Sunday, May 22, 2011

Update from Finland

I arrived in Kokkola, Finland a little over a month ago. Things so far have been going great! The Astroms(my 2nd family) came and picked me up at the airport.  Last year when I played in Finland I stayed and worked as an Au-pair for them. They are awesome! They have 5 kids, Max 19, Mindy 17, Ebba 13, Elis 9, Otto 6... and then well me 22! They treated me like I was part of the family and really made me feel at home! Since I arrived so early this year I was able to spend Easter with the family.  The traditions in Finland are much different from what we do back home in the US.  The kids dress up as witches or bunny's(and lately really anything) and go door to door giving a present while receiving candy! Almost like what we do for Halloween!! So this year I took the initiative to be one of the oldest Easter goers in town! Max came and dressed up too! We all had a lot of fun...and got so much candy!

Check out the size of my basket!
The team is completely different from last year: new coach, new players and a better attitude towards the game. During trainings the team speaks mostly Finnish.. I only know about 4 words in Finnish so I sometimes just guess as to what is going on. All of the girls are really nice and speak good English.  There is only about 2 or 3 girls who have yet to try out there English with us. It's amazing how everyone here can speak 2 or 3 languages so well.  Because of our location in Finland, many people speak Swedish as there mother tongue. Swedish is a lot easier to comprehend and I have been learning quite a bit, thanks to some of the best teachers! (Ebba, Elis, Otto)

We have played 4 games so far.  Three for the league series and one cup game.  Our record is 3-1.  We have started off pretty well and I think everyone is getting used to playing with each other.  We won our first cup game 5-0! The Finnish cup is a tournament where all divisions can enter and play each other throughout the season until a winner is crowned.  Our next game is not until June against a team from Helsinki. If we win that game we will be part of the quarterfinals!  We have played our first 3 league games inside because the weather is just starting to be warm enough for the fields to be playable. I feel healthy and confident in the way I have been playing and believe the team is clicking more and more each practice and game.

I moved into an apartment with another American who joined the team in mid May. Her name is Jackie and she plays defensive midfield. The place is very nice and we have been so lucky with all the help GBK has provided us with.  Ulla (team mom) is awesome! She doesn't know any English but took Jackie and I shopping for the apartment and boy did she spoil us! While I know I am going to miss staying with the Astroms a lot, I think I will enjoy an apartment as well! And I plan to have lots of sleepovers with the fam!

This post has been all over the place but there was so much to write about! I will be posting weekly so stay tuned for more!

Hejdå för nu!

No comments:

Post a Comment