Independent Adventures

 

We decided to write two poems about our experience on the Independent hike and our Autumn holidays. Enjoy!

 

Adventure in Teijo 

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2019 Johanna Westermayr – Wooden planks in Teijo Nationalpark

Imagine you are free.
Free in decisions, free in life.
Free in the nature – just to survive.
Feeling your body, your strength and your feet,
yes even feeling your indispensable heartbeat.

You don´t believe this state is possible to reach?!
Then close your eyes, breath in breath out and listen to this small speech.
Guide your thoughts far away from every trouble.
We tell you now one story of our erasmus bubble.

Everything started with the independent task,
where we should learn how to plan, to lead, to react in risk situations carefully and fast.
We split the group in teams of two,
one hiked to Teijo, one hiked to Nuuksio.

Imagine eight girls want eight different trails to hike,
Where should we stay? How many days? How many nights? – Well, that was difficult to decide.
With dialogues, with compromises, with compass, map and pother,
We found the best hiking plan by listening to each other.

With tent, stove, food, mattress and sleeping bag,
with hiking shoes, warm clothes, compass and map
we started our trip in finland’s beautiful landscape
to discover the world’s best nature shape.

Teijo welcomed us with coldness and snow,
nevertheless the joy about the independent trip was not to low.
We were happy to be free, be ourselves, be part of a team,
could hike in the woods, the nature was a dream.

But Wait! Stop! What is that?
The cable boat to the island we liked to set the camp was closed – how bad!
Now we had to decide what we should do fast,
the night came closer, we had to find a place to sleep before the sun passed.

We changed the plans and hiked to the place we planned for the last night,
what a zigzag trouble hike…
Without water in the camp and a cold, sleepless night in the tents
came silly after tired – so we had a lot of fun on the next day´s hike on the wooden planks.

We hiked through frozen grass and fairytale mist,
finally got water from the lake but that had a twist:
It was brown and had a funny taste, so we named it Jack in the woods
and treated it as it was on our cocktail list that brightened our moods.

On our ways we had some good conversation,
We laughed we cried and god some new inspiration.
We grew together
and when we found the second nights place to sleep
our connection was already pretty deep.

We defeated our food from mice and hung it up in the trees
our new home for the night was ready but we started to freeze.
The wood was empty but we met two nice finnish guys,
Minke even walked with them to get new wood for the campfire – what a pleasant surprise.

We talked a lot, i bet they think we´re crazy
because it got late, on sunday morning everyone was lazy.
Nevertheless we watched sunset and sunrise
took a lot beautiful pictures to memorialize.

On the last day we had a short walk but again trouble to find a place to set up the tent
we thought this struggles would never end.
We walked some additional trails just for fun and learning
then we had some time to enjoy our new surrounding.

Sauna in the evening, everybody was very motivated
we jumped in the lake, took some pictures even naked
the whole evening was very relaxing; we warmed up, filled the hot water bottles for the night
and even Mariona wasn´t cold, soon the end of the trip was in sight.

On the last morning we were very fast,
we hiked in warp speed and even catched the earlier bus.
We went to Helsinki and straight back to Kiljava
this Independent Hike all in all was very spectacular!

Do you know now what it means to feel free?
It means not only easy ways to see.
It means to have fun, be together with good friends
to make wise decisions, together, hands in hands.

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2019 Johanna Westermayr- Group photo Teijo Girls

Way to magical Norway

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2019 Mariona Ramis – Glazier in Norway

After long school weeks, all of us need rest.
Some went to Norway, some Iceland and some of us had guests.

We’re gonna tell you more about our holidays in Norway.
Important to say, after that all of us need payday.

We had a long trip, started with a ferry.
Sometimes we got lost, it was kind of scary.

No real food, just snacks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The positive thing is, all of us got thinner.

We spent three nights in Luster, at an Airbnb.
We loved the house so much, we didn’t want to leave.

We had a great time listening to Siem’s and Giacomo’s music.
They even dressed up, which was very amusing.

Did a lot of hiking, some even jumped in the freezing lakes.
While driving up the mountains we saw falling snowflakes.

Nature was so magical, it made the bonding easy.
Days were always full and in the evenings everyone was sleepy.

In the end the trip felt short, we wanted to stay longer.
We really feel that thanks to this, the group feeling is much stronger.

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2019 Giacomo Giolitti – View from Børestein, Norway

 

Blogpost by Mariona Ramis, Sarah Albrecht, Karolina Lõhmus and Johanna Westermayr

 

First day’s at Humak.

Introduction

For our friends, family or other persons how to want’s now what all the students of the Adventure Education Course Autumn 2019 doing is there a possibility to read sometimes a blog. In the blogs, you can read what we are doing, what our experience is and maybe pictures of that.

Blog 1

In this blog, you can read what we did the first days after arrival and the first days of school. But also what kind of activities we did or what we did in our free time.

First day’s in Finland

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018, Eline van der Meijden

Everybody had a different reason to arrive on a certain day. We all arrived early so we could explore the area and slowly get to know everyone. The first day’s everyone chills a lot and there was a kind of vacation feeling. Because of that feeling and time was there enough space and time to know each other. The weather was very good, it was nice and warm so a jump in the lake, even lying on the beach or a nice BBQ as possible.

Most of the people visit Mustasaari, a little island in the middle of Sääksjärvi the lake behind the campus. The make a campfire and listen to music. There was a plan to sleep on the island but maybe we can do that in the op coming months.

Introduction days

The first day of Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018, Jacob Henschelschool started and the best way to get to know each other is by playing some games. We started in the classroom and had an introduction by Sini and Juppe. They told something about themselves and there was a small introduction to the program. After that, we did 4 games outside (of course). It started with a cocktail party after that we had to make Europe and Canada with ropes. Each person has to stand on the place where they live and tell their name and with the study you do. After that, there was some speed dating, 30 sec for a lot of people to short so that was a good sign. When we are done with the games we reflected with the whole group and that was really nice!

The next day we did more games but than with the students form the 3-year program. In the games, we had to play with different people so you will get to know everybody! After that, we also did a reflection about the games and how it affects the group.

With this experience, we made in smaller groups also a program with games for the next day! That day we did the games with all first-year students of Humak. We had to play games and instruct games. it was a big success!

After that we had some small workshops about First aid, making a flower about our specialties and organizing something for the big opening! These 3 days we learn a lot about each other and how games can help you with that in the good order and instructions.

The first days of school

Already the first days of school were full of activities. We started on Thursday with our first kayaking lesson. To learn the basics, the first lesson took place in the indoor pool. In teams of three, we learned how to get out of the kayak, when it capsizes. We started by using only the kayak and gradually increased the difficulty level. In the breaks and after the lesson there was the possibility to warm up in the sauna next to the pool. On Friday we went to the lake the first time. First, we got a short but detailed introduction to the kayaks and how to prepare them for a trip. Then we took them from the containers to the lake. There, we could prepare ourselves for the kayaking. After a short introduction in a few basics, we went to the water. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the afternoon lesson because of a big thunderstorm. Instead, we started with an introduction to the topic orienteeHumak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018, Karolina Lõhmusring. On Monday and Tuesday, we continued with the kayak and learned more about different techniques and also had our first trip around the big lake. The topic of Tuesday afternoon was the food planning for our first hiking trip to Lapland in the third week of school. We also separated the whole group into groups of three people. These are the groups which will stay together in one tent and will cook together every evening. The whole of Wednesday was about the trip to Lapland. We learned how to build up our tents and tarps by doing it by ourselves and what we have to consider. After that, we cooked in our groups our lunch with the Trangia. On Thursday we did our last plans for the Pallas hike and also the safety plan. After that, there was the grand opening of the HUMAK Campus here in Kiljava.

 

Free time

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018, Sara van de RietAfter the first days of school we’ve got to hear that there was enough free time left after school. The school ends around 4 pm and after that, you’ve got enough time to practice some skills, for example, kayaking and learn the techniques, orientation so you can read the map for the hike or if you don’t want to improve your skills you can go and explore Finland or another country.
We’ve done that the first weekend after the first week of school. We went to Tallinn the capital of Estonia and explored the city. With all of the 18 students that following this study, we were at Tallinn. It’s was a lovely trip to make and also a big challenge because we were with such a big group and everybody wants to see something else, but we figured it out. In and it was a nice first trip that we made.

 

 

 

Sara, Eline, Iris, Nele

 

Internship “Museums as Innovation Platforms”

The “Museum as Innovation Platforms” project deals with the question how the museums-institution can be used as a social discussion platform and how the museum environment and its contents can improve innovation processes and competences.

This process enriches the common museum purpose and creates a platform for discussion way beyond the usual museum content and creates a social space as well as a new learning environment.

The project, which started in 2017, is achieving this in three different steps in courses which were taking place in the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum in Turku as well as two workshops in the Museum of Technology in Helsinki.

Heini Sorakivi, Carl Postelmann, Anna Büschges at the ECIS 2019 Summit. © KAAPELI, Helsinki.

As cultural management students from Germany we, Anna Büschges and Carl Postelmann, have the possibility to gain insights in this project during our internship.

Anna Büschges & Carl Postelmann

We could attend at the European Creative Industries Summit (ECIS) in Helsinki.

Besides interesting speeches of creatives about the role of the European Creatives in shaping the European economic landscape we could get to know new cross industrial projects and actors in a poster session.

As a next step we will conduct a benchmarking with similar as well as continuative projects abroad and will have the opportunity to be part of two workshops in Turku and Helsinki.”

“In our studies in Germany we often deal with the question of the opportunity of museums as a social space which have to evolve from a traditional silent institution, so the achievements of the project are very useful for approaches in our work back in Germany.”

With workshops for innovating in the exhibition space itself the project finds new ways to function as a inspiration as well as source for problem-solving.

Humak exchange students visiting the Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum, Turku. ©Paula Kostia.

Text by Anna Büschges and Carl Postelmann.

 

Our trip to Germany

Emden once more

Once upon a time there were 15 Community Educator students from Humak and two lectures. They all had the same mission: To participate in a study trip organized by Humak. Our host school in Germany was the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer.  

We started our trip one early April morning at Helsinki Vantaa Airport and took a flight to Hamburg. When we arrived in Germany it was still morning, so we had a whole day ahead of us.  

Seaman´s mission in Hamburg   

Our first place to visit was Finnish Seaman`s mission in Hamburg. We felt ourselves really welcomed there by Valtteri Salmi the director of the seaman`s mission. It was a very interesting place for a visit, and might be a good place for professional training, if someone is interested in? 

After saying goodbyes to Valtteri we continued our journey to Emden by train. Like in every good road trip we had a little excitement with German train system and culture. Finally, we arrived as last passengers to Emden`s train station. There were Students with Finland signs waiting for us!  

Our group in Hamburg

Our days in Emden   

These young students took such a good care of us “oldies” during the whole visit.  They had arranged visits for us in different places like; Youth Center Alte Post, NGO Outlaw (child and youth work) and on the North Sea coast located Social center Nasareth 

Thinking hard

One day we split in to the smaller groups and had dinner in students’ homes. Last evening, we had evaluation and pizza party. Our hosts took care of our transportation (cars and bicycles) and most importantly they didn´t  let us to get lost! We had always guides with us or at least they asked if we needed one.   

Evaluating

Was it worth to go?  

YES, for sure. It was a busy week, but everybody learned so much. To travel and get to know another culture expand your views and ways to think. We are looking forward to meet our Student colleagues soon again! 

Text: Krista Lampolahti & Saija-Riikka Louhelainen

Wintertrip Äkäslompolo

The program starts to run to its end. But before everyone started to head back home, we had a final trip to lapland. This time out, we had to plan the majority of the trip by ourselves. This turned out to be a bit of a challenge, but we were excited to have one final trip all together.

Hiking

Monday and thuesday were hiking days! They were a bit different then our previous trip to Pallas national park. We didn’t needed tents for this trip, we had a nice little accommodation in Hannakuru. This made hiking so much lichter and therefore easier. Also doing the entire walk off road made the whole experience so much more special and intense.

On top of that you had the cold, the cold made sure that we really had an unique experience. Due to the cold the lakes were frozen and we could walk over them. It was even so cold that our drinking bottles froze while we were walking, but we didn’t really mind about that. It was nice to have a cold drink from time to time.

Overall it was an experience that we will refer to as magic from this point on.

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Kai

Fat biking

After our hike it was time to go fat biking on Wednesday. After a short explanation of the bikes and gear, we divided us in 3 groups according to experience level. In the morning we started up with a tour around the town and some nice riding on the frozen lake. After that we picked up the pace and started to go off road and even doing a nice downhill part. After lunch some others joined our group and led by Kai we again found some nice tracks. We followed a single trail next to the lake and found a challenging hill to climb. It was a tough one, but the fun part is that when you go up you always have to go down again. Go pro mounted on my chest we rode down that hill. After that we took some nice trails and headed back to town.

On Thursday we had an independent day, and some of us chose to go fat biking again. We started of easy again, and took a similar route of the afternoon with Kai. We followed the single trail and back to the big hill. This time we filmed the downhill from 3 different points of view. After that we took more shots with Ruben’s drone on the lake and met up with others who were ice skating. After lunch more people got on the saddle again. Roel and Chris went to look for some more challenging sections and found this nice hill to climb. Although once we started we realised that there was no ending to this hill. Bucking through it we reached the top and turned around to descend. We found it so nice we decided to go do it again. But climbing again we cursed ourselves for it. After going down again we did it one more time before we started to go down on the other side of the mountain. The track we thought to take turned out to be a cross-country trail so there was no real path. Still we went for it and bumping over rocks and swamps we found our way back to town with a nice day burned in our memory forever.

 

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 photo by Chris Bindels

Ice skating

On Thursday we had our independand day. A lot of people wanted to Ice skate on the Akaslompolo lake. We rented ice skates at a rental shop and for a lot of the students it was a suprise that we also got poles with them. The students from Belgium and the Nederlands were used to ice figure skate, but now we had ice skates attached to our boots.

We went all together on the lake and the first 15 minutes it was a challange to move on the ice. After a couple of trails and errors everyone managed to ice skate. Ice skating with poles was something that everyone needed to get use to it, but it was a verry fun experience

Final evening

Part Paulien

 

Ruben, Chris, Noor, Paulien

 

Schools on the move project

The last three weeks we had the schools on the move project. So, a lot of our time went to this project. For this project, we were divided in two groups. One group had to organise two activity days for twelve years old children from the school Maaniitu. The second group had to organise two activity days for the sixteenth years old ‘teenagers’, they were from another school, called Kuoppanummi. The goal of this project was to organise activity days, were we can exercise our leadership skills, how to make games, how to make a project plan and how to work in a group. Every group had to organise one day activities on their school and one day in Kiljava. In this blog message, we will tell you more about this project. We will first talk about the schools in the move project in Kuoppanummi. After that we will talk about the other school, Maaniitu.

Kuoppanummi

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Sara Cignetti

For the schools on the move project in Kuoppanummi, we were with eight in a group, namely, Sjeel, Lieke, Meike, Azzurra, Paulina, Chris, Ruben and Laura. Sjeel was the coordinator of the group. We divided our group in two work groups, the activity group and the organisation group. Which person in which group was depended on our strengths. So, everyone had to put their strengths on a paper and after this we made the two groups. Meike, Sjeel and Laura were members of the organisation group. They did mostly the project plan, script, timetables and safety plan. Lieke, Azzurra, Paulina, Chris and Ruben were members of the activity group. They thought about activities, made the lesson plans and made a background story for the day. We had a lot of meetings, some of them were in the whole group and others were in the smaller groups (activity and organisation) and some of them went really good and others took a little bit more time. After the first meetings and a lot of preparations, we had a good idea about how the first day would look like.

Our first activity day was the first of November. The idea was about the different cultures of everyone in our group. The children had to earn there ticket so that they could go to Kiljava next week. They could do this by earning puzzle pieces with every game. In the end of the day they had to make the puzzle, which formed a ticket. During the day, we divided the children in four groups. Each group had their own group leader. The group leader was the whole day with that group. Each group did four games before lunch and two games after lunch. Before lunch we had a ball game, a traditional Italian game, two is too less, three is too many and the trust game. After lunch, there was a special basketball game and the low ropes. Each game was standing for a different country. So, the instructor of each game, started every game with a short story about the country and the game. This was our first activity day. In my opinion, it went really well. Sometimes, there were some difficulties with the time management, some games were too short, but with some improvisation we found some extra games.

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Chris Bindels

During the preparation, we did some things a little bit different for the second activity day. We had not so much time for the preparations, so we decided that we have no background story this time because it is not really important for children of this age. The school had already asked for activities like an escape room and box climbing. This made the planning a little bit easier. They also wanted to have a lunch outside with the campfires. During the preparations, we had to think about how we can do all this. We searched for two other activities. This time, we were really good prepared and also really motivated so there was a better vibe in the group. On the seventh of November, the second activity day, the children arrived in the morning in Kiljava. We divided them again in four groups and every group had again a group leader. We had five activities during the day, included lunch because not everyone had lunch at the same time. This was for the simple reason that the lunch was at the campfire and there is not so much place over there. The other activities were archery, an escape room, a guardian game and box climbing. The children were really enthusiastic during the day because we did some activities that a lot of them had never done before. We can say that the day went really well. There were some little problems but we could always find a solution for it. I think that I can speak for the whole group, when I say that we really liked this project, and especially the second activity day.

Maaniittu

As far as concerning the Maaniittu school, the target group was the 6th grade kids (11,12 years old). We had activity in November the 6th and the 13th. We had 2 weeks of planning and meetings. Our group was made by 9 people, 2 democratic leaders and 3 smalls groups. The leaders were Roel and Isa, Caymen worked with the leaders, and the others groups were: Paulien and Sara, Noor worked with Marc and Nomedia with Sanne. We have chosen together  the main theme on the two days: Three Crazy Professors (Isa Roel and Caymen) built a time machine and they travelled in time; in fact the first day theme was the Past and the kids needed to help them to go to their present again because something went wrong during the time travelling and the second day they “Travel back to the Future”. Each executive group had their independent meetings with the task to decided their games and activities and try to fit them in the main story. Each small group had also the task to made a proper and detailed project plan and think about the risk analysis during their activity and how to prevent injuries. The leaders had the task to think about and lead the intro warm up games and the final game. The “Professor” group had also the supervisor task during the days. We were in touch with our teacher Sini only through our leaders, they had meetings with her and she gave feedback in that way. The leaders had also an e-mail conversation with the teachers of the school, and the responsibility to create a timetables for both days. We try to put it into practice what we learned about play and games during the first day in Maaniittu school and used adventure and outdoor activities during the second day here in Kiljarva Campus.

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Sara Cignetti

For the first day we had an introduction video that told the kids the story about the Crazy Professors and super funny warm up games; after that the 46 kids were divided in 3 groups, using another game in order to mix them. Each team had one hour of activity, and at the end of the activity the kids received a “triangle” and they had to put all of them together in the “Time Machine” at the end of the day. Sara and Paulien have chosen the Ancient Rome theme for the first day, they thought more about problem solving and cooperation game, both outdoor and indoor, Marc and Noor were the Vikings, active and fun games, and Nomedia and Sanne used trust and communications games. All groups thought a lot about decorations, costumes and make up, in order to let feel the kids more involved in the story. The first day was a success, teachers, us and the kids were satisfied and happy!!

The preparation for the second day included the same team, timetable and agenda used for the preparation of the first day but we had some difficulties. Some of us unfortunately got sick and some of us went away for the weekend and other felt a bit the time pressure. We felt a bit stressed and we didn’t practice much our games.. but at the end, at the 13th, everything was ready: Sara’s and Paulien’s “Spaceship Escape Room”, Marc and Noor prepared active games about Aliens and Robots and Sanne and Nomedia a survial treasure hunt.We didn’t had time for a intro video but we went to the bus stop to welcome the kids with a march and we prepare some warm up and divided games.We tried to keep a good atmosphere even if there were some conflicts in the group. At the end of the day everybody was again relaxed and proud about our hard work, and we succeeded in our goals!!

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Azzurra Einaudi

On these two days of sport the teachers believed in us, in our abilities and they left us complete autonomy. They showed us in advance the rooms usable for the project, they gave us explanations on the number of students and they were always available in case of problems … There was a lot of collaboration. We were divided into two groups. We have collaborated within our group but we had moments in which we have been called to collaborate together (As for example in the day in Kiljava Opisto in which only one group of 8 people would not have been able without the indispensable help of the whole other group). We, students-instructors, even if we were divided into two teams, we worked and collaborated with the common purpose of concluding in the best way these 4 days of “school on the move”. In this project we had the opportunity to personally test the results of our work. After the first project, we did not waste time in starting the second which was very much better thanks to the previous experience. On the second day of activity the kids were happy to see each other again and excited to start the day. This was very satisfying for us! We worked hard and everything went well but we are aware we have much to improve, especially in the organizational question.
Our main goals: stay together, get involved, fun, movement and… improvement!

 

Written by: Sara Cignetti, Azzurra Einaudi and Laura Verstraete

 

Our Autumn Holiday

Holidays in Finland

We had our autumn holidays in Finland and what is the best thing to do when you have holidays. Traveling off course! So that’s what we did. This blog will be written by Isabell from Germany, Sanne, Lieke and Meike from The Netherlands. Everyone has written something about their experience during the holidays. Isabell and Sanne went to Sweden to spend their holidays there and Lieke went to Estonia (Talinn) and Meike went to Russia (Sint-Petersburg).

Off to Sweden!

After having had adventures in Finland for six weeks, we were ready for something new. So we decided to leave this lovely country and take the ferry to Sweden! The boat trip was amazing. We sailed through the stunning islands on the coast at sunrise and through the archipelago of Åland during the afternoon.

Although we expected Sweden to be very much like Finland, we soon found that both the countries are quite different. Not only was nature in Sweden (slightly) different from that in Finland, the people turned out to be different too. Only when we arrived in Stockholm, we realized that Helsinki and Finland in general have quite a special atmosphere. Only after we left the country, we found out that Fins are in general quieter than Swedes, Germans, Dutchies or other Europeans. We met a man on the ferry who told us that the history of Finland has something to do with this. We have not researched it yet, but it is definitely food for thought!

We stayed in Stockholm for two nights. Although the city was nice, we were longing to go to the countryside again, so we did. We decided that we wanted to go to Fulufjället National Park, a park which we chose because its landscape is so different from the Finnish scenery. We thought we could hitchhike there, since hitchhiking in Finland works very well. After we had waited for five hours in Stockholm, however, we realized that the Swedes might be a bit less open for it than the Fins. We decided to take a train out of the city and try it again. Although we did get a few rides this time, we did not reach the park by night, as we had hoped. So we picked out a stunning spot along the highway and we camped there, with the beautiful background noises of passing cars.

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Photographer Sanne Meijer Hitchhiking

The next day, we took the bus to the National park. Or so we thought; the nearest bus stop was 30 kilometres from the park though. So we walked. And walked. And walked. We, again, found a beautiful place to camp, this time on a parking place next to the road. Luckily, an employee from Fulufjället National Park gave us a ride to the park the next day, and we finally reached our destination!

The park was absolutely amazing. We will not even try to describe it with words, we will just illustrate it with a few of the pictures we took.

Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Photographer Sanne Meijer Fulufjallen National Park
Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Photographer Sanne Meijer Waterfall
Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Photographer Sanne Meijer lake in fullufjallen National Park
Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Photographer Sanne Meijer Thundra
Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Photographer Sanne Meijer Making fire wood
Humak Nurmijarvi Erasmus 2018 Photographer Sanne Meijer Hut in the National Park

The whole journey was an adventure education experience for us and we learned a lot from it. Hitchhiking, for example, taught us to be patient and to control our emotions. Because our trip had some unexpected turns, we also learned to accept it if not everything happens according to the plan. We learned much by doing, and we even practiced our camping and hiking skills! It was a lot of fun!

Off to Russia!

My name is Meike and I’m from The Netherlands. During my Erasmus in Finland I went to Russia to spend my days off. I chose for Russia because I will never get the change to go there. From Finland it’s so much easier to go there without visa troubles. I booked my trip to Sint Petersburg with the organization TimeTravels. This organization organize trips specially for students. So that was for us, Erasmus students, a really nice opportunity to go. So now I will tell you something about my experience!

We left Finland by boat, it was a really big cruise ship. The boat was called Princess Anastasia. I never been on a cruise ship so I was a bit nervous. I couldn’t expect how it would be to sleep on a boat and how to party on a boat. Yes, we could party on the boat. There were different places on the boat where you could eat, drink or party. After a nice show on the boat, there was time to party!

The next day we had to wake up early because we had to leave the boat on time. We were ready to go off the boat but we had to wait very very long. We arrive in Russia. They are really strict at the borders, so it took a really long time that we could go over the borders. There was a long line in front of the passport control. After 5 hours in total we finely arrive Saint-Petersburg.

After a short tour through Saint-Petersburg we arrived at the hostel. The hostel was totally new. I never slept in a hostel like that. Big kitchen, big rooms, big bathrooms witch we only had to share with 4 and WIFI on every room.
When we arrived at the hostel we had to prepare for the ballet. With a small group we went to the ballet, Swanlake. I think it was impressive. I never been to ballet in the Netherlands but because Russia is well known about their good dancers, I really want to visit it. It was worth it!

So after a nice sleep in the hostel, we woke up early because we wanted to join the free walking tour. During the tour we got a lot of information about the history of Russia and we saw almost the whole center of Saint-Petersburg. Even when the sun was shining my hand and feet were really cold and they were turning blue. That was the sign to go inside. After a nice (cheap) lunch, we continue exploring the city on our own. We visit some highlights in the city and off course we took a look at the souvenirs.
After walking for the whole day it was time to eat. We went to the hard rock café, it was placed next to the hostel. We ate a lot of spareribs and drank a few cocktails and off course we could go away without drinking a shot of vodka. That was the beginning of a party night in Saint-Petersburg. In the hostel we continued drinking nice drinks and afterwards we went to the club. The club was open for only all the students who were traveling with TimeTravel. That was a really big group!

The next day we woke up early too because we had to check-out. This day we were travelling back to Helsinki but first we visit the Hermitage museum. This is a really big museum placed in the Winter Palace. In the museum you saw a lot of gold, Russia is well known about their gold buildings and architects. And afterward is was already time to travel back. We arrived at the cruise again, but this time the party was not that big anymore. Everybody was tired of the trip and some students had to travel further to Talinn by boat. So they needed their sleep. So when we arrived in Helsinki the holiday was over.

Back to school again!

Off to Talinn!

Everyone went their own way during the autumn holidays. What did we have wild ideas and cool destinations on the schedule.

So many of us went to visit the neighboring country Estonia. The capital Tallinn is from Helsinki only two hours by boat. Tallinn has an old city center where you feel like you have entered a time machine. You think you are in medieval spheres. Wonderful to immerse yourself for a day or even more.

The city has a lot of history, during a guided walk we have heard a lot of information about the city. This was very interesting! Because did you know that Estonia was in the hands of: Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Russia?! And besides that there are many interesting and beautiful facts told. The city has had a city wall for a long time and parts of it have been preserved and transformed into a museum. At one of the many viewpoints you almost feel like a prince or princess who can be admired to his or her city. The magical colors of autumn and the last rays of the sun have certainly helped with this image, but even without it it’s pretty nice 😉

Besides the beautiful views, beautiful buildings and the medieval feeling. Tallinn is also worth a visit for cozy eateries where they also serve delicious food! All in all Tallinn is a cozy and nice city to be and definitely a must!

Once back on campus, we were flooded with holiday stories! Delicious. We are on half of our education, which means that our Finnish adventure will be over again in 6 weeks. Time flies! Fortunately, we still have a lot of beautiful things the prospect. Starting with the schools on the move project that we started last week! You will read more about that in the next blog!!


Foto made by Laura Verstraete

Foto made by Laura Verstraete

 

 

Our trip to Pallas National Park

So the last weeks were very exciting. We went to Pallas National Park for a hike. Also we got more classes at the campus whose where very interesting.

Pallas hike

In those two last weeks our adventure experience had grown considerably, first we went on our hiking trip to Pallas and we stayed there 4 days. If we have to describe our hiking trip in one word, we’d say that it’s a rollercoaster, we experienced as a group all tips of emotions, but at the end everyone enjoyed all parts of it. The first day, before our hiking trip, we ate a reindeer soup, which it gave us enough energy to walk the first 6km to Nammalakuru: meeting point where we were camping that night. As we were walking we enjoyed the first beautiful views of the national park, and we learned to write our names in the books that we found in each hut. After putting our tents in Nammalakuru, we started the workshops. Thanks to those, we learned how to cut the wood with a knife and an axe without hurting our self, and last but not least we learned all man rights which it teaches how to behave and respect the nature. Now we are able to cut the woods independently without the help of our instructors.

The second day of our hiking trip, all tents group were divided in different groups, that way we had the chance to be with other people. Before we started hiking we did some warmups, everyone had to came up with a physical exercise, then we chose a leader and a backup. Everyone had the chance to be a leader and a backup during the hike, we changed roles every time that we stopped to take a break. The tasks that the leader had to do were guiding the group during a while, decide when and where the group should stop to have lunch or water, and make sure if the other members of the group are okay. We walked 14km, and we hiked in Lumikero that was 680 meters high. We arrived to Hanakulu and after we accommodated our gear in the huts, we went to a traditional sauna, were we had a lake closer to it. The sauna was really small, and we had to shear it with other women, to make some space some of us went to swim in the lake and then come back running, because it was freezing. After the boys came back from the Sauna, we had a meeting with our instructors inside the hut. In the meeting we had a reflection, about how the day went, and what kind of mental, social and physical struggles we had during the day, everyone had the chance to explain and express their own experience. After the meeting we had some free time, but we were very tired that everyone went early to sleep.

The third day of our hiking trip, we started with a relaxing activity, everyone had to walk in silence the first kilometre, and we had to keep at least 15 meters between each other, so we managed to be completely alone and in contact with the nature. One of the challenges and also hazard that we had that day was the weather, it was really cold, and every time that we advanced in our hike the rain and the fog was getting heavier. At the end of the day some of us had some wet gear, but we managed well. Before our reflection meeting we went to the reindeer fenches and we learned some information about them, and that they were a sign of wealth, so we guess that the farmers that owned them are rich. We went back to the hut, we started a fire and all of us sited around it, while we were having our last reflection.

The last day we made our hiking trip independently, the instructors indicated us which way we should follow and where we were meeting to have lunch, this time all together. The meeting place was a hut next to a beautiful lake. We rested there until it was time to hike to the main street to get in the bus that was taking us to Akaslompolo. We made some knife and groceries shopping, and after that we all had pizza for dinner.

Pallas reflection

The week after the hike it was time for the reflection. Everyone off us had to write their own reflection on paper and had it done by Friday. On Monday we had an independent study day, so we could work on the reflection.

On Tuesday we had our reflection lesson from Sini. She explained why reflection was so important and told us how we could make it our own. We got also an assignment in groups to make a reflection in different styles. Each group did make an other sort of reflection. There was a PowerPoint presentation, slide show, poem, mime and a drawing. It was very interesting how everybody made the reflection. Below you can see some of the work.

A showcase made by Azzura, Sara and Isabell:

PALLAS

We started our Hiking adventure all together

The intense emotions we felt will stay in our hearts forever

Pallas and its beautiful nature looked like a dream

Especially during Rykima the colours were supreme

With each challenge we overcame

We did become stronger in the confidence game

We advent to a more pure state of mind

Hiking is the best way to unwind

It has a way to make you feel lighthearted

Unless someone in the hut intensely farted

A trip like this can get real frustrating

But at the same time illuminating

the exciting feeling we get

is something we’ll never forget

Luckily nobody brought a gun

that would ruin the fun

We learned to calm our mind

But now it’s time to leave the forest behind

On my heart Pallas left a stain

I want to do it all over again

– Ruben, Noor, Caymen & Chris –

 

Slideshow made by Sjeel, Paulina and Meike.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GjnQ5WrUmo

A pictures of the mime, made by Lieke, Marc, Paulien, Nomedia

Campus Life

When we got home from the hike our postbox was full of cards! Was very nice to read all the nice letters from home. Also all the letters are nice to decorate our rooms, so it feels I little bit more like home.

The first two days after Pallas were cozy. We had the chance to get some sleep – whose we really needed after three nights in tents and two nights in a train and to start our reflection. The new week started with an Opening Day organized by Finnish students of Humak. We got the chance to get in touch with other people in little games and to give an overview of us in a presentation, whose was rounded by a video.

VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQirr7f5Qo0

We spend the next days out- and inside with learning how to safe ourselves and our buddies when we’re going indoor climbing, which gear we need to do that and how to build a low rope park. We think everybody’s special highlight was the box climbing. Sjeel, Sara and Marc climbed up 20 crates!

With the start of the weekend, we got the task to write an essay about the history of Adventure Education, which felt like the start for the theoretical base for us. This came out also this week. After a lot of sports and being outdoors, we had a whole week of lectures about leadership and group management and got group tasks. However, that didn’t mean to sit a whole day in a classroom and being bored because one of it is to organize independent hiking and paddling trips, where safety is our best friend again 😉

Our free time after the hike and lessons was well spend. Some people went to Helsinki for the weekend. They went clubbing and the next day they went to the trampoline park, which was really awesome! Also people went for day trips to Helsinki to visit the beautiful island Soumenlinna, or just went to some museums. Nomedia went to the city museum of Helsinki, she advises others to go there also! A bunch of people did go for a afternoon climbing and they had a lot of fun!

We are very exciting what is coming the next few weeks. And also we are looking forward to the vacation. People planned lots of things like trips to home, Sint Petersburg, Tallin, Riga and of course Pallas.

Moi Moi!

Written by: Sjeel, Paulina and Nomedia.

 

Humak Beings – First Weeks, BAM!

ARRIVAL

We all came from different places and had different journeys. Getting here was interesting, but we made it. Roel’s first night was spent on a boat while both Marc and Caymen took a long bus directly to campus. Arriving with all our luggage was difficult at first, but we were all eager to begin the adventure that awaited us.

Marc lands in Helsinki
Airbnb Roel Helsinki
Caymen’s stuff at Toronto Pearson Airport (60kg)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAMPUS LIFE

All of us arrived a week early in order to get accustom to our surroundings. At first the buildings maze like structure confused us, but we soon were able to navigate it with ease. The campus offered many amenities, one of our favourites being disc golf, a game in which Roel often emerged the victor. There are many natural spots we enjoyed as well, such as the lake Sääksjärvi. Here we are able to swim to our hearts content, even though the water is frigid. The people also made our time here great. Wednesday karaoke has been a blast so far and we hope it continues to be. Spending time on campus is truly enjoyable and we look forward to making more memories here.

Finnish Confusion Blocker for concentration

 

 

Sääksjärvi
Swimming in the cold lake
The view is stunning

 

 

 

TRIPS

Of course, Finland is much larger than the campus, so we have tried to see as much of it as we can. From day trips to the stores in Helsinki to day hiking trips there has been so much to experience. We have explored Helsinki, where Marc was able to find his beloved Spanish sausages. Here we also saw Lapsipalatsi square and many other sights the city had to behold. The islands were also a place of great interest and we were astonished by their beauty. Our trips were not just contained to urban areas, we also took a day hike to Kuhakoski rapids. The trip was long, but amazing. We experienced different terrain and had a wonderful time.

Marc with Spanish sausages

 

Day trip to Helsinki

 

Boat trip to suomenlinna

 

Taking pictures of the view

 

 

 

Sara keeping in touch with friends back home

 

You can see all of Helsinki

 

Helsinki by night

 

 

Helsingin tuomiokirkko
Uspenskin katedraali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking to the rapids

 

It’s a long way away

 

Posing at the rapids
MADE IT!

 

Traversing the area

 

 

 

Finland is beautiful

 

Walking at night

 

SCHOOL

First of all, Sini share with us more information about the university and the surroundings. The first week, we start subject that name is play and games. On the reflections, the students share a lot of ideas of the objectives for this subject. We talk about warm up, communication, trust, safety, cooperate with each other. At the end of the first week, we started to practice kayak in the pool. The Erasmus students are excited for try it and do the wet exits. On the afternoon, we can get the kayak on the lake. On this second week, we have trust with the kayaks and we can do wet exits on the lake. We can get the kayaks when we want to use it. During this week, we talk about the planing of the Pallas trip too. Sini shows us all the clothes and food, we have to take it. The week ends on the forest, when we learn do tents and tarps.

Learning how to Kayak

Gear lesson

 

MIKA

When we arrived at the campus we were greeted by one of the tutors, that was Mika. Mika helps the students to find their way on the Nurmijarvi campus, answers all the questions the students have, drives people to the supermarket, tells a lot of Finnish jokes. He is probably the reason why everyone felt at home so quickly. The joker.