Thursday, 7 February 2013


After a long and rather bumpy ride in the cardboard box,  l finally "landed" on Eero's desk...

Eero's English group welcomed me (and my gifts) with open arms. One of them carried me on his head, and another boy promised to take me tobogganing this weekend, so I am looking forward to it (I think...). There's plenty of snow for that, but I hope I won't freeze to death!

Then I got an invitation to visit Satu's (the Swedish teacher) family, who wanted to introduce to me 1) Runeberg's Day with its traditional gateau and 2) the sauna!

Johan Ludvig Runeberg was our national 19th-century poet (more info here), and the story goes that his wife Fredrika had to quickly develop a recipe from what she found in her cupboard... You can see the result in the picture above... Yummy!

Satu's children were quite excited about having me as a guest, and could hardly let go of me the next day... They took lots of photos and played with me till it was time... to have a sauna.

I was slightly frightened of the heat at first, but the presence (and the smell) of the sauna sheep (!) helped me relax and sweat away my travel tiredness. The other sheep (called Pökö) is meant to give off a scent and remind the family of the Midsummer smell of a summer forest - we got along just fine!

Here's what Satu wrote - in Swedish, our second official language. Feel free to use Google translator to see what it means!

Tack, Scaffy, för besöket. Vi hade jättetrevligt med dig och barnen hade svårt att låta dig fara vidare. De ville till och med ha dig till natidjur men jag lät inte dig sova med barnen. Jag var rädd att barnen aldrig skulle ge dig bort mera... 



  1. Hi Scaffy!!! And a big "Hola" to Eero, Satu, Satu's children and all the Finnish students!

    I'm so happy to see that you have arrived safely at Sipoon lukio! And I'm so glad that you have already made so many friends. I think it must be your charming, warm, Irish personality that makes everybody love you wherever you go!

    Your new friends at school look so nice and I hope we can find out all about them soon. I know that all your "amigos" here would love to get to know them!

    Scaffy, I'm so jealous of the sauna! You lucky little sheep!

    I know when I tell my students tomorrow that you have posted photos on your blog from Finland, they're going to take one look at them and ask me if we can go to Finland on a school trip!!!

    I'm already looking forward to your next post.
    Take care and enjoy yourself!

    Un beso muy fuerte,

  2. Hi Scaffy!

    This is just so fantastic! I remember Eero, Zuzanna, Jaroslav, you and me joking about the Finish sauna when we were planning your trip around Europe back in Limerick. Back then you said you could not believe you would ever get there. And there you are - sweating in a Finish sauna! Just like Zuzanna I have to confess that I really envy you for that. And if I think about meeting all the Finish students and getting to know such a beautiful country... perhaps we'll get the chance to have a big reunion of everyone you got to know on your trip one day.
    Enjoy your time there and say hello to Eero and the students!
    Big hugs!

  3. Hi Scaffy!
    I see you go to sauna in Finland that is a very great feeling!
    I know it because we have a sauna in our apartement in Austria too. :)
    I often go to sauna and it is very great!
    I hope you have fun in Finland!
    I miss you and I hope we will meet soon. :D

    Love Pauli:*

  4. Looks like you've had fun! Seems like your friends and family are very accommodating and quite nice. The sauna looks amazing; I'm glad you enjoyed it despite your initial apprehension. Did you know that saunas aren't just relaxing, they're also beneficial for your health?

    iHealth Saunas