Monday, May 09, 2005

I'm going to Kauhava!

My dad was born in Kauhava, Finland, and that's where I'll be going at the end of June. My dad's going to be in Finland for a month, so Mrs. TBF and I are going to meet up with him in Helsinki on June 24th. Mrs. TBF's going to stay in Helsinki for the weekend before heading back to Switzerland, and then I'm going to head up to northern Finland to spend a week with my relatives (I have dad is one of 16 children!).
Mrs. TBF and I were in Helsinki in 2002 for a long weekend, but I haven't been in Kauhava since 1985 - and before that it was in 1966. When I was there for a family reunion in 1985, I remember promising a couple of my aunts that it would absolutely not be 19 years until my next visit. I'm happy to report that I'm keeping my word - it's been 20 years!!!
I'm really looking forward to this trip. First of all, Mrs. TBF and I really enjoyed our trip to Helsinki in 2002, and this trip should be extra fun because it will be during the Juhanus celebration. Juhanus is when the Finn's celebrate the summer solstice.
In Helsinki, it'll be no darker than dusk at any point during the night, and I think the sun won't even set in Kauhava (or if it does, it'll just be for a very short time). I remember waking up at about 2:30 a.m. when I was in Kauhava during July, 1985 and the sun was shining brightly through the bedroom window. It's pretty strange. You're dead tired, but you feel like you should be getting out of bed.
I'm also looking forward to seeing relatives that I haven't seen for twenty years, and...I'm really looking forward to practicing my Finnish over the ten days I'll be in Finland. It's pretty amazing how quickly the language skills deteriorate when you don't use them. It'll take me about a day to really get going again, but I expect the Finnish to be pretty good by the time I come back to Switzerland.
Of course, by then I'll have forgotten all my German and French which means I'll be struggling/confused in multiple languages. Trés bien und sehr gut!

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