A glimpse of a host family’s new ordinary

Last August Salla Jarkkola, Tuukka Kosola and their children became a host family to Marija, a volunteer from Latvia. Now they talk about their February as a part of Maailmanvaihto’s activities.

1. Hi Tuukka and Salla! What kind of tasks did you have in February?

February went by quite ordinarily; we said hello and caught up with Marija whenever we happened to be home and awake at the same time. Our son James likes to take Marija upstairs to play with cars or trains. In addition, Marija looked after the house when the rest of the family was on winter vacation. In the beginning of March we celebrated Marija’s birthday by eating together. Chris, Marija’s volunteer friend from German was also with us.

2. What are your expectations for this year?

We hope that our easy-going coexistence continues. We also hope that we will get to share more trips and attend various events with Marija.

3. Maailmanvaihto is working to advance intercultural understanding. What do you think is the role of the host families in this?

Thanks to the host families, young people can come to Finland, get acquainted with the country’s cultural environment and local people as well as share their own cultural background others. In families with children, also the kids get to meet someone who speaks a different language and has grown up in a different environment, and learn to communicate with them.

4. How would you like to see Maailmanvaihto’s activities evolve in the future?

We have been quite happy with Maailmanvaihto’s activities as they are.

5. What is your own experience of intercultural learning in Maailmanvaihto’s activities?

Although Marija is a so-called modern youth, she appreciates old Latvian traditions, such as songs, dances and dishes. To our delight, we have got acquainted with these a bit through Marija.

6. Three reasons to join Maailmanvaihto’s activities?

1. Because you can. 2. Getting to know new people 3. Improving your language skills

Finally, your greetings to the 60-year-old Maailmanvaihto?

Keep up the good work!

Photo: The host family celebrating Marija’s birthday. From left to right: Marija, Chris, Tuukka, Justiina and James.

The article series My anniversary year presents once a month during Maailmanvaihto’s 60th anniversary year what’s going on in the lives of people connected with the organization. The anniversary year is filled with different kinds of activities and people!

Maailmanvaihto receives annually about thirty young foreigners to volunteer in Finland for 6 to 12 months.  The host families present the volunteers with a unique opportunity to get familiar with the local way of living. The families that open their doors to a volunteer get a new friend and a chance to see their own neighborhood from a new perspective. Read more and apply to become a host family!

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