Part 13 - 8.4.09

No niin! (If you read the last blog, you'll know.) Yet another week of ups and downs, successes and failures! I have spent much of the last week preparing resources for the English course that begins next Wednesday. Sitting at home at my computer, planning lessons, feels very normal to me. It's been almost relaxing, normal perhaps. Then on Sunday morning after church, Pirjo (the pastor's wife) grabbed me, as she was dashing off somewhere, and told me to speak to a lady. The lady was clearly of African origin - beautifully plaited hair... smooth, dark complexion... shining white teeth. She smiled. I asked her name and where she was from. I can't remember her name but she had come from the Congo and had family with her. After some not very coherant conversation, I worked out that she didn't speak English, only French, and wanted to join my English course. I realised that I would have to talk to her in French if she was to go away with any useful information, but could I think of anything other than Finnish to say? AGH! I knew all the words were in my head somewhere but they weren't readily accessible. Eventually, I managed to muster up something about 'mercredi le quinze', welcomed her and told her to bring the children too. I felt woefully inadequate though and instantly pledged to revisit some French vocab.

Fortunately, by God's grace, failures are often followed by success. Maybe that's so I don't totally lost heart. Well, Monday evening at about half past eight, my phone rang. I picked it up and didn't recognise the number. I answered it and gave my name. The person was speaking in Finnish and initial panic welled up inside me. I took a breath and asked, 'Kuka sinä olet?' (Who are you?) They obviously twigged that I was English and thankfully spoke slowly and clearly. The conversation went on and I established that the person was called Paula and wanted to come to the course. I told her (more coherently than I managed in French) to come to the right place at the right time. The conversation ended with the usual 'Kiitos ja hei hei' (Thanks and bye) and as I hung up, Neil clapped and shouted 'Bravo!' I went to bed on a high, but mentally rehearsed the conversation so I would be better prepared for next time.

Yesterday threw up another exciting moment. After several days of wondering whether it's worth the bother of pursuing it, I finally got accepted as a teacher on Myngle. Okay it's not full time work, but it will enable me to work from wherever I happen to be, teaching English. I'm now creating course materials (lots of overlap with the face-to-face course) and then I can take my first students. The good thing about that is that it pays in euros.

We have finally got a tenant for our house in the UK. A family move in later this month and have signed a 12 month contract. That's a weight of our minds! Then, today, we've had another potentially exciting phone call. The estate agent from Ylläsjärvi rang to say that we've had an offer on the cabin. The offer was lower than we're prepared to accept but we've put in a counter offer and hope for some dialogue and negotiation. Timing-wise, it has come just at the right time, as the sale wouldn't go through before Easter, which is when the bookings end for this season. I really pray that we will get a sale soon. Then we can start looking for something more permanent to buy, assuming of course that we find work - yet more prayers going up!

We're popping next door for coffee now, before taking her little one to salibandy. More soon...

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