Wednesday, March 4, 2009

#4.4 A Visit From Some Fellow Americans

You might remember at the beginning of my blog I mentioned my room mate in New York who was a girl from rural Kentucky who got placed in Helsinki, well I've kept in touch with her via the Internet and it turns out that she was thinking about going home early, but before she did that she wanted to visit Lapland and see some reindeer. So I invited her up to stay with me for a few days. We picked her up from the railway station and gave her the tour. One of my Finnish friends gave us a ride up to the arctic circle to Santa park where you can see reindeer. My Finnish friend was a little taken a back by my American friend. Shes more typically American than I am. Quite extroverted and social, but sweet. Its kinda funny, I know more about her even though I've actually only seen her a total of a maybe a week, then some of my Finnish friends who I've know for months now.

After taking pictures of the reindeer we went home and talked. She's had a very different experience in Finland than I've had, partly because were completely different people and partly because or situations are opposite as well. She lives in a big city and her host family is kinda up tight while mine is completely laid back, and we live in the middle of nowhere close to a smaller city. Sometimes she finds that Finnish people in general cold, unfriendly and sometimes even rude, but we both love them anyways. It was great to have her visit and just to be able to talk quickly with out sencsoring my vocabulary. Her visit was short but sweet. It was weird thinking that that might be the last time I ever saw her again...

After she left, I had another American friend over. My best friend Kathryn from Denver who is also an exchange student in Finland, only shes with YFU a different exchange agency. She's now living in Lappeenranta, that's in south eastern Finland a good 480 miles from me, too far. I wish we were placed closer together so that we would be able to see each other more often but no such luck. Since before we left we had wanted to meet up in say Helsinki and spend a few days with each other. Well now we were finally getting that chance! She would be coming up to visit me for New Years and then we would take a train together to Helsinki where we would stay at Päivi's for a few days and then she would go home and I would stay a few days longer and then go up to Oulu for an AFS meeting there. The whole trip would take a week and I'd end up missing a few days of school. I had everything worked out with train tickets, I talked to my host dad and I let AFS know.

As I was standing on the train platform waiting for Kathryn to arrive I was extremely excited! I hadn't seen anyone I had known from back home in over 4 months! But I was also a little nervous..what if I'd changed too much or she had? We had been really close back home, but what if now things were different? I saw her through the window on the train before she got out. We were jumping up and down and waiving even before she was out. It seamed to take forever before she got off the train. Then we ran and hugged and squealed and stuff, probably scaring every Finn on the platform by our blatant outburst of emotion. I don't know why I was worried, it felt like we'd never been apart, the only change that was visible is that she was skinnier then the last time I saw her.

She also received the tour of Rovaniemi. We went through the shops and had a little tussle in the toy shop :D It just was like always. I introduced her to as many of my new friends as I could. It was cool having my two worlds overlap just that bit. It made it seam more real, like when we go back I'll have some one who always knows what and who I'm talking about and wont get fed up with me when I start going on about "Well when I was in Finland..." I'm so glad that I have some one like that.

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