maanantai 29. joulukuuta 2014

Why, oh why?

Blogs. Glimpses of life, fears and sorrows. Without any knowledge (or much interest) it seems the most popular one's have to do with food, fashion, life in general and health and exercise. Now, my blog that indeed is alive even today is about life. Not my personal life but the life I see through my eyes.

The survival of this blog is an interesting, curious, heart warming and surprising thing. It is not my merit but instead the one's who return here to read my texts. During these past few months people from near and far have casually mentioned mentioned this blog in one way or another. Blogger statistics confirms a steady flow of visitors even though there has been nothing but silence.

If you read this you probably know me. You know that staying in touch is not my forté. You also know that I value nothing as highly as people with a kind heart. These are the people I want to keep in my life, These also happen to be the people who return here every now and then. Life has offered me many joys, many more than I have shared with you here. As a woman a few years older, wiser and more experienced, I offer my compassion and understanding to those who are near. To those of you who aren't - rest assured - I now see a purpose with this blog.

maanantai 12. toukokuuta 2014

A new setting

Sometimes I remember the existense of this blog. Like now, sitting on my sofa, updating my bookmarks and finding this page among the tens and tens of bookmarks saved. The use of this blog is fairly limited although I seem to have quite an international and exotic "fanbase" :) People blog a lot about everything and nothing. We all could have our own blogs, showing a fabulous side of our quite mediocre lives. So, a blog need a purpose other than boosting my own ego. Therefore, my intentions are very limited in updating this page. Nevertheless, I will give you the fruits of my bookmark list:

Blog Wait but why
Podcast Smart people
TedX Talks on Youtube
Radio 93.9 Latin music
Radio relaxation radio
Audiobooks Librivox
Search engine
Documentary The Story of Stuff

Everything great and out of the ordinary is more than welcome here!

Hugs from Helsinki!

keskiviikko 3. lokakuuta 2012

Big changes, vol. 251

New post, new city, new job. Changes, people, kitchen ware, gym, a general sensation of being lost. This is a good time to do a re-introduction.

Hello, my name is Hanna. I am 25 years and 363 days old. I live in Helsinki, Finland. Currently I am working at the Office of the Ombudsman for Minorities that tackles issues of ethnic discrimination. My hobbies are dancing, travelling, learning and participation in virtually anything I have time for. It wasn't always like this. This fall has been a time of changes.

Big change #1 - I'm back in Finland, temporarily permanently. A necessity, no bigger ideology behind it. I've experienced great and unforgettable things but it's also necessary to live a normal life for a while. Since last fall basically I've been getting tired. Not physically, my endurance is still high there. It's rather the psychological part. A constant flood of incredible places, fun people and exciting opportunities becomes more neutral with time. I trekked to a waterfall but wasn't really amazed by it because I've seen the Iguassu falls. A juggler or a singer is usually very mediocre because I have seen approx.. 500 of each performing. When there is very much of everything, making something special becomes trickier. That's where I am, that is my challenge.

Big change #2 - I live in Helsinki. I'm against urbanization. Wait? "Practice what you preach"? *zip* For about as long as I didn't have a job in Helsinki, I didn't want to move here. It's so predictable. Everybody's here. It's the easy solution because the jobs, the ambitious youth and the excitement is here. Of course it's fun to live here because I do feel my opportunities sky rocket when I open my eyes to the job market in Helsinki. Nevertheless, the trend of people abandoning the countryside to live in the cities is simply not the way that this country thrives, which is why I feel I should set an example. On the other hand, my experience and education will serve me best here. Oh what a dilemma.

Big change #3 - I have a job. A good job with soft values. Sometimes I feel like I'm portrayed as the "save the world" person that I'm not.  I'm no corporate lawyer either. The goal is to have a job that satisfies my ambition, pays my living and reflects my values. With dirty politics, networking and money involved in almost (some would say absolutely) everything, it seems my values are the first ones under the microscope. Anyway. I sometimes explain to people that in this office we are a bunch of lawyers that only deal with ethnic discrimination cases. Our clients are immigrants and ethnic Finnish minorities. Our aim is to improve their situation in Finland.

Big change #4  - I have a somewhat steady future. For the first time since 2008, I am actually able (at least in theory) to agree on something for next year. I will be here. Before everything has been temporary so there has been no need to analyze things any deeper. People, places, situations -  they're all manageable for a while. Usually I've been gone before that while has been over. Now I'll stay here. I can create more long-lasting relationships with people again. Maybe the salesperson at the corner shop gets to know me. I will know where I can buy bikes inner tyres. Things can become easy. I can start putting my energy on something else than moving around or creating a new life from scratch.

The conclusion might be that I will change as a person. That remains to be seen.

sunnuntai 22. heinäkuuta 2012

Hi folks!

Like Bugs Bunny, I salute you. I'm in Finland, on holiday, enjoying the rainy, cold and oh so wonderful summer. My Latin American adventure is behind me. Beautiful memories fill my head and thousands of photos my computer. A little distance from the blog, Facebook and computers in general has been good and it will still hold for a while, just letting you know that the blog is and will be alive and updated as before. This is no "That's all, folk!" in Warner Brothers' style, this is a new episode. There will be more about my past and coming adventures, although most likely my pondering side will get a hold of my writing. For some it's a sign that I'm alive, for some an inspiration for self study. Whatever the reason you're reading this, I'm happy you do - and probably you also have a special place in my world.

Let's see what the future holds in store.

torstai 7. kesäkuuta 2012

Bolivia growing on me

For several years, Bolivia has been a country I have longed to visit. The other place was Amsterdam but when I finally got there in December last year it was wet and cold and I got very sick. I guess I have to give the city another chance. Anyway. I made it. Greetings from Bolivia.

Bolivia is a country of many extremes. It’s the highest, the poorest and the most indigenous country of the America’s. There are a few big cities with modern amenities but the majority of the people live in very rustic and simple conditions, herding llamas and cultivating potatoes and quinoa. Most roads are unpaved and without signalization; venturing out to the countryside can lead to getting lost for several days.

Quechua and Aymara are the majority's ethnicity and first language. Spanish is learned in school. Most people here have very bad Spanish but also in general the Bolivian Spanish is weird, resembling Master Yoda’s speaking by putting the verb last.

The people give very much importance to their roots. Traditional hats, fabrics and skirts are widely used to identify the origins of people. Having a full set of teeth is a luxury, wearing proper shoes instead of sandals in this freezing climate isn’t really a necessity. A photographers dream this place is.

I have a few more weeks left here. Bolivia is a bizarre country, very different from all other Latin countries. There are several very touristy places but once you ditch the Lonely Planet, there are secrets to be discovered. An amazing country it is.

torstai 31. toukokuuta 2012

Goodbye Ribera

Hanna has left Cordoba. My 3-month internship ended this Thursday. It was a very nice day, a bit emotional but it just added to the flavor. I made a Finnish breakfast (porridge, of course) and we had a session where I told them about Finland, the culture, the people, beliefs and habits. They were very enthusiastic in learning about how we (I) saw things and make a lot of question.

In the end came the best part. When thanking me for the time spent at La Ribera, my colleagues said that I had integrated very well into the group. The group my colleagues formed was neither homogenous nor united but I got connected with them. I was one of them. That was the greatest compliment they gave me.

Why was it so wonderful? Because most of my colleagues hadn’t spent time with a foreigner before. When they had heard that a Finnish girl would come to work with them, they had been a bit preoccupied. “Will she be cold and distant? Will we find anything to talk about? Will she be able to do anything here?”. It resulted that all these worries were unnecessary and that we really got along great.

Beside the personal satisfaction, I know that these people will see the world a bit differently now. When they hear somebody talking about Europe, culture shocks, different languages or even sausages, a tiny unconscious part of them will remember me. What an exciting thought that is. My simple existence has permanently changed a fraction of a person’s mindset.

This sounds very grandiose but think about it for a while. You do it every day too. By a simple thing you do or say you influence the other person’s thoughts and create memories that will guide that person’s actions in the future. As people we are fairly insignificant but as individuals we can change the world surrounding us.

torstai 24. toukokuuta 2012

TV - the changing face of culture

TV tells a lot about the culture of a country. Especially the advertisements are very entertaining at best, promoting something in a way unthinkable to what we are used to. Today I watched a cooking program. Fairly interesting it was. The people were cooking a type of pastry cream but they had 3 different versions of the cream, “do this”, “this is okay” and “don’t do this”. So now I know that when making crema pastelera the mixture should stay moist at all time.

Comedy here resembles very much the Mexican one. It’s a bit unfair to say but I think comedy here is fairly simple. Big gestures, dramatic reactions, people falling over or bumping into a tree. When you mix that with the fake breasts, bare skin, old men and young women, anything can come out. Oh I do laugh and get amused too but for other reasons than the majority.

News have a yellowish stamp on them. A car crash attracts loads of people watching but also press, taking photos of torn body parts and crying family members, and interviewing eye-witnesses who explain everything to the smallest detail. News are designed to attract attention, be it with blood, drama or young sexy girls (this is the perfect example when it comes to weather forecasts: ).

In general there is more passion, more drama and more excitement here. It is possible to feel strongly about anything on TV or in the newspapers, whether it’s about politics or an art exhibition. Living is passionate here and there isn’t a dull day in sight.