My name is Sam Yancho, and this is my blog about my school year abroad in Finland in the 2011-2012 school year. I will try to update the blog as much as possible with new information and stories about what I'm doing as everything unfolds.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Time for another long overdue update!
It has been exactly one month since my last post. That is by no means a great thing, but it's a good sign. It shows that my mind is here in Finland with me, and I'm not always thinking about home. Speaking of home, people always ask me if I'm homesick, and I can honestly say that out of the entire 3 months I've been away from home, I have not been homesick yet. Granted, I do miss my brothers, my parents, my grandparents and all my cousins, but that does not mean I'm homesick. It's a known fact that if someone is away from the ones they love, they're bound to miss them. But I wouldn't give up the rest of this year for anything in the world. Except maybe another few years here.    :)

I've filled my days with school, studying, Finnish, friends, and explorations. Each day is a new adventure, even if I did the same thing the day before. If my days are repetitive, I count it as a good sign that I'm finally developing my own new routine and  adapting to life here. I definitely think of my life here as my "real" life and I think of my life back in the United States as an object of the past. An object of the past, but surely not forgotten, someday I'll have to pick it right back up where I left off. But that's not what I'm here to think about.

My main goal right now is to learn Finnish. Whenever I'm in a class that I don't understand, I'll be reading my Finnish-English dictionary. For example, tomorrow I'll be having six hours of much needed Finnish lessons. While my Finnish may not be the best of the exchange students, I'm putting forward the right amount of effort and have noticed a great improvement in my Finnish capabilities over the past month, and that makes it all worth it. I view learning Finnish as one of the most important barriers to overcome during this year (even though sometimes I feel as though it's going to be impossible).

This past month has been amazing, I went on a trip to the Canary Islands for a week, and many other great things. But the best thing of all is that I'm finally living what I would consider the everyday average life. Or at leas as normal as it could be for me. I know I've said that in the past, but I feel now it's actually true. Except for the whole, dust at 4:30 thing, that's going to take some getting used to.

I would say that things have changed fast over the past week so, in relation to the weather. It's been cold for a while now (Around 3-9 degrees Celsius, sometimes even going below 0), but the time at which it gets dark is getting earlier and earlier, about two weeks ago, it was just starting to get dark at around six in the afternoon, but now it is starting to get dark at 4:30. So that's going to take some getting used to. I've always used dusk as the time to head home for the night, but I'm told that in the worst part of the year, it will be dark when I go to school and when I leave, so I'm going to need to start getting used to doing things in the dark, or else I'll be home all the time.

Well I feel that I've done an adequate job in updating my blog. But this time I really hope I'll be able to keep it updated and not make this a once a month ordeal.

Moose hunting with one of my host brothers and my host father about 30 km East of my home.

The dunes at La Playa de Ingles on Gran Canaria, different than the dunes back home at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.

Some of the inland terrain on Gran Canaria, it was astounding.

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