I will start with where I left off.
The last several weeks of my time at Luostarivuoren Lukio were some of the greatest in my life. But these great weeks were draped in sadness of the knowledge in the back of my mind that I would soon have to leave all that I knew behind and return to that place I "lived" in before I truly lived.
There is nothing worse than a goodbye.
The last weeks of school I spent a lot of time by the river with my friends, enjoying the spring/summer, and admiring how green everything had suddenly become. I also became OBSESSED with Eurovision...To this day I am still disappointed that Sweden won...
I had to do a couple short speeches in finnish for my school and for Rotary. The speech for Rotary was long, but I wrote it all myself, and surely enough I had many grammatical errors, but I didn't want anyone to correct me, because I wanted Rotary to know that it was MY finnish that I was speaking and nobody else wrote my speech for me (because I know a lot of exchange students who did that in the past). I wore my beautiful (and heavy) Rotary blazer while I presented and I talked about everything from my trip to Estonia to how I though the rain was exciting when I first arrived. I was so depressed when I walked out of that door afterwards, because I knew it was my last Rotary meeting, and I was so sad at the thought of no longer being that club's exchange student. And of course I would miss the delicious food every Tuesday.
My speech for my school was a little different. Different in that I cried many times during the writing process. It was late at night and my emotions were high and I couldn't bare the thought of leaving behind all these wonderful people that I have met! I would miss everything about it like to the smiles I have gotten from people I barely know and the waves on the street from friends I talked to six months ago, but we still wave whenever we see each other. It hurts me to think about the idea of no longer being the center of attention as the strange and shiny toy from another country that everybody asks questions and is so friendly to.
Thankfully I managed to not cry during my speech, because that would have been a bit embarrassing...I actually made a lot of people in the room laugh with a couple of the jokes I made, which was a great moment because finnish audiences are the hardest to present in front of.
A bit grainy photo of the three exchange students in Luostis 2011-2012
Ykis paras asia tapahtuu minulle koulun viime viikkossa. Robin, Suomen Justin Bieber, mene luostarivuori ennen lukio (middle school) ja lounsassa yks päivä mä nähdän hän ja minä juoksin hänelle ja kysyäin englaneksi "Can I have your augograph??" ja hän sano "Mitä?" ja mä selitän että mä olin vaihto-oppilas, ja hän antoi mä hänen allekirjoitus! Best moment of my exchange right there...I set out from the beginning of my exchange saying to my friends "I am going to get his autograph or else I am not going back to the US". It was kind of symbolic that it happened in the last couple weeks of school.
One of my last finnish school lunches...My friends were embarrassed that day that I was taking pictures of my lunch..but that's what they get for being friends with the exchange student
I should also note how obsessed I was with the Finnish hockey when the world cup was in Helsinki. It was amazing watching Finland play, I loved it so much, and I died a little inside when they lost and Russia won...that seriously killed me a little. It was a bit scary when Sam and I were in town on the day of the USA-Finland game and we were wearing our american flags and everything, just to be trolls. But then USA lost and everything went as planned. My host father did threaten that I would sleep outside if US won that game...Was he serious? We will never know....
My host parents gave me the job of baker for my host brother's graduation party, which was the day after school got out. That meant 200 pulla. All before 12:00. Being the cook that I was, I demanded of myself they be fresh, so I would make them the same day. On top of that, it was the day I left for Eurotour, so I invited several of my friends from all over finland to come to my host brother's party (since we left in the evening) They came over and it was all a good time. Although it was one of the most busiest mornings, I really enjoyed making 200 pulla because in the end, I can say that I made 200 pulla in just four hours.
That was the day I had to say goodbye to my very good friend Winnie from Taiwan, who would be leaving for Taiwan when I was on Eurotour. It made me very sad to say goodbye, but I plan on making a trip to Taiwan in the not-so-distant-future, so who knows when I will see her again!
That evening I left for my Eurotour, which was, as I expected, the greatest two and a half weeks of my entire life.....
more on that soon.....