Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Emotional last CHAFF Meeting at Pailin

I have been given a few tickets by the City of Oulu (in celebration of Oulu days) for an English Language Guided Tour of Oulu, on this Saturday 1st September (tour starts at 10:00 hours) and Sunday 2nd September (tour starts at 14:00 hours).

The Saturday tickets cost € 5, while the Sunday tickets are FREE.

Saturday 1st September starting at 10.00 am OULU RIVER SIGHTSEEING TOUR
Departure: City Hall (Kirkkokatu 2)
A bus tour along the Oulu River. The first stop will be at Jurvakainen Art Gallery in Muhos where there will be a presentation about the current exhibition. Coffee will be served. On the way back, there will be a brief stop at the Markkuu Allotment Garden.
Duration: 4 hours. Tickets 5€.

Sunday 2nd September starting at 2.00 pm A GUIDED SIGHTSEEING TOUR IN OULU
Departure: City Hall, Kirkkokatu 2
This English-language tour takes you to the river, seaside, marshlands and woods. You will visit the old and new monumental centres of Oulu, the sites of culture and technology. During the tour you will hear stories about tar merchants, ship builders, sea farers and salmon fishers during the history of Oulu.
Duration 2 hours.

Please contact me as soon as possible to reserve your seats - first come, first serve.

June, Pupe and Pailin, with the Oulu Fat Policeman.

This Saturday, which is the celebration of the 20th birthday of the Fat Policeman in the Oulu market Place, coincides with the Thai Festival also in Oulu Market Place. There will be traditional Thai dances, Thai Music and several other events of Thai Culture organised by the Northern Finland Thai Association. The Thai Ambassador from Helsinki, the Thai Tourism Board representative from Stockholm and the Thai Monk from Helsinki will also be taking part

Last Sunday was the last CHAFF Meeting to be held at the Pailin Restaurant. It was a most memorable and emotional event.

Attendance: Zhang (Tingting) Xiting (China), Asha Matthan-Rogers (England), Tero Raiskio (Finland), Oskari Keränen (Finland), Pentti Paakki (Finland), Matti Moisa (Finland), Ari Ronkainen (Finland),Ilari Sohlo (Finland), Johanna Koivunen (Finland), Ildikó Hämós (Hungary), Robbie (Ireland), Jacob Matthan (India), Isaac Sundarajan (India / USA), Festo Badi (Sudan), Pornpailin Weber (Thailand), Unnop Khungrai (Thailand), Rachaya Ronkainen (Thailand), June Koskela (Thailand), Hilmi Oral (Turkey), Kamutaza Tembo (Zambia).

Apologies from: Barbel Fink (Austria), Bill Zhang (China), Sisko Paakki (Finland), Yrjö Mikkonen (Finland), Anna-Liisa Hirvenoja (Finland), Gisela Tauriainen (Germany), Kanchan Gupta (India), Kiran Kumar (India), Prasadh (India), Shahnaz Mikkonen (Iran), Gina Forsman (Philipines).

I had to rush home to drop off grandaughter Asha and to say goodbye to our daughter, Susanna, and her family, as they were driving down to Tampere to fly on to their home in England. When I got there, Annikki pointed out some sad info from the Sunday Kaleva, that one of CHAFF's most loved participants had lost his 94 year old father.

When I got back to the CHAFF Meeting I found Pentti Paakki at the meeting and I shared the news the loss of his father with all our CHAFF friends.

Ilari and Ildikó.

Rachaya and Ari.

I also welcomed several newly weds to the meeting - Ildiko and Ilari were back from their honeymoon which had taken them to Central America (Costa Rica, etc.), Johanna and Robbie were back from their short local honeymoon, Rachaya and Ari were still celebrating their wedding of last week, and I was also able to announce that Kamu had married Naomi in Zambia earlier this year and they were back in Oulu.

Pentti and Sisko Paakki.

Pentti gave a very emotional talk (translated to English by Matti) about his father and was very sad that he was leaving Oulu to settle in Sipoo in South Finland. I spoke to his wife Sisko, who has already moved to their new home. Pentti talked at length about how many new friends he had made since he met me by chance about 5 years ago in the Oulu Market Hall. We all will miss both Pentti and Sisko, but the retirement of Sisko from her job at the Haukipudas Health Centre, the passing away of Pentti's father and the fact that most of their children and grandchildren live in south Finland has prompted this move.

I did explain the reasons that I would not be able to run the Sunday afternoon meetings as home pressures had built up in the care of my mother-in-law. The general opinion at the meeting was that CHAFF should be continued and Ildikó has expressed that she will look into how and when the meetings can be revived to suit the tastes of the large number of participants who use this forum to do something with their lives in Oulu.

I will continue to update this CHAFF Blog whenever there are events of note which interest us foreigners resident in Oulu. There will be CHAFF Stand at the event on 8th September to welcome new students to the University of Oulu. Look out for details which will appear here in the next few days.

However, all my other blogs will be active so you can remain tuned to our lives through them.

So it is Au Revoir from Annikki and Jacob!