder why....but I love it because I have studied languages a lot in a classroom setting a lot. And I have always wondered what it would be like to study english in a classroom setting. Of course this isn't exactly the same, because finns learn english really fast and really young. So by the time they get to high school they are fluent in english. So it isn't the exact same as the languages classes in the US, but it is still a language class. It is also interesting to experience though. I am actually very surprised at the level that the 3rd years (seniors in the US) are on. They are practicing words in English that I doubt that I will ever learn in another language. It is insane! And they have absolutely no confidence in their english skill, so I am constantly saying "no! Your english is amazing!" But I am also becoming better at understanding what people are describing and their sign language when they don't know the right word, so sometimes I get what they are saying a lot faster than they say it, so I feel very telepathic, like a mind reader! Because you have to be a mind reader sometimes with those who can't speak the best english, but most of the time it is very easy to understand people because they speak very good english. But the lack of confidence that finns have with their english class makes them a bit more shy. But after I tell them "Your english is great" They get a bit more relaxed about speaking english. But it will be hard to learn finnish when I only speak english with them. But the times that I have spoken some finnish I have been told that I have very good finnish....but I don't speak a lot........yet!
This last weekend there was a big thing happening in Turku, which was the Tall ships came to town! The tall ships were big pirate ship like ships that came from all over Europe for a big sailing race in the Baltic sea. I heard that usually there are a lot more ships and this year not all of the ships that are racing But it was still a cool experience because I had never seen a lot of ships that are that style. They were very cool. And on Saturday evening my host mom and I went to see them, and there were a whole bunch of vendors selling all sorts of Handmade crafts and I think that those are very cool to see, so we spent a lot of time looking at those and of course we also saw the ships that were there, and then on Sunday went early in the morning to look at more of the crafts that people had made, and then we took a boat out a little ways in the archipelago and we watched at the big ships all left the harbor, and it was really cool! The only thing was that it was very windy on the boat and my hair became really annoying!
Another thing that we did this weekend was that we went to my host brother's military base. This was interesting because I got to see how where all the finnish boys go to do their military service that they are required to do. It was cool. Because in the finnish military service that they have the public can come and see them pledge themselves to the finnish military. And we got to see them marching. It was very cool, because there really isn't anything like that in the united states. And it was a totally new experience for me. Of course it was all in Swedish, so I didn't understand anything that they were saying, but it was still cool.
My host brother is the third one over
He is the only one smiling in this picture
My host brother is the one in the center
Next weekend I am going sailing in the archipelago! Which will be very fun! And tomorrow is Wednesday and that is my favorite day of the week so yay!
So I will leave you with a quote that I found in my english book that I really like even though it isn't really related at all to this post.
"Television is when you can be entertained by people who you wouldn't normally have in your living room"