Well, it's been almost a month since I last posted something, and SO much has happened. I'll spare the details this time, but here's a bit of what I've been up to lately.
Christmas happened. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, and you open presents in the evening, after Joulupukki (Santa Claus) has come to pass them out. It was hard for me at first for it to feel like Christmas without running downstairs and opening presents right away, but after family got here and we had dinner, it got much better. Christmas food is.... different. Rice porridge with cinnamon and sugar for breakfast was definitely my favorite thing I ate that day. And some of the most interesting were probably the carrot casserole, and the liver casserole. But, I did try everything that was offered, and the next day I went for dinner at my first host family's house, and ate a lot more there! Our first course was all sorts of fish... and I think everyone back home would be proud to know that I TRIED ALL OF IT. And.......... I actually LIKED most of it. Crazy, I know.
Oh, but about first day, Joulupukki was 45 minutes late. He went to the wrong house in another town. Walked in and asked where "the American" was, and found out there wasn't one. But, he still came, and it was great! After all.... Santa Claus does LIVE in Finland :)
On Christmas Day night, we lost power for about 4 days. That was interesting. I had some cool lamp thingy in my room, but it got pretty boring since the sun sets at 4. So, I slept a lot. Nothing wrong with that I didn't think.
Then, there was New Years, went out with exchange students after plans got changed, but still had a good night! One thing scary about New Years here though.... everyone is drunk.... and everyone has fireworks. In the middle of the city. I was a bit frightened, but luckily made it out unharmed. :)
For the rest of break, I hung out with exchange students a lot, and even had some plans with Finnish friends, which is always nice. I went out to lunch and played laser tag with some friends one day, went to the movies one day with another (saw Girl with the Dragon Tattoo... HIGHLY recommend it).
Then, somehow, it was back to school already. School started again on the 9th, and not much has happened. Everyone in Finland is getting hyped up about the Presidential debate happening soon. We even had a mock election at our school today. I also joined a basketball team, I think. I went to practice today, and it was so tough! I'm definitely out of shape, so it's a good thing I'm going to start playing again I think. I'm going again tomorrow (my host sister goes too). It was fun to play again, and I hope to stick with it for a while this year. Until springtime and Finnish baseball starts, that is.
Some exchange students "oldies" (they've been here since January, and so, they leave in January) have been leaving. One left already, and it was terribly sad. The other two leave on Friday. Having them leave really means that this year in Finland is almost halfway over, and it's scary how quickly it's going. I'm going to make the most out of the rest of my time here!
OH, I also agreed to do a speech at the "old dances" in about a month.... in Finnish. I'm a bit worried, because I feel like my Finnish isn't good enough yet, but hopefully this will just help make it even better, and I know that once I do it, I will be much more confident with my Finnish.
Also.... my Norwegian sister (exchange student that lived with me last year) is coming to visit me in 23 days! Her mom is coming too, and I am so excited to meet her and see Oda again! It's going to be a wonderful weekend. I'm SO looking forward to it!
Hope all is well back home! Love you all!