Ms. Foster, the eighth grade computer teacher at Maple Place School, enjoys traveling. She has been to places such as Russia, China, Europe, Scandinavia, and Hong Kong. Her favorite place was China because she knew ever since she was a little girl that she would some day visit the Middle Kingdom. She says it was wonderful walking on the Great Wall of China. She said it was also a beautiful country.
Last school year Ms. Foster again began searching for an international connection. She found a site posted by a university and put up a request for a Finnish connection. She was already planning a trip to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Russia and Finland. Helsinki was her point of return to the US so she thought she might take an extension and visit a school in Finland if she could find one. She did. She developed a friendship with Mrs. Tuula Hakalati and after sharing information about their lives and families, Tuula invited Ms. Foster to stay in her home. They exchanged pictures over the Internet and their students did an epal exchange. Flying from Helsinki to Kussamo, Finland, Tuula and Helen recognized each other immediately and embraced. A week of wonderful activities followed. Ms. Foster visited and talked to the elementary, middle and high school students and teachers.
Taivalkoski Middle and High School
All the students study English, so most could understand her very well. The English teachers had a dinner party for her, and she was invited to several homes for dinner. She twice visited the Finnish sauna and including the ice cold dip into the lake. She found it exhilarating.
Tuula and Jukka's Divine Sauna
Tuula and Jukka, the host and hostess with the mostest.
Relaxing in Stockholm
Buying Fruit at Helsinki's Farmer's Market