Zane, outbound to Finland

I'd like to apologize for not writing this sooner, but as I've adjusted to my new life I'm no longer the new guy, or the guest of my home. I'm part of the family now and I have my responsibilities and all that now. Something that's unbelievable is that I'm coming up on two months in Finland already. Really, really hard to believe, time is flying faster than I ever thought it could so that's why I've been making myself busy because I don't want to miss a thing.

First thing I’d like to talk about is the weather. It’s most definitely getting colder! September 23rd was the first day I had to scrape ice off the windows of the car. Very new experience for a kid coming from Florida. It is below freezing at night but warms up to maybe mid 40s Fahrenheit during the day. It’s not too bad yet. Anytime I say it’s cold people just say wait for -30 degrees. Hopefully pretty soon there will be snow, but here you never know. It could snow tonight or it might not snow until December. It’s different every year. It’s nice to actually have seasons it’s autumn now and winter is coming sooner or later. A lot different than back home where it’s hot as anything, then maybe 40 one week and then back to the heat. So weather wrap up, I’m waiting excitedly for snow, and it’s getting colder.

Two weekends ago I went to meet my grandmother for the first time which sounds weird, but it comes with having a brand new family. It was very nice she made us food, traditional Finnish meat and potatoes, and it was amazing. Grandmas are really the best cooks, all over the world. I forgot to mention this but there is no “Z” in the Finnish language but if they have to use it, it’s pronounced as an English “j” sound. So almost everyone here calls me “Jane” like Last Dance with Mary Jane. It doesn’t bother me but anyway my grandma now calls me James Bond. It’s pretty funny and she also asked me how I survive at school with all the girls. I told her I’m used to it. She’s very caring and funny and nice and just a kind person and I really like her.

So the first 7 week period of school is almost over and I have my new classes lined up. I’m taking English, Spanish, Religion, Health Sciences, and Music. So I will have those classes for the next 7 weeks and then again switch, and then do that 3 more times and school is over. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again time is flying.

I’m trying to involve myself in every sport I can here and now that soccer is over floorball has started. It’s essentially hockey without ice and a whiffle ball and different sticks. It’s extremely fast paced and I have no idea what’s going on. I bought a stick that’s all black and it's sick but like I still can't use it to its full potential. I’ve had 2 practices and first game is this Sunday. I’m excited to see how it goes and I want to win as well.

Last weekend was really amazing, I went skeet and trap shooting and I didn’t do half bad. My step dad Petri, I guess you could call him my step dad, is a competition shooter and so he was just destroying it out there. Skeet shooting is a lot easier than trap for me, I could barely hit any on trap but skeet I barely missed any. I don’t know why but its whatever, it was a really good time.

Once we ran out of ammo we headed to Pori to meet my other Grandma, Petri’s mother. We ate potatoes and moose meat and it was also exceptional. She’s very kind as well and her English is very good because she lived in England for a while when she was younger. After we had lunch we said goodbye to her and headed to Noormarkku, a forested region of Finland where Petri’s hunting club is. We stopped on the way and bought Daim (my favorite candy here) and Finnish sausages. The camp was built sometime in the 1800s so it’s pretty old.

Sometime this winter I’ m going to spend a few nights there and hopefully get a moose, but it’s really beautiful. I don’t know if I’ll make it because they said the hunting cabin gets to about -10 degrees in the winter. There is a small pond and a nice fire pit where we cooked and ate the sausages. It’s so peaceful out there was maybe not a person around 10 miles of us. We went fishing and I caught a pike and so did Petri. My brother Tony was there but he didn’t catch anything. Over all that was really a remarkable day I really appreciated it.