Thursday 4th Of May

Essi K: Hey all. Today we had a totally packed day! After getting ourselves to school four of us had a lesson about American literature. There we had a chance to talk about Finland’s military and politics with other students. Then we went to the auditorium to listen to some veterans from Vietnam.  They told true facts about the war and reminded the audience that the individuals didn’t really support the war or want  to go there, but they were just following orders from the government.  That definitely gave everyone new aspects of the war.

After the auditorium we had just normal lessons. (I had AP Psychology,  US history and Study hall). When the school ended some of us went to the ”Weight Room” (it’s actually a gym with that nickname). Elsa helped with prom decoration. Then she went home with her hosts to get the house ready for the evening.

In the evening all of us (the finns) and almost all host families went to Molly’s house (she is Elsa’s host). We had a Potluck ( basically a dinner where every family brings something, so kinda like ”Nyyttarit”).  We ate so much good food, all different kinds of salads, pasta, sauce and for dessert we had pie, brownies, ice cream  and muffins.

The evening was so relaxed and nice and at the end of the day we watched the sunset together.

When we were leaving Rebekka’s host sister accidentally drove in to a ditch and we all had to get it off from there! Luckily no one was hurt.

 

 

Visiting Chicago – the Windy City

We started the day by waking up from queen size bed which was huge difference to New York’s YMCA.  The breakfast was fulfilling with fluffy waffles. Around ten o´clock at the hotel we met Audrey Damon-Wynne, our contact teacher of McFarland High School and host for Satu, our teacher.  Audrey came to pick us up with Essi’s host Claire and her mom Ann  and showed us around in Chicago. Ann had been in Sweden as exchange student when she was younger.

First we went to see Navy pier and we used Ferris Wheel to have  a look at the Chicago skyline.  In Navy pier we ate Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza. It looked like a pie but still it was really good! After that we chose to go shopping to Water Tower Place find prom dresses. We drove all around Chicago to see sights even tough it was raining all day. We didn´t leave the car so we checked the sights through the window. While we were driving to McFarland most of as were tired after long time traveling from New York to Chicago and after long and interesting day.

The Ferris Wheel

This photo was taken from the Ferris Wheel.

The famous Giordano´s. We had to wait for an hour to get in. There we ate the Chicago speciality deep dish pizza.

The state of Illinois is also called the state of Lincoln. The other guy beside mr. Lincoln is Everyman, any American.

While the weather was really windy we tried to get in to this greenhouse, but it was closed due to private occassion. We think they were preparing a wedding reception inside.

Elsa

Arrival in New York

Essi H: Hello! We started our journey from the Jyvaskyla railway station at two o’clock in the Tuesday morning. The flight to New York via Stockholm departed in the morning and the traveling made us really exhausted. We went to the YMCA Hostel from the airport and spent the night with resting and looking for a place to eat dinner.

 

On Thursday morning we went to see the Statue of Liberty from a ferry and we also went to a very interesting Immigration Museum in Ellis Island. After the trip with ferry we went to see 9/11 Memorial and the Brooklyn Bridge. In the evening we met Erin Dowding, who was a Fulbright teacher in Jyvaskyla last year. She took us to eat dinner in Grand Central Station. We ate hamburgers in Shake Shack, which is very famous fast food restaurant.

Next morning the weather was really good, the sun was shining and temperature was even 27 C (81 F). We went to Central Park to eat big strawberries and then we walked to Times Square where we did some shopping. In the evening we were waiting for our taxi at the hostel but it didn’t come so we had to take our luggage and to go to New York subway- and railway stations in a rush. Luckily we made it on time to catch our flight to Chicago!

 

Saapuminen New Yorkiin

Saara: Moikka! Lähdettiin Jyväskylästä klo 2.00 bussilla kohti Helsinki-Vantaan lentokenttää. Aamulla meiltä lähti lento Tukholman kautta New Yorkiin. Matkustimme yhteensä yli vuorokauden ja tunnelma New Yorkiin saavuttaessa oli hyvin väsynyt. YMCA hostellilla olimme perillä keskiviikkoiltana noin klo 18 ja loppuilta meni asettuessa ja ruokaa etsiessä lähiseudulta.

Torstaiaamuna meillä oli aamupalan jälkeen lähtö kohti Vapauden patsasta ja Ellis Islandia. Ellis Islandille kulki lautta josta näki matkalla Vapauden patsaan. Ellis Islandilla on siirtolaismuseo, jossa kävimme kiertämässä näyttelyn joka kertoi siirtolaisten paluusta Amerikkaan. Ellis Island otti vastaan kaikki New Yorkiin tulevat siirtolaiset.

Ellis Islandin jälkeen käytiin kiertämässä pari nähtävyyttä. Ensin käytiin 9/11 muistopaikalla, joka oli hyvin koskettava kokemus. Siitä matka jatkui Brooklyn Bridgelle, matkan varrella ihastelimme ympäristöä.

Illalla tapasimme fulbright opettajan Erin Dowdingin, joka opetti meidän koulussa. Erin vei meidät syömään New Yorkin Grand Central Sationille, joka on New Yorkin kiireisin rautatieasema. Siellä menimme food courtiin, jossa jokainen sai käydä hakemassa ruokaa valitsemastaan paikastaan. Illan suosituin oli Shake Shak, joka on New Yorkilainen pikaruokaravintolaketju. Samalla kiertelimme hieman Times Squarella ja menimme nukkumaan hostellille.
Perjantaiaamuna nukuttiin hieman oidempään ja lähdimme kiertelemään omia reittejämme. Tuli vierailtua ainakin Central Parkissa, sekä hieman shoppailua Times Squarella. Illemmalla oli lähtö Chicagoon. Olimme keskiviikkona sopineet kyydin perjantaiksi, joka ei kuitenkaan ikinä tullut, joten lähdimme yli 20kg kantamuksinemme metrolla ja junalla kohti lentokenttää. Newarkin lentokenttä oli hidas, mutta kerkesimme hyvin lennolle kohti Chicagoa.


Aikamme New Yorkissa oli hyvin rajallinen ja meiltä jäi paljon asiota näkemättä ja kokematta. Kaupunki jätti kuitenkin hyvät tunnelmat kaikille ja itse pidin hyvin paljon siitä kuinka loogisia kaikki kadut olivat ja mielestäni oli vaikea eksyä, jos tiesi mihin on menossa. Ihmiset olivat mukavia ja olo oli turvallinen, vaikka oltiin pienemmillä porukoilla välillä liikenteessä.