Yes, I’ve been away from my blog. I have a few starts leading up to my departure from home. I started posts about my excitement and planning for the trip but I could never stay with it to the end. And now I’m here and I’ve been here long enough to lose track of how long I’ve been here 🙂 but I know that last night I slept through the night after a great conversation with Christine that started to anchor us with all that we have been gathering for the last 3 days.
I arrived on Wednesday morning and found my way to the correct bus stop and waited with a cup of drinkable Starbucks from the only Starbucks in Finland. I don’t ever go crazy for Starbucks but for Christine, I had four pounds of it packed tightly in the suitcase from home. It was sunny and the bus ride of 2 hours+ gave me time to see a bit of the country and snooze. I wondered if I could keep up the pace of Christine’s schedule once I got to her town of Tampere. I had no clue how to correctly pronounce it and I wasn’t sure how close we were, but I now could call her safely on my A T and T Traveler Minutes.
Just as the bus entered the station, yes, we had arrived. Christine was hangin’ right at the stop and again, I left my post for time to get my Finn Feet anchored and yes, I’m anchored just before the country joins with other socialist countries in Europe to celebrate May Day tomorrow. Actually, the fun begins tonight and it’s up to the weather, whether or not we join in. Of course, we did buy an extra bottle of wine. Alcohol is essential for this holiday.
It’s been a challenge taking on the weather that moves from rain, to sunshine, to snow showers, to wind and rain and back again…Not much spring here yet but it’s good to know that back home, it’s officially Spring and as we get off the plane I can finally officially shed my winter skins.
But enough complaining. It’s been wonderful getting to peel back the miracle that’s Finnish education. No miracle, just patient and thoughtful planning and more than that of course. It’s complicated and it was good to keep digesting each visit we made in the last week. I can’t wait to get home and keep chewing all that I’ve seen and documented. I couldn’t have done it without my door opener, Christine, Fulbright Educator, who gave us a chance to see for ourselves.
Tomorrow, as we enjoy May 1st here in Tampere in the morning and later in Helsinki, we have one more school to visit and I will get ready to welcome Tuvia for the last leg of this vacation. Just a few days of tourist and then home to race into the HVWP Summer Institute Orientations, the final projects at Highland Falls and Jack at Dover.
I’ll say goodbye to Christine and our face-to-face adventures and wait for her return in June with more insights than ever.
I’m so glad I’m here even with the crazy weather.