Friday, March 7, 2008

Hei Hei from Georgeanne

Kyllä, minusta täällä on mukavaa
[Translated that means...Yes, I like it very much.]

There are some challenges in regard to time, money, language and temp system, but this is a very pleasant country. Also, the darn computer keyboard I am using has just a few things different on it that getting out an e-mail is a bit maddening.

My time in Helsinkli was quite mellow, even with the backed up drain in my hotel
room, as well as a fire alarm being sounding early in the morning of my departure
day. My hotel location allowed me to walk to many places of interest.

My favorite part so far was the train ride North. There came a point when I
looked out and places in the U.P. came to mind. My Finnish immigrant
grandparents setting in the U.P. found their HOME AWAY FROM THEIR BIRTHPLACE
HOME. Birch trees, evergreens, lakes, streams and snow. I felt at home the more
North the train and then bus took me. Being in my father's family's homeland is a priceless gift.

Finnish people quickly recognize my last name. I now know the correct pronuciation of it. This trip may not provide me the opportunity to visit actual relatives, but I have made connection that will help in my future efforts.

I have met many wonderful people. I met a young lawyer, Cary Turtinen, on the train to Oulu and as well as, serving as my interpreter with the conductor, we had a wonderful lengthy conversation about Oulo, my father's family's birthplace. I wish to thank him for his help.

The ski tour started on yesterday. I may not ski the tour's total 440 KM (270 some miles), but I will ski each day. My first day I went 46K and today 29K. (A new blistering toe has me being cautious. Afterall, I am on vacation.)

In a couple of days, we will spend the night at a schoolhouse. (School's are closed for a winter ski holiday.) I found out that Finnish children start to learn English in their schools staring in the third grade. I have brought some children's books about Michigan and the Upper Peninsula to leave at the school.

- Georgeanne


Anita said...

Hi Friend,

We here at the office want to let you know we are thinking of you and all of us are bit jealous and very proud of you. Maureen, Michelle, Barb, Barbie and Anita all say go girl. Maureen wanted to say that she's sorry she didn't get your knickers done before you left, when you return you can have them. Barb says your her new ally in Euro key boarding...she is very sympathic to your plight. She also plans to someday join you in your workout type life, "wit yah eh". Barbie said you missed a great party at your house last weekend, but that's ok cause she's sure Bruce has a bigger one planned for this coming weekend.
Anita just wants you to know she is getting a lot of work done :)

Georgie's Sister said...

Hey George....or make that hei hei-

I sure was happy to read that you're doing well....Listen to your body....It'll tell you when you've had enough skiing. It is daunting to read the distances that are covered each day. Hope that blister you mentioned doesn't sideline you.

Sounds like you already have designs on returning to Finland in the future....How about the two of us going? I'd like to connect with our Finnish heritage someday, too.

When you get home, I think Carl Pelonpaa should have all of you as guests on his Suomi Kutsuu program.

Love & Prayers, Mary

vhtourti said...

Hei Hei Soumalainen tytar,

Georgeanne--way to go! What a wonderful challenge and experience. My mother’s parents also emigrated from Oulu Province.

Sending warm thoughts to help fend off the cold.


Barbie D, said...

Hei Hei Georgeanne,
Anita forgot to tell you that I mentioned that your sauna only holds 12! Ha, Also, I saw a golden retriever running down the road but I don't think it was Woody because when I called 'here bad dog', it didn't come. HeeHee. Anyway, I have taken to having your car in my garage and have decided to sell my car and just keep yours. But don't worry, I'll give you a ride home from the airport. Have fun on the trail. Give everyone my best. I have to go pray to the patron saint of skiers now. Love ja, Barbie

Barbie D, said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Other Yooper Gal said...

Dear Other Yooper Gal,

My first attempt at this did not work! It sounds like you are having a great time.

Sad news.... our BRETT retired - official press conference and all!!... Boo hoo.....

Love you!

Mary Ann & Max

Blanche said...

Minä olen niin onnellinen teille, Georgeanne, ja minä olen mustasukkainen, että minä en ole siellä teidän kanssanne!

It sounds like the "trip of a lifetime"! You deserve it! Are you doing some personal journalling??... because I am hoping for detailed stories when this adventure is done!

Lansing? Sunny and frigid with the wind chill....not enough snow to xc-ski and too cold to kayak!

Love the blog, keep it coming!
Kyse olee matkan,