Camille, Outbound to Finland

So here I am 10 months later, the end of my Exchange is looming in the near future and my heart is breaking at the end of each day. My exchange for a lack of better word has been sensational, I’ve had the best year of my life thus far and it really hurts to think it will be over so soon.

The last to months have been so insanely busy and I’ve truly loved every minute. April started with and early Easter,my family and I painted Easter eggs, real egg shells filled with chocolate, with water colors, and ate Mämmi, a traditional dish made out of baked rye. My Aunt came to Finland during the first week of April, so I spent the time being a tourist and it was honestly very refreshing. I also had my district conference where I got to meet my district’s newbies; these conferences are so nice because it just gives all of the exchangers time to catch up and just spend quality time goofing around together.

When May finally showed up I watched the snow quickly melt and the clouds leave, leaving us with beautiful warm weather. The first day of May is a holiday in Finland called Vappu, and Vappu is by far the best holiday in Finland. Vappu is just a day to enjoy time spent with you friends and family, to party, and basically forget everything important for a day; the feeling is unexplainable and something that I think everyone should experience. In April my host sister participated in a week long school Exchange to Italy, so in May we had the pleasure of hosting and Italian girl. It was such a cool experience to get to host a student while being on exchange, and I can now say I have another sister in my international family. It’s crazy to think that the school year is done, and it honestly hurts to think about what I’ve had to say goodbye to. I spent my last few weeks of school just taking everything in, looking at the paintings on the wall, running down the halls, smiling at new people, and enjoying time with the ones I love. I took a trip to finland archipelago island Åland, and it was so beautiful, it felt like stepping back in time and I’m so thankful that my family took me.

Although I still have about a month and a half left I had my final Rotary presentation… and cried. I’ve said goodbye to Exchange friends… and cried. I’ve visited cities for the last time… and cried. And now I am on my way to start my eurotour and guess what… I’m crying.

It’s hard to believe that next month I’ll be back in Florida, and everything will be over. These last 3 months of Exchange have been better than I ever could have expected and I just feel so grateful every, time I even think about everything I’ve been able to experience. I feel so attached to everything I have here and no part of me wants to give any of it up. I love Finland.

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