16th May 2021 –
Final meeting for Mona and I, we decided to go have drinks and cake on Pella’s Café terrace, as the weather was warm and lovely. I ordered “yksi kylmää kahvia ja passionjuustokakku” all in Finnish for once, Mona proudly looked at me saying that I “just graduated the Each One Teach One course”! But when came time for me to pay, I said in English “By card, please”. Later on, I asked her how to ask it in Finnish which is “kortilla, kiitos”; now I’m ready to truly order anywhere in Finland!
Mona’s hand situation is getting better! She happily showed me how she could almost use it normally, and told me more about the healing process overall. We mentioned how the student health services have been quite helpful and efficient, as we both required them in the past few months. As an international student, I never felt like I was left out which made me feel safe and cared for, even in a foreign country. All I had to do was to pay the 70e fees at the start of the year, and I never had to pay anything else for all the appointments I had afterward. We were truly grateful to be able to use such services.
As it was the last meeting, we discussed about the whole EOTO experience, to talk about our first expectations and the outcomes of the course. We both agreed on the fact that it was a very pleasing experience overall, we especially loved the relaxed aspect of planning it at our own pace. Being able to meetup whenever we felt like it truly is the strength of that experience, as it didn’t put any time pressure on us. It was fun to plan different activities from the get-go, even though we couldn’t make it all work because of the health situation; but that’s also one of the greatest thing about EOTO in 2020: it got us out of our apartment through the year! As it was getting a bit boring and lonely at times because of the corona restrictions, EOTO actually encouraged us to meet up in town, whether it was for a chill conversation around a cup of coffee, or go play in an escape room with other international peeps!
We came to the same conclusion with Mona: even if we couldn’t exactly do all the activities we first planned, it doesn’t matter that much, because this definitely wasn’t our last hangout. Mona became a dear friend over the course of this year, and I’m really glad we got to deepen our bond through cultural exchange or silly sayings in Finnish or French. I feel like this is what this course is all about, so I guess we succeeded in our own way.