Finland: Oulu

I have learned from experience that after travelling to Europe it takes me about three days to get my sleeping patterns back on track, and we were only in Oulu for four days, so most of the time I was falling asleep and waking up at odd hours, but the nice thing about going to Finland in the summer is that even if I’m awake at all odd hours of day and night, the sun is up regardless and keeping an odd schedule isn’t so strange. I was still able to be sociable when I was awake and enjoy the place and the people there. E. and I enjoyed many morning walks into the center of town and back. One of the really wonderful things about Oulu is the extensive network of walking and bicycle paths that run all throughout the city.

Oulu landscape

A view of Oulu center in the morning

We visited with E.’s parents who once again very graciously made room for us in their apartment. I’m afraid we may be becoming too much of a burden on them and perhaps in future years we should look for other accommodations so as not to be in their way so much, but they have always been very kind hosts to us.

We also paid a visit to E.’s youngest brother Ville in the apartment he is now sharing with his girlfriend. They introduced us to a new video game: Band Hero. The game has special controllers that simulate playing a guitar or drums and a microphone for singing. To play the game, you “play” and sing along with famous rock songs, matching rhythm and chords. As weird as it sounds, it was strangely fun, and the four of us played together, taking turns to pass the different instruments around.

We also spent a lot of time visiting with E.’s other brother and his wife and their two children, our niece and nephew. Our niece, Aino, is now two and a half years old. When we saw her last summer she was just starting to talk. Now she is chattering away very happily– even I was able to understand her most of the time. She is an adorable child, full of life and energy.

Our niece

Our niece

To my surprise, she seemed especially taken with me and wanted to show me all her toys and wanted me to play with her. When it was time for her to have dinner, she wanted me to feed her, so I sat by her and fed her porridge and applesauce. I had expected her to be shy of me, a stranger who looks and sounds funny and can’t speak or understand the language as well as the rest of the family around her. I don’t know why she latched on to me, but it was very sweet of her.

Playing with my niece

Playing with our niece

Our nephew, Matias, is only about six months old now. He is just barely starting to push himself up on all fours and can wriggle around on the floor on his belly, but hasn’t quite gotten to crawling yet.

Our nephew

Our nephew

Already, he is very different from Aino. Where Aino is bubbly and energetic, Matias is quiet and calm. He has a wonderful sunny smile and generally gives the impression of being thoroughly contented with the world and everything around him.

Our nephew

Our nephew, sitting on his grandfather's lap

It will be fascinating to watch those two grow up, even from a distance.

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One Response to “Finland: Oulu”

  1. Eppu Says:

    Why did you pick all the fuzziest photos of Matias!?

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