Chronicles of an Italian in Finland: A challenging language and Ähtäri Zoo
Here I am again! It´s your favourite Italian living in Finland here! So if you haven't read the article where I introduce myself (you can find it here) I´m still Edoardo, still 22 and still working in Seinäjoki.
THE WORK IN JOJO
We´re right back where we left off the last time. I started to work in JOJO, but what is it? JOJO is a meeting place for young adults where anyone is free to come and hang out. The site is cool; I especially like a lot that it is, as we call it, a "discrimination-free zone" and that the staff is friendly and open-minded.
Before coming here, as said in the previous chapter, I´ve been working in a Youth House in Lapua, so "youth" has already been my field but I was unfamiliar, professionally speaking, with situations like dealing with youngsters that have social problems. Even though I thought for a second if I might be cut out for this or not, I get along well with the guys here also. we sometimes spend hours with valuable conversations, plus I´m pretty sure that I can learn a lot from them!
FINNISH? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!
Okay, let me take a breath. This whole thing of learning Finnish is the toughest part. According to this research, the Finnish language is the 6th hardest language in the world and 2nd hardest in Europe after Hungarian; trust me, it´s not only a legend. When I first came to Finland learning the language seemed in my mind like emptying the sea with a spoon. I´ve been studying it "seriously" only for two months maybe, now that I´ve decided that my purpose is to live in Finland permanently.
Now I´ve been living here for a while, I´m getting into the logic behind the language (I know it looks like there isn´t any) and my ears have trained to the sound of it, therefore it is still a hard task, but feels more like emptying a swimming pool with a bucket. But hey! I told you that I´m going to move here no matter what, so challenge accepted!
ON THE ROAD TO ÄHTÄRI ZOO
I'm fond of animals. I've always been since I was a kid. Now if you add in the fact that Finnish nature is lovely and that I currently live in Finland, the result of the equation is a lot of fun for me. That said, there is a place here in Finland that if you like animals as much as I do you must visit; Ähtäri Zoo. This place is ideal for that part of the fauna of Finland that is beautiful but also really hard to spot in wild nature.
I'm not the biggest fan of zoos, but I understand that under certain circumstances they can be useful to save and reintroduce in nature endangered species. In Ähtäri Zoo most of the animals are kept in the right conditions (but birds like owls or eagles really can't stay in cages or even fences and need large spaces to fly around) so going there is to enjoy a peaceful walk among Finnish (and not only) animals and their habitats. The only black spot was that I maybe went there too early and a large part of the animals were still sleeping but it's understandable because of course animal are not there only to amuse and entertain us.
What you just read was me dealing with the Finnish language and fauna of Finland, but a lot of things are about to come still. Tomorrow I will head to Stockholm and once back to the so dreamed Lappland!
But I guess that´s another story...
Pictures: Edoardo, Seinäjoen nuorisopalvelut