Riikka Uusamaki from Finland has come to stay with us for a few months. We are delighted to host her as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program and will try to ensure that Riikka has an enjoyable year in Australia. I am particularly happy to host a Finnish student as I had such a wonderful time in the south west of Finland in 2001, as a Rotary Group Study Exchange leader, and have such great memories of everything Finnish. We have also had such positive experiences from hosting students from other cultures in the past and love having such special young people as part of our family even for a little while.
We met Riikka when she came to Australia last July, and have taken her on a whale watching cruise from Nelson Bay (only one whale sighted that day) and spent time with her at various Rotary functions and meetings. Many thanks to our friend, Pam, who was Riikka's first "host mother ' for organising so many things like school, bank accounts, health card etc for Riikka in her first few months here. Riikka moved to us last Monday, and on the first night, we went to the Rotary Club of Myall Coast (Tea Gardens) for their annual debate - Rotarians vs Tea Gardens Primary School. On Thursday, Riikka joined other exchange students on the Warren Wander - four days of sightseeing and experiencing rural life in the western NSW.
It's a busy life for exchange students!