Who knew 22 years could go so quickly? Am just about to leave Finland after having caught up with Terhi, my exchange sister from 1988! I was only 5 when she left so can only really remember from photos and stories from my parents, yet it felt so natural to be reunited after so much time...
When I first arrived, Terhi's husband Petri and her two sons Casper and Jesper took me along to ice hockey practice and I donned ice skates for the first time. I did better than expected and didn't have any major tumbles and even scored some goals, although I am embarrassed to say that a 12 and 6 year old absolutely ran rings around me on the ice!
Have eaten so much traditional Finish food, Terhi has put on such a spread and I think I have put on a couple of kilos in the last two days. So much herring (so many different ways), salmon, roe, glogg, reindeer, cheese and so much more... It is all so great but you just don't realise how much you are eating as you just pick away at it all.
Yesterday, Jesper and I caught the bus into town and went bowling (I won, just to even the score from ice hockey) to pass some time while Terhi was in a meeting to win a new contract. After she was done we went to a Christmas buffet for lunch and then took in some sights of Helsinki.
I also could not get over how much snow there was - about 75cm of it. Weather was surprisingly not too cold though - I also like to think I have acclimatised somewhat after more than 3 weeks in these freezing temperatures!
I left Terhi saying we must not let it be another 22 years before we catch up again - now we just have to make it happen!