Thursday November 7 – Hike in Hervanta
Today we met in Hervanta to walk all the way around Suolijärvi. Even though it was pretty cold today, we had a really nice walk around the frozen lake. We talked about the Finnish wildlife, about the birds (lintu) that were in the forest, but also about bears (karhu). Hollie recognized this word from the beer cans, with the bear on it. It makes so much more sense now. Some other words that I’ve learned during the walk is puu (tree) and sieni (mushroom). Matti also talked about the thin layer of frosting that makes the trees grey (harmaa), there is a word for this thin layer: kuura. I think it’s funny that the Finnish have special words for these kind of things, just like ruska. When I was putting the words into my notes, I asked Matti if I spelled them correctly, and sometimes he said that there should be another a or u. I started noticing that the language has a lot of double vowels. Also I’ve learned that some combination of vowels sound different that you would expect: for example, uu (from puu) sounds like oo.
During our walk we talked about serving the national army, something that young men are obligated to do in Finland. Matti told us this really exciting story where he got dropped of somewhere in the dark and he had to find his way back to base camp. It was really interesting to hear his thoughts on this and get to know more about his experiences, since we don’t have compulsory military service in The Netherlands. We started our walk at 4 pm so it was getting dark pretty fast, which made it harder to see where we were going, I almost slipped a couple of times. But I made it out alive with no broken bones so I’m really glad.