The girls (Tikkanen and Lakkanen) and I were invited as guests of the Republic of Finland to visit their Embassy and learn a little bit about the country.
The embassy was actually the first LEED certified embassy in the US and is of architectural interest because of its unique design that blends in with the surrounding landscape.
We learned about the population of Finland (5.5m), their love of ice hockey (we knew that) and “Finnish baseball” (we didn’t know that), that they love fish (no surprise) and potatoes.
There are also 2.5 million saunas in the country…and one more in the Embassy. Luckily, it was off when we went in there.
The girls learned about the social welfare state, what kind of schooling that Finnish kids get, their perception of themselves as humble, somewhat reserved people whom once you get get know are pretty funny, outgoing, and sarcastic.
During the winter, it stays dark pretty much all of the time, but from 10am-3pm, it’s sort of light outside…but not a whole lot.
The country is challenged by the Euro and immigration and prides itself on its different outlook than its other Scandinavian neighbors. Swedish is also an official language of Finland.
It didn’t matter. What mattered is that the girls learned something (so did I—who knew Angry Birds was Finnish?) and we got some souvenir stickers and brochures for later reading.
(Yes, the girls wore their Finland jerseys)
Oh…and some great memories of our trip together…all because we were watching Olympic ice hockey and we have a thing for nicknames.