Moi! Minun nimi on Lea Liselotte Wehler. Minä olen kuusitoista ja minä olen saksalainen. You can see me in the picture (Mikä on suomea?)!
Since seven weeks I live in Helsinki and I will stay here one year. In this short article, I will show you some pictures about my life and tell you something about my first experiences in Finland. Maybe we start with two question, that I’ve still answered maybe one million times: Why a exchange year? And why Finland?
I decided to be an exchange student because I was finished in Germany with one main part of my school and I knew all the time that I want to see something from the world and want to have a big adventure in my life before I continue with school. But the truth is that the country that I’ve always dreamed about was Iceland and not Finland. I read many storys about Iceland, about their culture, their language (I also can say some words in icelandic) and their nature. In AFS, my travel-organisation it wasn’t possible to choose only one country, so I also choose Finland, Norway and Sweden – you notice, I like the north! – and after many months of painfully waiting, I got the message from AFS that I will go to Finland! I was a little bit sad, that I won’t go to Iceland, but I was also happy about Finland, because I didn’t know much about Finland – and after my first weeks here, I can say, that I’m in the right country! Iceland is my next big destination, but first I will really enjoy the time here, in this wonderful country!
Language in the moment is a big topic in my life! I speak all the time english and sometimes german, when I meet some people from Germany or with my germanteacher in the school and than I also try to speak a little bit and understand finnish, but most times it’s just impossible! Finnish is so different from german or english or any other language that I know. My biggest problem are these different kind of cases, which you have in finnish language and the difference between the spoken and the written language. It’s really confusing, because sometimes there’s a spoken version of the spoken version! Mitä??? German words are not that long like finnish words and we don’t use ä, ö and y that often and so most of the finnish words are just looking for me like a big labyrinth of letters. The good things is that in the city, on food and public institutions there’s always everything in finnish and swedish. Swedish is really similar to german. The best example is the picture here: “milk free of grease” is in german “fettfreie Milch”. Now you can look in the picture and think about in which moment I understand, what was written on the milk: When I read the finnish? Or when I read the swedish?
Here in Finland I have a really nice guest family, three sisters and one brother. I like them a lot and they are still like my “real” family. I can’t imagine that there’s a better guest family than they! In the picture you can see part of a really exciting evening. My family and me were at their summer cottage and have made the whole day funny and nice things, like to pick up berries or going to the sauna (I love the sauna in Finland). And in the evening I played chest with my two guest sisters. They played against me, because all the time before, when they played alone, they losed. I think we played about two or three hours the same game. In some parts of the game, I was sure that I will win and in other parts I was sure that they will win. In the end my sisters discussed about every move they made many, many minutes and I was going to desperate, because I really want to win or at least want to know, how the game is ending. We played and played and we all lose more and more characters and then maybe until one o’clock in the night we decide that it’s now enough and we didn’t go on with playing. But I took a picture of the game and one day, before I go back to germany, we will finish the game. And I will win!