This week has flown by, and I can’t believe I have already been in Finland for two weeks. This past weekend we were able to go dancing, which is a popular activity in the summer. The place we went to was very crowded and it was so neat to see all the different dances and different people. As for myself, I am not the best dancer and I wish I had learned some formal dances growing up, but maybe I will be able to learn some while here. My host mom on the other hand is a great dancer and it was just as much fun avoiding the men asking me to dance and watching her and the other great dancers on the floor instead 😉
One sunny day we borrowed some kayaks from a generous friend and took them out on the lake. It was a little windy but very beautiful and fun to glide along on the water. We even stopped and got out on a little island to have a snack and sit in the sun.
I was able to make some pizza bread for the family, which is somewhat of a Dickman tradition that my dad was always making when we were younger. It’s more like stromboli but the ‘pizza bread’ name has stuck with me. I usually use a bread machine at home to make the dough, but since we didn’t have one here we made the dough by hand. The pizza bread turned out pretty good and I enjoyed snacking on something that reminded me of home.
For breakfast one morning I also made an “American breakfast”. Pancakes and bacon! My brother and I used to compete with how many pancakes we could eat at Grandmas, and to this day pancakes still remind me of her.
I have also enjoyed cooking with the family, and the other day the grandmother showed me how to make Karelian pies. These are a very traditional food in Finland and you can find them in the stores and even at hostels for breakfast, although I’ve been told the best ones are homemade. (And I can attest to how delicious they are right out of the oven!)
The weather has been pretty rainy the past few days, but last night we braved the rain to go to some trotting races. Each race was either for warmblood horses or coldbloods (mostly Finn horses). It was really neat to see and of course I ate a sausage with mustard which is becoming one of my favorite things to eat.
Finally, and maybe most exciting to me, I was able to ride a Finn Horse! Twice! I hopped on Valo the Finn horse at the farm where my sisters ride. We rode along the trails and in the arena for a bit and it wasn’t very different from riding any horse at home. I like Finn horses because they look stocky and seem to have more power, yet can move quickly too. This week when I rode again we went to the water and swam with the horses. Valo was a little reluctant to go in but eventually did and it was worth the wet socks and jeans on my part. Now I am just trying to figure out how to get a Finn horse back to America with me 😉
“Time flies when you’re having fun” is definitely the statement to sum up this week-although it’s crazy to think I only have one week left with my first family.
P.S. I was determined to see a moose one night as we were coming home late, and lo and behold- there was a moose! It was a younger one and pretty small but still exciting to me 🙂