After some very intense exercises on staying positive, lots of gmail chats and Skype sessions (Thanks to all of you who participated), November turned around. I had my first sampling day this month at a farm on the outskirts of
It was gross. Even the farmers laughed at us. We laughed too. But we got our first samples! We have millions of sampling days ahead of us, but the important thing is: we got started! If it’s possible in November, it’s possible anytime!
…and: I voted in November. Thanks to Yolanda, Dan, and a support team of Environmental Health alumni and graduate students, I received my ballot and did what I (and Yolanda and Dan) could in the election. The Finns are weary and still worry about Mr. Bush. Yes, he’s still there, but congress does have a lot of power, I try to explain. I think things will improve.
Other November accomplishments and happenings:
I’m now a regular at the Finnish salsa dancing school that Outi introduced me to. I’m learning a lot of words in Finnish like up, down, around, and left, two, three, four, right, two, three, four. And now with music...
Some of those same words also fit into my engineering vocabulary. Somewhat related to salsa, or at least dance, Outi and I saw the Estonian National Ballet perform Tchaikovsky’s
Audrey and Lea officially introduced me to Finnish summer cottage culture, also in November. The sauna was very very close to 100°C. For those of you who aren’t experts on the Celsius scale, that is the temperature at which water boils. In case any of you are thinking about coming to
- Go inside the very hot sauna
- If you feel like you can’t breathe, cover your face with your hand—it’ll pass.
- Stay there for 15-45 minutes chatting (through your hand if it’s over your face)
- there are special conversations in the sauna that happen nowhere else
- Leave the sauna and get cold
- Option 1—sit outside
- Option 2—jump in the icy lake (Summer cottages are often on lakes, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a lake)
- Option 3—dive into the snow (well, roll around in the snow until you’re freezing cold again. Don’t dive head first.)
- Go back to 1 and repeat 1-3 until you’re almost unconscious (2-3 times)
- I prefer to end on 2, but you can end on 3, if you’re into being cold.
- Cook sausage
- Eat sausage
- Don’t re-enter sauna after eating: the order is important there
- Drink beer throughout the process.
If you feel like bringing your beer inside the sauna, it’s allowed, but you’ll probably only do it once. 100°C beer isn’t good. In fact, if it’s in a can (often the case in
Next week is a busy week of well water, farm, and septic sampling before heading off to