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September 1st 2007
Published: September 2nd 2007
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Ellen and HenkaEllen and HenkaEllen and Henka

two of my favorite people in Finland!
Friday: I talked to my parents this morning. It was fabulous! I absolutely love the webcam. It was 10:30pm there time and 7:30am my time! I was all dressed and ready for school early so I got online because I know a bunch of my friends from home are online at night New Mexico time! Mom and Dad were in bed on Mom’s laptop and their webcam is on the computer upstairs so they only saw and heard me but they were typing me questions and it was so much fun. I talked to them for almost 20 min before I had to leave for school! Today it was wet. I rode my bike to school in the rain and I was happy. I think it made me laugh when I realized I was in Finland and I was wet and cold in AUGUST…so weird I know, but I think what really made me happy was I had just talked with my parents and I held the prospect of seeing Ellen, Sarah, and Max this weekend…oh and of course getting hugs!!! I only had three classes today so I was finished with school by 1pm! I rode my bike home and started to clean my room. I was so excited, I had great music blasting and I was dancing around while I folded my clothes and such. After I finished cleaning I got online and Ama (my wonderful grandmother in NM where it was 8am), was online too and she started instant messaging me! I started webcaming her and she went and woke up my sister Emily who had spent the night. Emily walked into the view of the camera all groggily eyed from sleep, with crazy hair wearing a big T-shirt. When I saw her my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t get over how adorable she was! I started talking to her and she just gave me this cute little puzzled look like…what is going on and why is stephie’s face on the computer screen…and then she smiled and started laughing. Hearing her laugh was the best thing in the world. Ama sat down next to her and Emily started telling me about how much fun she was having at soccer practice and gymnastics and girl scouts. She told me she got Mrs. Kimball for 4th grade at Corrales Elm, and she was looking forward to seeing Seany play
Moomin BalloonMoomin BalloonMoomin Balloon

why isnt this at the balloon fiesta?
his first soccer game next Wednesday! She showed me where she had lost a tooth and said she loved living in my room because it was a “really really cool room”. After a few minutes Ama called Nina and Emil on her home phone and put them on speaker phone so they could hear me and talk with me too! It was so amazing being able to hear everyone! I was bombarded with questions that made me laugh. I walked around the house with my laptop and webcam, giving them a tour of the entire downstairs (upstairs has no webconnection) and I even took them in the backyard and showed them the views! I opened the fridge and they saw the whole smoked fish and the perfect invention of yogurt sold in a milk carton! I talked to them for an hour or so before Emily had to get dressed for school and my computer ran out of battery! I was incandescently happy when I finally said my I love you’s and got offline. It was already near 6pm when I got off so I organized my desk real quick and put away my computer. Eija, my rotary counselor, came
yogurtyogurtyogurt

the craziest yogurt container we have EVER seen. oh yeah and Ellen!
over around 6:15 to drop off my new Finland Rotary bank card from Nordea Bank. We all visited for awhile while her dog Heppu played with Murre outside. After she left we ate a quick dinner then Leena and I left for Turku to pick up Ellen at the bus station!!! On the way there the Mummin hot air balloon flew over us and I took a picture! Ellen’s bus arrived around 7:30 and we immediately ran at each other and had a hug fest. It was so funny. We were screaming and loud and everyone was looking at us and it just made us laugh. We got back to the car and Leena drove us to the Smarket (I don’t know if its pronounced S-Market or actually as one word like smarket…but whatever) so we could buy some snacks! We bought some chips and bread and these hilarious cookies that came in a three pack that included a red Frisbee! We also found some Mummin Diapers and took a picture of them! When we got home we brought Ellen’s bags up to Emma room (she was staying with Tapio) and went downstairs to get Ellen some food! I gave
Sunset in NaantaliSunset in NaantaliSunset in Naantali

the harbor Friday night. gorgeous.
her a quick tour of the house and then we went and got Henri and we walked down to the harbor to go get some ice cream and Merrisali. We had planned on meeting Maiju, Saya, Lotta and Hanna down there but when we got there all the girls were waiting outside. Apparently every restaurant in Naantali turns into an 18+ bar on Friday nights. That was disappointing but everyone got to meet Ellen! We all walked into town just to keep warm and there I saw Toni Mahoney on his bicycle so I introduced him and Ellen. We basically walked and hung around the town until 10ish when we all got cold and went home! Ellen and I ate tons of cookies and drank tons of apple juice before we started watching High School Musical. We sang along with every song; we both have obviously seen that movie too many times! After it finished we got online then went to sleep!


Saturday: Today we woke up at 9:30. Ellen showered while Leena and I made breakfast. Leena made a smoked fish omelet that was really good! We all ate together then I took a quick shower and we got all dolled up for Turku! We walked to the bus station in Naantali and took the 11:30 bus to Turku! We had the entire back seat to ourselves so we sat with our feet up and looked out the back window at the pouring rain! When we got there we went to Seppala, H&M-where we each bought some tights and legwarmers, and then we went to meet Sarah (my Canadian roommate from camp!). We shopped in SO many stores I can’t even remember the names of them all! There was H&M of course, Kappa-Ahal, Wiklund, Stockman (where Emma works as a manicurist), Vora, Zerra, and so many more! I bought some amazing Dove chapstick from Stockman! We walked around the city for a while then we went to Hesburger for lunch! Max was finished with his hair appointment by then so he came to meet us! He brought his Finnish friend Emmi and another exchange student from Michigan named Kayla (not with Rotary). We walked around with them the rest of the day, getting lost, eating ice cream, laughing way to hard and meeting #7’s. At around 5 we stopped at this little Greek restaurant and Max, Ellen,
EllenEllenEllen

taking over half the back seat
and I split this pepperoni, mushroom, mozzarella and pineapple (oh and another weird fact about Finland-they don’t cut their pizzas, even if it is a 24iner it is still uncut! Ahhh!). When we finished eating we walked Sarah to the bus station and she caught her bus to Kokemaki at 7:30. After leaving her we walked back to the city center and waited for Max, Emmi, and Kayla’s bus back to Paimio. They left at 8:20 and Ellen and I caught our bus #110 back to Naantali at 8:30! The bus home was packed; we barely got a seat together! We ended up sitting behind four guys from my school. They waved at me but I only knew one of them so they didn’t talk to us. They kept laughing at us when Ellen and I would hit our knees on the back of the chair and curse though, it was pretty funny. Right when we got back to the bus station Henri called me and told us to come to his house to meet up with Anssi, Aikka and Jori! We walked home and stopped by my house to change our jackets and put down our shoppingbags then headed
Me!Me!Me!

taking over the other half of the back seat on the bus
over to Henri’s (Henka-nickname) house. When we got there Ellen met Aikka, Anssi, Henri R. (different Henri) and Jori (all hockey player friends from school) and we hung out for a while before Lotta and Saija joined us! We ate snacks and watched the finnish version of Big Brother. We danced, played pool, and watched Friends dubbed in finnish. We also watched Henri R. dance the jive and quickstep and all these ball room dances. It was hilarious. At around 1am we all walked over to Kaivohuone (the dance club) where tonight the Finnish Idol’s (as in American Idol) runner up was performing! As we were waiting in line to get in there was a fight between three bouncers and a drunk man so the owner closed the club early to anyone still outside! We were bummed but tired, so Henka, Ellen, Aikka and I started walking back home. Jori, Anssi, and Henri were picked up by Jori’s cousin Mikka. There was a torrential downpour so we stopped under a tree then ran to an overhang and then an umbrella. We were soaking wet and Aikka had his bicycle too! When the rain finally calmed down we walked back home
EllenEllenEllen

on the bus!
and Aikka left. Ellen and I went to Henka’s house and started watching Charlie and the Chocolate factory but we were way to tired to say awake so we went home and fell asleep!

Sunday: Ellen and I slept in until noon today! We made ourselves breakfast then sat and laughed for a few hours about everything that had happened this weekend. We cooked breakfast and Ellen packed up her clothes. At 3:00 Leena took us to Turku to the bus station. We had another hug fest then Ellen’s bus left at 3:30. Leena and I drove back home and started cooking dinner for Emma’s late birthday party! After eating steak and cake (oooh that rhymed!), we went to sauna! Today I tried something new in the sauna; you cover your body in honey with lavender! It is the stickiest thing I have EVER done, no joke. Nw I have to go to bed! Goodnight Finland!



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