keskiviikko 27. toukokuuta 2015

Kevo excursion 27-28st May 2015

We are sitting in cosy sofas in the basement of the main building of Kevo subartic research institute. First day of our trip is just becoming to its end. Even the day has been full of interesting activity, people still have energy to sing and have good time in sauna house.  

We departed today from Rovaniemi about seven o`clock in the morning. Most of students were tired, but there was special spirit of expectation in the air. Stanley told us some facts about Finnish nature and visiting places that we were about go.
Our first visiting place was day care centre called Kylälaakson päiväkoti in Sodankylä, about two hours drive from Rovaniemi. There were happy kids and friendly staff members showing us places and giving some coffee and pulla. The director of the place told us some information about their care centre.  Students were really impressed that in Sodankylä and in all over Finland the family have a subject right to have their children in a day care. And the waiting list for day care is maximum two weeks, at least in Sodankylä.  But as it said that one picture tells more than thousand words, let the pictures tell the rest.

Our next stop was in Ivalo. We had a delicious meal in the Hotel Kultahippu. Then we had some free time to explore huge Ivalo centrum, buy some souveniers and eat some ice cream. We hopped on the bus and drove to Sami museum called Siida in Inari. For those, who were awake Stanley told good jokes and those who were sleeping, well they were sleeping.  In Siida, we learned about Sami history and lifestyle and Finnish nature.

After visiting the Siida we head up towards our sleeping place, Kevo subarctic research institute, where the heart of the place, Emilia, was waiting for us. Chefs had made some really good food, that we enjoyed with good appetite. Then, we spread in our rooms, some had to row their way over the lake to their cabins. Some of the student enjoyed the Finnish sauna including swimming in the lake with lots of screams. We bet, all the animals nearby had run away becouse of the noise.  By the way, as a Finnish students, we really appreciate the courage of those who went swimming into extremely cold water.

Feeling clean and fresh, we gathered together in the sauna house. Tables were full of all the good snacks and sausages. Stanley just had to play a few notes with his guitar and the evening was ready to start! We were all feeling like one big family, sitting very close to each other, singing and laughing together.

Next morning there were tired faces at the breakfast tables and stories about last night.

-                     ” How late did you stay up?”

-                     ” Why did you take our boat?”

-                     ” Oh, you look rested! ”

First in the morning we went to the Utsjoki elementary and high school. It is the only high school within 100km. The amount of students in the high school is six at the moment and in the elementary school about seventy. The speciality in the school is that one of the major languages is Sami. The surprise could be seen in student’s, when the staff told us about the lifestyle here in the north. Even it is -45 degrees celsius outside, there is no change to skip the school, it will be open! Except in extremely important time in reindeer herding, when even childrens of families are needed to help, some students might be out off school for weeks. Teachers will give them some home work to do.


After visiting school, we had change to go to Finland- Norwegian border. We took beautiful, awesome, remarkable pictures with and without jumps. Some of the people went to have coffee to wake them up.
The next stop was in very old church village. Ladies were trying to make us believe that in those little huts had been staying even ten persons at the same time. Now you are probably thinking what are those huts? Well you can just google.
So, in the old ages in early 18th century, people came to church from far away. They had to have place to stay over, so they built those huts. Every extended family had their own hut. As you probably know, there were no supermarkets at that time, so during those church meetings they also traded things, like food and animal leather.

The rest of the day we had time to explore the nature in Kevo, take some sleep and sauna again. The bravest ones went swimming again. This is going to be our last night together in Kevo, so we are going to stop this typing and go enjoying time with awesome people!:)

We two want to thank all of you who made this trip unforgettable!

-          Salli Hentilä and Hilkka Ylimartimo, University of Lapland



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