Last Time I wrote in this blog I said Finland is awesome. Many of the people, who I meet here, said that I should wait for November and see if I still think that Finland is awesome. For in that time there is a lot of darkness (about 4 hours of sun per day), lots of rain and coldness, apparently people don’t like it. All I can say is that after going through November, and passing through Christmas and an amazing winter, I still sustain my opinion that Finland is awesome. Although November is very dark and cold, there is a great chance to watch northern lights at various times of the day, the center of the city is always lit up making it look beautiful, and the Finnish people (one of the most tough yet humble and honest people I’ve met) are still super active and friendly. All of this and more help you survive those so called hard days. During this time I made a trip to Lapland and the artic circle where you can do all kinds of sports and nature/outdoor activities. In this trip I had great times with friends, rode a husky sledge, reindeer sledge, drove a snowmobile, learnt how to do an Igloo, attempted to ice fish (failing massively), spent a day with the Sami tribe and went to an awesome zoo to watch animals from the tundra up close. Also in the school I participated in very interesting lectures in university and had to study a lot for the exams. For me November was so full of activities that I rarely noticed the “negative things” about those days. This is something I learnt from my awesome finish friends who all advised me to do as much sports as I can, and go out as much as I can, study as much as I can and always remain active and smiling :D.
On January I took part in the winter school, this was one of the best decisions I’ve done since living here. I learnt so much on that intensive program that I feel I have a broader and international scope of the current issues in sports management. It was so good to learn about sports in other countries and their issues. We had participants from China, Australia, Czech Republic, USA, Philippines, Lithuania, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, and of course Finland. During these 2 intense weeks we discussed various themes related to sports, and looked at ways of addressing physical inactivity and the current organization of sports in Finland. Another great aspect of winter school is the winter sports course, where I learnt all about winter sports in the practical way; I cross-country skii, ice skate, hockey, went on an amazing trip to a frozen lake to skate where we made a bonfire and most importantly I accomplished one of my dreams: learn how to snowboard. Even though we have had days with -27° C weather, its still so nice to be outside playing. Plus the two teachers we had; Mika and Vilja, are so patient and great at teaching that I learnt the basics of snowboarding in 2 lessons! Here are some pictures:
I think that this winter sports course “completed” my understanding of the winter sports, for its nice to know the theory about how these sports work in theory but it makes you feel more confident when you practice them, then you understand even more all the implications of organizing and promoting this sports. In conclusion, all I can say is since day 1 in Finland I have never regretted coming here, it’s an AWESOME place! Every day I keep learning more about the different angles of sports and management, so much knowledge and so much dedication from the teachers motivate me to study harder every day and train harder every day. Minä rakastan Suomea! (that is I love finland in Finnish).