Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Show Time

As an extra curricular activity I attended a play with my Rotary club at the theatre in Kotka city centre.

On the walk to the theatre from the bus I notice that they have reinstalled the lighting in the trees either side of the path to help deal with the darker and earlier nights and bring some beauty to the grey surroundings.

When we arrived we got a backstage tour which I found extremely interesting and we met some of the actors that would be in the show.

I also really enjoyed the play and was excited when I understood a lot more than I did at the last performance I went to (2 months before)... well except for when you were no longer suppposed to understand what was going on when the play had reached a stage of anarchy!

talvi tulee/ winter comes

I went with my host mum and host sister to a town 45 minutes drive north from Kotka for my host sister's basketball tournament. It was an over night tournament with many games so we stayed the night in a school with all the other teams, in the morning we woke up to see it had snowed during the night, how exciting!!

Unfortunately the  snow didnt follow quickly to Kotka however the weather was certainly colder and there were some quite interesting frozen puddles on the walk to the bus stop...

A New Beat

I took part in a drum cirle program which was abrach off program for my school, some of the art students took photos all containing different moods and emotions and subject matter. Then as a combination of arts music was added in the form of drums (played my myself and other exchange students) and guitars - the goal being to see how the photos could be enhanced by the music, we practiced the drumming for 4 weeks, once a week for 2-3 hours and then then the 5th week everything was combined to make the final performance.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Syys ja Ruska (Autumn and Autumn Colours)

About 1 week after changing family the gradual change from Summer to Autumn began - at first it was just a few trees but by the end it was quite beautiful. However apparently it wasn't as grand as some years becasue this year was warmer than average.

and as a p.s. I love the word 'ruska' as it does mean autumn colours but also translates to 'forest glowing with autumn tints' <-- amazing how all that can be said in 1 word.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hi, I'm Ana and I am a masterchef!

After settling into the pattern of life in my new host family I had a holiday from school because I had done all my exams and had none left for the exam week.

I decided to make a meat pie for dinner as something to do and to introduce my host family to something Australian. 

my masterpiece

I also added 2 teaspoons of vegemite to the meat as a bit of an extra Australian twist and
I must say it was quite amazing!

Also as a random side note:

I was playing the Hard Rock Cafe version of monopoly and was quite offended to realise that Australia was the cheapest lots you could buy... not happy Jan! ahahaha (Australian pop culture reference)

I have quickly decided to do some educating of non-Australians reading this blog with said Australian pop culture I talked about above:

The time comes again...

Unfortunately the time came for mne to pack my things and move on to my next family, unfortunate as I had to move from my current family who I have gotten to know so well and have many memories with but then also excitement as to what my life in a new family will bring.

My last day included a 2 hour early mark from school so that I could go ice-skating with my host dad as it was something we had planned to do for a while, then my host mum and sister came to watch when they finished work/school.

being Australian I don't have the ability to go ice skating so often but I am getting the hang of it...

until I get sin binned ahaha!

TIme seved it was time to get back on the ice

and score the winning goal!!!

... in my head I am a professional ;)

We then had sauna and relaxing time (a lot of candles lit everywhere vs lights) before a dinner of mexican food (yum!), we then sat and talked around the dinner table for about and hour and finished the night with a good ol' Aussie film - Crocodile Dundee.

A great last night.


The other Australian in my town and I spent one day at a primary school about 15 mins by car from Kotka. The room was already filled with Australian themed things including flags and a kangaroo skin on the floor as one of the teachers at the school had been to Australia on exchange.

We started with a powerpoint on life in Australia and answering questions.

Book on Western Australia and our mascot: Bruce the kookaburra

then we cooked ANZAC biscuits...

and taught them to play AFL

they all said they'd love to visit Australia one day, to Australian tourism: your welcome! 


It's funny when something like graffitti can make your day, this one was on the back of a bus seat and did make me grin. That's because it took me by surprise that when I read it I understood it said 'my mum'

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kotka exchange students and the quest for the giant xylophone

One weekend we proposed the idea of searching for a so called 'giant xylophone' somewhere along the edge of Kotka and the sea. Only 3 out of 10 of us could make it on the day.

here's roughly how the day went:

We set out from our meeting plance and had made it all of 2 blocks when it started to pour rain.. we ran for cover of the Maritarium cafe (the nearest shelter) and sat down for some obviously well desrved (due to how much we had done... hmmm) hot chocolate/coffee whilst waiting for the weather to clear up.

view of the harbour from Maritarium cafe 

seals: they make you think they are sooo cute... then they steal your bike

the waterfall in Kotka

Santalahti (beach in Kotka)

the undescribable need to play on play equipment even when over the age of 10

Santalahti again

...and again

It started to rain again so we took cover in a changing shed which was also the foundation for this spider's web, I bet he wasn't happy about the rain sticking to his web.

After about 15 mins we continued on our way again, we did in fact find the 'giant xylophone', though this was the perfect example of 'it's not the destination it's the journey' I was expecting a xylophone so big you have to jump on each seperate note, when in fact it was really just 1/3 of a size bigger than a normal one, however I will admit it sounded amazing with the notes floating out over the Baltic sea.

It was a quite enjoyable day, with the horrible weather etc just adding to the memories and I saw parts of Kotka and different perspectives that I hadn't seen before.