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Part 2 - 24/3/2009

Well, it has been another month now and there have been a number of developments. First, all our belongings have safely arrived from the UK and our house looks more like a home (see photo gallery). This day provided a few humourous moments, or at least on reflection. The removal of a car with a completely flat battery was the first, not least because we could not remember where the bonnet catch was. However, having overcome this and still being unable to start the engine, there was no alternative but to push the car down the ramp. Trouble is that the delivery driver forgot that brakes do not respond well when there is no engine!!! I was thankfully indoors at this point, however, Nicki pointed this out only to then watch our car head straight for our neighbours' parking area...............how to win friends and influence. Thankfully, their car was not parked there at the time. Anyway, the rest of the day flew by and it took about a week to unpack.

The next significant development for me is that we are making new contacts. This is through the church and also now with some of the various agencies in the city. Networking is extremely important in Oulu and across Finland. It may be time consuming, but we simply have to get known. People have been exceptionally kind and welcoming to us. We are fortunate to have fabulous neighbours and have spent a few evenings getting to know each other and sharing experiences and humour. Thankfully, they speak good English (and are also members of the church we are attending). We are also filling our time already. On Tuesday, Nicki and I attend Finnish lessons. On Wednesdays after Easter, we are beginning an English language course as a means of outreach from the church as part of the International Group. On Thursday, we have housegroup and Friday is LIFT. All in all, there is a lot happening.

Main targets ahead then. Well, work is a priority. Although we are awaiting residency status being confirmed, this will need to be key focus when this is received (hopefully in next few days). Other key areas will be exploring more of our surrounding area. We have a fabulous view out of our house and the weather most days is now sunny (still cold), with the days getting longer. I am really looking forward to some more exploring. Biking for me has been a no go so far as there is too much snow and ice, so I am also looking forward to spending more time on the bike.

Well, that is it for now. More news to follow in due course. Hope you are all well and would be good to hear from you if you get a few minutes.