Taylors in Finland

The Grand Adventure

Mary Ann's Fulbright Exchange to Oulu, Finland
August 2001 - June 2002

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15-25 March 2002
Oulu Fulbright get-together

15 March 2002, Friday
Sunrise/sunset 0639/1816
Hi/low 36° F / 16° F (2° C/ -9° C)

We hosted the “Fulbright Family” this weekend. During the day on Friday John and David Heintz rode the Sampo icebreaker (see his separate newsletter). Everyone else, but Sandra Stine, who had a Saturday teachers’ meeting, arrived by train Friday evening. It is always fun to listen to the group share their latest adventures. We went to bed fairly early, since we were planning on leaving for Rovaniemi at 0715.

16 March 2002, Saturday
Sunrise/sunset 0636/1819
Hi/low 38° F / 11° F (3° C/ -12° C)
Rovaniemi and Kemi

Our first stop was the Artikum. The glass-roofed museum is the Provincial Museum of Lapland and the Arctic Center. It has wonderful displays of the flora and fauna as well as exhibits showing Sami life. This would rank as one of my favorite museums, because the building itself, let alone the displays.

Next we headed to Santa’s Village so everyone could cross the Arctic Circle. Although 62° 92’ 35’’ is the accepted Arctic Circle there are three other suggested “circles”: 1) the extent of the sea ice in winter, 2) the northern-most tree line and 3) the extent of the permafrost to 10 CM deep. Everyone had lunch and did some shopping. Santa’s Village never rests. Open every day except Christmas, you can mail letters, shop, eat and even visit Santa. Then back into our cars – our thanks to the Thompsons who loaned us a station wagon for the weekend – and the eight of us headed to Kemi.

The LumiLinna, or Snow Castle, is an annual event in Kemi. We walked through the courtyard, chapel, hotel rooms and ice bars. There was even a indoor maze, with ice sculptures. After thirty minutes we were all so cold we didn’t even want to stay to have a drink. We had originally planned to have dinner at the hotel but we were all glad to leave. It was the coldest we had been all day. We headed home to have dinner at Zakusta, the Russian restaurant in Oulu. We drove into Oulu around 1815 and noted there were more people than usual walking around town for a Saturday evening; we later found out there had been a cross-country race. The restaurant couldn’t take our group of eight before 2100 so we decided to go home and I made dinner, while everyone else pitched in to made salad and set out munchies. I think it worked out for the best because it was much easier to visit and see the photos from everyone’s travels.

17 March 2002, Sunday
Sunrise/sunset 0632/1822
Hi/low 37° F / 23° F (3° C/ -5° C)
Ice Fishing

We had a leisurely breakfast then we headed onto Oulu Bay to watch the ice fishing contest that was being hosted by Kari’s children's school. (This same weekend Oulu also hosts the world’s longest ice fishing contest, lasting 48 hours.) John drilled some holes in the ice while Kari gave Elisabeth, Marie-Camille and Rheda ski mobile rides. After a cup of coffee to get warm, John took most everyone to the train station.

Rheda stayed until Monday. Sunday, after dinner, Pertti and Marjo showed us Marjo's kindergarten school, Păivăkoti Villivadelma, and explained some of the programs they have for the children. When we got back to the house she used Dialpad to call her son. She had hoped to see the Northern Lights since Friday and Saturday had been overcast. But it was not meant to be – Sunday night was overcast as well. John and Rheda even drove about twenty miles east around 0100 Monday to see if they could get above the overcast.

18 March 2002, Monday
Sunrise/sunset 0628/1825
Hi/low 38° F / 26° F (4° C/ -3° C)

Monday morning, after breakfast, John and Rheda came by my school so she could see the school and visit some classes. After an early lunch with the teachers, John dropped her off at the train station.

What a terrific group of people!

18-25 March 2002

John went to bed Monday night with a fever and the chills. Thursday he was diagnosed with Influenza A. On Friday I went to bed and spent most of the weekend there or napping. On Monday the doctor diagnosed a sinus infection. We were scheduled to start our "Road Trip to Russia" for St. Petersburg and Moscow at 2330 on Tuesday, 26 March, but didn’t catch the bus. (John - the round trip would have been over 1800 miles by bus.) The doctors had advised both of us not to travel so we cancelled and hope to go early this summer.

Mary Ann

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David stops so Lori can take photos of the trees covered with frost. (3175)

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The glass roof of the Artikum is very distinctive and makes the inside of the museum feel very open. (3179)

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Jennifer (reading the sign), Dave, Rheda, Marie-Camille and Mary Ann. (3182)

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Marie-Camille and Elisabeth. (3185)

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Seeing this bear jump makes me glad I am not a seal. (3191)

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Front row: Mary Ann, Marie-Camille, John and Jennifer. Back row: Rheda, Elisabeth, Lori and Dave. One of the quicker photos we posed for since we were all getting cold from sitting on or leaning against the ice bench.(3207)

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We are at the Arctic Circle and Dave is pointing out where we are on the globe. (DH05)

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We are parked at the Snow Castle in Kemi. (3215)

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Dave is on the hot seat! (Lori's lap!) (3224)

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The chapel at the Snow Castle. The "pews" are covered with mats of twigs and reindeer hides.(3227)

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One of the hotel's bedrooms. I would want an electric blanket! (3236)

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The school's campfire. Marie-Camille to the left and Kari, our next-door neighbor to the right. (3245)

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Some students gathered around their fishing hole. (3254)

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Elisabeth gives it a try. (3257)

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Rheda, Pertti, Marjo, Mary Ann while Ossi "poses" for the camera. (3304)

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Rheda visits Pirjo Thompson's sixth grade class at Oulu English Speaking Classes. (3326)

Photos DH## courtesy of David and Lori Heintz. Thank you.

Last Update 2003 11 14

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