In the last few weeks and months I got used to introduce myself in English. But I’ll try to do so in Finnish. Minun nimeni on Salome. Olen 18 vuotta vanha. Olen kotoisin Sveitsistä. Asuin Baselissa, nyt asun Nakkilassa. Pelaan rugbya ja olen partiojohtaja. Soitan viulua ja kitaraa. Minä puhun seitsemää kieltä: sveitsisaksaa, saksaa, ranskaa, englantia, espanjaa, vähän kiina ja vähän suomea. I like knitting, reading, sport in general, being outdoors and many more things.
I already spent two months in Finland. The organisation I’m here with is called ICYE (International Cultural Youth Exchange), in Finnish Maailmanvaihto. People from all over the world come to Finland and Maailmanvaihto sends Finns in all directions. In all countries ICYE offers volunteer work places in different fields; they often have to do with education.
I work in a school too. It’s called Kirkonseutu koulu and is one of Nakkila’s elementary schools. I have more or less the same tasks as an assistant teacher. I help weaker students, encourage the children to speak English, watch them during break time and have my own little projects. I really like my work, I learn something new every day and people are great.
As I mentioned above I come from Basel, Switzerland. I spent almost all of my life there. So I know this city well. There about 35 times as many inhabitants as in Nakkila, on an area that’s not even one third of Nakkila’s. That means everything has to be much closer. Buildings are taller and next to each other. There aren’t that many green areas and almost no agriculture.
Economy concentrates on banking and the chemical industry. Basel is an excellent location for trading. Goods arrive and leave by boat, railways, plane and lorry. But there are many other jobs available too. Many people from Germany and France come to Basel to work, most of them for one of the big pharmaceutical companies (Novartis, Hoffmann-La Roche etc.), who all have their headquarters in the city on the “Rheinknie” (Rhine’s knee). About one third of Basel’s population is not from Switzerland.
The weather is quite different too. The average temperature in Basel is 14.9°C while it’s 4.2°C in Nakkila. There is more precipitation in Basel. But Basel has much less snowfall (only 36.9cm per year).
There are many sights in Basel. The biggest are the red sandstone Münster (a church) and the City Hall which is located at the market square. There is a nice Old Town too and many historical buildings. You can find more than just ancient houses, there is an array of buildings by international known architects, many of them museums. A nice zoo is located close to the city centre. It’s the oldest and – from the number of animals- biggest zoo in Switzerland. I would like to point out the ferries too. There are five bridges that cross the Rhine. Always in the middle between are so-called reaction ferries (cable ferries which use the current of the river, no other energy needed), four in total.
Switzerland’s oldest university (from 1460) is the one in Basel. Many famous scientists studied there. But it’s not the only education possibility. Apart from public schools there are a few private ones and International Schools too. Libraries are widespread too, there are at least 65 in Basel.
The most famous (living) sports person is Roger Federer, a tennis player who grew up near Basel. The FC Basel, a football club, acts internationally too. It’s stadium – called Joggeli – is filled to capacity many times a year. There is an Ice Hockey club, but it isn’t that successful.
The biggest event in Basel is the carnival (Fasnacht) which has to last exactly 72 hours, starting on Monday morning at four in the morning with the “Morgestraich”. The whole city is awake, drums and piccolo are played in the streets and people wear fantastic masks and fancy dresses. Big lanterns with actual political and social subjects are carried around by the “Cliquen” (music groups). The Basel Tattoo and various fairs take place in the city too. Many children can’t wait for “Herbschtmäss” (autumn fair), two weeks in October. Rollercoasters, stalls with goods and food and more exciting things.
That’s it about Basel. I hope you enjoyed reading my text.