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.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Well already over another month since I've posted. I'm honestly sorry to say I had completely forgotten about my blog for about a three week period of time. But, the good news is that over those three weeks I have had about 300 more visitors, which means at least someone is reading what I have to say, so that should keep me determined to continue writing on here.

Christmas time came and went. Sadly it didn't feel much like Christmas, until Christmas had already passed. There was very little snow, but listening to Finnish Christmas carols, and drinking warm cups of glöggi with gingerbread cookies. My host family gave me lots of chocolate, socks, shirts, and a hat. It was more than what I needed, or could have asked for, I'm really thankful.

I was able to Skype my Family on Christmas day (the 25th in the US, Christmas day in Finland is December the 24th) which was really nice. Surprisingly I wasn't homesick at all. Yeah, I missed my brothers and my parents and the rest of my family, but I wasn't down on myself because I wasn't back in the US with them. I understood that next year I'll be able to celebrate Christmas with everybody, and it will mean so much more because I now know how lucky I am to be able to celebrate with my entire family. Next year I will be able to be with everybody and share my experiences with them.

Christmas break was nice, I didn't really do much, but it gave me time to relax from school and from my Finnish studies. I slept a lot, to say the least.

New years came and went as well. It was amazing to walk through town on New Years Eve and the air would be thick with the smoke from the fireworks people were shooting off (In Finland New Years Eve is the only night you are allowed to shoot off fireworks, I could be mistaken, but I know it's one of the only nights, if not the only). It sounded like a war zone, hearing the explosions from every direction.

After New Years, it was back to school and Finnish lessons. My new courses gave me a lot of free time. On Monday through Wednesday I didn't have to be to school until 10. I joined a local gym and so now I go to the gym almost every day of the week, as long as my schedule permits.

I study Finnish a lot still. On Mondays I have around 5 hours of lessons, then on Wednesdays I have another 3. Plus around an hour or so of home studying three more nights out of the week. So it study a lot, but it's hard to shake the feeling that I should know much more than I do, or that my Finnish should be better than it is. It's definitely a difficult language, to say the least. But I love it. It's one of the most difficult things I've ever set my mind to, and I'm determined to do my best to learn it. Even if I will always make mistakes.

On the 9th of January, I moved to my next host family. I live now with my host counselor and his wife, they're a great host family. I have my own room, and my home is close to one of the town's two city centers, and so it is really easy for me to get around. We sit and talk about everything, from world politics to Finnish history.

That's all I can really think of right now. And so since it's getting late I might end this post. I'll post again sooner though. Maybe even try a post in Finnish then English so I can get some more practice in. I'll post pictures in my next post as well. That's all for now.


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