Kuukausittainen arkisto:elokuu 2009

Autuaan Hemmingin pyhiinvaellus 18.-25.7.2009

Tänään onkin kesäloman viimeinen päivä, sillä huomenna alkaa jo yliopisto ja uusi akateeminen vuosi. Sen vuoksi täytyy saada kesälomakertomukset päätökseen ja kirjoittaa matkakertomus kesäloman viimeisestä ”matkasta”, viikon pyhiinvaelluksesta Turkuun, joka käveltiin jo kolmantena peräkkäisenä vuonna. Mukana oli ennätysmäärä ihmisiä – parhaillaan 11 henkeä samaan aikaan, kun taas koko matkan käveli 5 henkeä. Yhteensä vaelluksella eri aikoina ja eri rooleissa oli mukana n. 15 henkeä.

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Ensimmäistä kertaa mukana oli (3 päivää) myös veljeni Alex, joka on yllä kuvassa kanssani junassa kohti Helsinkiä meillä yöpyneen blogituttavuuden Mika Lintilän sekä lähellä asuvan vaelluksen järjestäjän Juho Kyntäjän kanssa. Lähdimme matkaan Marian kirkolta Helsingistä, ja saimmekin nauttia siitä hyvästä kauniista merimaisemista alkajaisiksi (ks. kuvat 1-2). Sää oli lähes täydellinen. Suurimman osan matkaa kävelimme kuitenkin keskiaikaista Kuninkaantietä, joka oli melko hyvin viitoitettu (ks. kuvat 3-4). Alusta asti lauloimme kaikki hetkipalvelukset, yhteensä 7 rukoushetkeä päivässä. Ne tahdittivat ja piristivät kävelyä ja henkeä.

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Majapaikat tarjottiin jälleen ystävällisesti ilmaiseksi luterilaisista seurakunnista, ja saimme päivittäin viettää messun vanhan latinalaisen riituksen mukaan keskiaikaisissa kivikirkoissa, jotka ovat siis aikanaan olleet saman vanhan katolisen messun kirkkoja. Keskiaikainen tunnelma siis parani entisestään viime vuosiin nähden, kun mukanamme oli fr. Benjamin Durham FSSP. Martti ja Juho harjoittelivat sunnuntaiksi missa cantatan, josta saimme nauttia Kirkkonummella, ensimmäisessä yöpymispaikassa. Musaharjoittelun lisäksi pysähdyspaikoilla pelattiin mm. biljardia (isä Benjamin ja Christian Norjasta) ja hoidettiin rakkoutuneita jalkoja (Mika ja Aki).

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Matka jatkui päivästä toiseen kauniissa ja joskus vähemmän kauniissa säässä. Sateellakin kuitenkin mieli pysyi korkealla ja hauskaa riitti. Levähdystauoilla sitten levättiinkin kunnolla (ellei vitsailtu lisää) ja syötiin välipalaa. Mika oli kova kertomaan palindromeja, ja kun hän eräällä tauolla näytti sen sijaan nukkuvan, huusimme häneltä palindromia. Hän kohotti päätään ja vastasi: ”No, ’nukun’ on palindromi”! Kuuluisin palindromi oli kuitenkin: ”Sulle avaa ovia Raamattu. Maa raivoaa. Vaellus.”

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Päivittäinen kilometrimäärä oli n. 30. Joskus etapit tuntuivat loputtoman pitkiltä, mutta perille saapuminen oli aina mahtavaa (ks. 1. kuva alla, Inkoo). Joillain pysäkeillä meitä oli myös huomioitu paremmin kuin aiempina vuosina, kun olimme jo tulleet tutuiksi. Esim. eräällä kirkolla meitä odotti juomatarjoilu. Pohjan kirkkoherra tuli tapaamaan meitä autollaan – olimmehan nähneet aiempinakin vuosina (ks. 2. kuva). Matkaa piristi myös tanskalainen lehmäleikki, jonka olin oppinut Norjassa katolisten nuorten kokouksessa ja jonka opetin eteenpäin norjalaiselle Christianille, suomenruotsalaiselle Andersille, tanskaa itse oppineelle Juholle sekä Tanskassa asuneelle Miiralle. Pian velipoikanikin oppi laulun, ja Karjaan pappilassa pidimme suuren finaalin, jonka Miira lopulta (tosin hieman kyseenalaisesti) voitti (ks. 3. kuva).

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Sitten on käsiteltävä vaelluksen kohokohtia. Villihevosia oli taas teemalauluna aina, kun nähtiin hevosia tai mustalaisia. Norjalainen kyllä ihmetteli mitä yhteistä hevosilla ja mustalaisilla on. Myös Borat oli kova sana, kun isä Benjamin (ihme kyllä) ja Alex viljelivät sen huumoria. Myöhemmin sain ko. minulle aiemmin tuntemattoman leffan Allulta lahjaksi:) Mutta ennen kaikkea suuri ja mahtava Persböle oli taas huippujuttu. Sain käännytettyä ulkomaiset vieraatkin Persböle-faneiksi ja Facebookiin ilmestyi pian Persböle-ryhmä, jossa on jo tusinanverran jäseniä. Persbölen suuruus perustuu tietysti sen nimeen, mutta oli siellä myös aasialaisia kesätyöntekijöitä iloisesti hommissaan. Alla persbölejuhlintaani villihevosten musiikin tahtiin Persbölen ja naapurikylän Kullan välillä:) Toinen hauska paikka, Ala-Lemu, oli puolestaan muuttunut Lemunniemeksi:)

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Muita kohokohtia olivat tietysti laho silta Tenholassa, joka jälleen kerran ylitettiin menestyksellisesti. Tällä kertaa kukaan ei edes astunut niin pahasti lahoon kohtaan, että olisi jalka mennyt sillan läpi. Tosin Iriksen pomppaus näytti aika vaaralliselta. Myöhemmin ohjelmassa oli Latokartanonkosken silta, joka oli hieman edellistä kestävämpi ja näyttävämpi. Taas tuli kiipeiltyä ja levättyä, mutta lähdimme etuajassa pois keskinkertaisen sään, ruuan puutteen ja pienen vaeltajamäärän takia.

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Aivoni jäivät kuitenkin taas Persböleen, kuten allaoleva kuva ja muiden vaeltajien Halikossa keittiön liitutaululle kirjoittama teksti paljastaa (ks. oikea takanurkka 2. kuvassa). Tästä huolimatta pystyin käymään esim. Mikan kanssa hyviä keskusteluja niin tiellä kuin nojatuoleilla, ja pelaamaan raamattutietovisakorttipeliä. Iris ja isä Durham taas pelasivat mastermindia. Durham sai myös veljeskuntaansa (p. Pietarin veljeskunta FSSP) sopivat taivasten valtakunnan avaimet yöpyessämme Perniössä. Siis meille uskotut kirkon avaimet olivat oikeasti tuonkokoiset. Sen kunniaksi isä Durham kajautteli myös Elvis-karaoket.

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Viimeinen messu ennen Turkua oli Halikon kirkossa, ja siihen osallistuikin kanssamme pieni joukko paikallista väestöä samoin kuin edellisenä iltana vespereihin. Näistä oli nimittäin ilmoitettu seurakunnassa. Perniössä ei enää ollut messua, mutta Turun tuomiokirkon uudessa sivukappelissa pidetyssä päätösmessussa olikin sitten ihan mukavasti porukkaa läsnä. Täytyy vielä kertoa eräs messuanekdootti. Messussa Inkoossa eräs kärpänen häiritsi meitä ensin pörräyksellään. Sitten hetken päästä kuului kynttilän liekin leimahdus, ja heti perään kituvan kärpäsen surinaa lattialta. Emme voineet pidätellä nauruamme kesken messun, kun kärpänen oli lentänyt suoraan kirkon kynttilään. Pappia hihitys ei onneksi häirinnyt – hän sanoi luulleensa meidän itkevän liikuttuneisuudesta:D

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Vaelluksen lopuksi kokoonnuimme perinteiseen tapaan birgittalaissisarten luo p. Birgitan ja Autuaan Hemmingin seurakuntaan. Saimme hyvän päivällisen, ja luovutin jälleen Juholle perinteisen Tenholasta ostetun ja lyijykynällä täytetyn kiitoskortin. Lopuksi otimme ryhmäkuvan ja hyvästelimme poislähtijät. Loppukaneettina on sanottava, että vaellus on vain parantunut vuosi vuodelta ja jäämme odottamaan, mitä ensi vuoden vaellus tuo tullessaan.

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vasemmalta: Anders Hamberg, Fr. Benjamin Durham FSSP, Emil Anton, Iris Müller, Mika Lintilä, Christian Skaaren, Lydia Padilla-Rinne, Juho Kyntäjä. Pääsimme myös Turun ja Savon seudun sanomiin:)

Rome/Rocca di Papa 6th-12th July 2009

Well it’s been a while since I finished my story on the US trip, and now it’s finally time to move on to the next one, namely, my trip to Rome, Italy. It was a very providential combination of two so far separate conferences/forums coming together in one place at the same time. On the one hand, there is the youth meeting organized by the Pastoral Care of Universities – the preparatory meetings of which I attended in Holland and Romania, as you might recall if you’ve been following the blog. On the other hand there’s the European Forum of University Students which has met in Belgium and Rome before, as also recounted earlier on this blog (see links by clicking the name of the place).

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Amazingly enough members of both meetings were accommodated in the same place, Mondo Migliore in the municipality of Rocca di Papa just outside Rome. As you can see above, the location is stunningly beautiful, just opposite the Pope’s summer residence Castel Gandolfo, on the other side of a huge crater/lake. THe funny thing was, though, we arrived there 3 days early. Actually, both meetings were to start on the 9th, but we had been given ambiguous information on one of the meetings, which had a separate part for Italians only beginning from the 6th. In addition to a funny look from the reception we got some free time to spend in bella Italia!

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The first thing we did was to get to know our municipality, Rocca di Papa. There was a steep hill which we had to walk up to reach the old square. We didn’t realise how long it’d take and how hard it’d be but we did it and the way back felt much shorter and easier, naturally:) At least we got to see some impressive sights. Above you can see the hill from the modern central square (see pic 1 below), now have a look down from the top of the hill (pic 2 below).

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During the 2 days we could spend as ”tourists”, we visited 3 of the pontifical basilicas: St. Paul Outside the Walls (just after the Pauline year and the publication of my book it was a special moment), St. Mary Major (where we went to Mass) and St. John Lateran (near where I went to the Paoline bookshop and got 2 great books for my master’s thesis). We also visited the Forum Romanum, where I and Mari obviously conversed in Latin.

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We spotted some Finnish tourists who were typically Finnish (dull, quiet, not realising where they are and what lies before their eyes and under their feet etc). I went up to them (two groups on 2 occasions) and asked them in Latin to take a photo of me. They were initially confused but then realised what I was asking and took the photo. When I thanked them in Finnish, they found it slightly funny but said nothing back. Couldn’t change their Finnish ways.

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On the 9th we met some familiar faces over breakfast. In addition to the usual European delegations we learned we were going to be joined by three Middle Eastern delegations: A Hebrew one from Haifa and two Arabic Christian ones from Jerusalem and Beirut. How happy I was to be able to be fully half-European and half-Arabic, as I really am! The Arabic delegations became good friends very soon (see photo above: Arabic delegations in front of Mondo Migliore). But there was an unfortunate incident as well – I lost my camera that morning on the way to the first meeting place (I am posting photos taken by friends). The only exception St. Anthony seems to make it cameras – it’s happened twice already.

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Above you see the place of the first meeting of the Youth Forum of University Students. We went through the history of our meetings starting from Brussels, the meetings with the president of the EU parliament Pöttering and the goal of this meeting, which was to define more clearly our mission and sign a mission statement. This was accomplished in a later meeting. Below you see the happy group with the brand new Mission Statement.

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If you’d like to read the document, see below. If you find it interesting and want to participate in future, let me know.

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One funny incident was that we were told a bus would get us to this important final meeting but no such bus appeared and so we were forced to order taxis, wait for an hour or more and pay for the ride ourselves. We arrived late and finished late and had to skip lunch but there was one advantage: I and Mari made use of the extra time and asked the Hungarian delegation to teach us some Hungarian. So we got a paper sheet full of words and expressions. Photo below in tribute and thanks to the girls.

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But as I said earlier, this meeting was partly combined with the meeting designed for university students by the Pastoral Care of Rome and that of several European countries under the patronage of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences. I and Mari from Tampere were the Finnish delegation for both events, but from many countries (such as Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Spain) there were huge delegations sent to this event. The opening ceremony at the Lateran basilica was amazing, not only thanks to the presence of students from all around Europe but also because I got to carry the Finnish flag and sit right underneath the statue of St. Paul which is on the cover of my book (see post below on the book).

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In the program of this meeting there were workshops where people would share their experiences and thoughts on different aspects of the Faith. The theme was ”New Disciples of Emmaus – Being Christians in the University”. On the basis of the Emmaus story we reflected upon faith and science as well as the sacraments and evangelization. I got to speak a couple of times and a Russian Orthodox brother gave me a beautiful card of Sts. Peter and Andrew as a token of gratitude and admiration, which was a nice surprise, since I didn’t even know there were non-Catholics in the crowd. In the evenings we would have dinner together in huge groups and then gather outside to sing songs, play and dance in many languages.

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Later on there was another big celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica. Before entering the World’s largest church we took some group photos. Then we started moving toward the entrance, where I accidentally or providentially met one of the flag carriers who reminded me I have to carry the Finnish flag. So I parted with the group, which anyways got to sit in the front row just behind us.

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After the Mass we had a special audience with the Pope in the Apostolic Palace, which proved to be a very special event, for it was the first time that I got to shake hands with the Pope and look him in the eyes. He zig-zagged through the crowds and I had been smart enough to stay at the very back but closest possible to the central aisle where he’d walk.

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Well then, on the last evening we had a great time at a concert just outside the University area of Tor Vergata, the university area where we had been having the workshops and dinners and songs and dances. It was also very near the location of the World Youth Day 2000 Cross. The concert was hosted by an Italian speaking in Italian, but other languages and countries got their share because of multilingual interviews and translations. There was both Christian and secular music in a good atmosphere. It was a celebration of multi-nationality, inter-culturality and catholicity. It ended in a beautiful show of fireworks.

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The transportation was fairly well organized (buses took us there and back and we wandered in flocks to and fro singing songs as on pilgrimages:). The worst exception was an accident on the first night when Mari’s bus hit a car because of a stupid dog on the way, but luckily no one was hurt and the group arrived safely at the accommodation. At the concert we had fun with a Spanish group from Córdoba, singing Mala Persona etc (on the last night I saw the beginning of their Sunday Mass in Andalucían dialect:D). On the way back from the concert on the night bus we had fun with the Arabs while the others were already sleeping. We had been joined by an Iraqi Christian from Mosul (where my roots are, too!) and so we had fun with songs and jokes and all.

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The most amazing thing, however, was the flight back home. It had already been an amazing providence that I got the ticket on the 6th, because the plane was very full and they said there was little chance of getting a seat with an ID ticket (stand-by). Many, including a couple on their way to their honeymoon trip, were turned down, but I (after a Rosary) and another Catholic girl (actually an old friend of my sister’s) were let on board. But this time, on the way back home, I was actually turned down at the gate (although they had let me through the check-in!) – there were no free seats left.

”No?”, I asked… a second of silence… with no more time to waste, I asked: ”What about the jump seat?” – ”Jump seat? Let me check”, came the answer. And the man checked, and the answer was positive! My dad had taught me to ask for the jump seat in such situations, this is the last resort, the seat in the cockpit right behind the pilot! But then they asked me for my ID card… oops. ”No, it’s my dad who works for the airline… ” When they walked me to the plane, the same question came from the staff. ”No, it’s my dad… but I learn fast and I’ll do whatever I’m told.” ”Well, we can only take staff members… ” The door to the cockpit was opened and the pilot heard the news – I’m only the son of the mechanic. But again I told him I’d learn the required things and happily abide by all his commands. He let me in!

The flight was amazing. The scenery is so much more beautiful from the cockpit. Also, it was incredible to see how many petty details the pilots need to know and handle to make the plane fly safely. With the headphones on I heard all the conversations between different planes and was totally confused at all the codes and sounds and everything. I kept quiet and observed, but the pilots were surprisingly sociable (the nice kind of authentic and real Finns – rehti, reilu ja aito suomalainen).

They taught me stuff about the plane and flying and told me stories and asked me questions. I taught them to reply to the contacts made by the airports of countries we flew over in their own languages (many Slavonic countries, especially Poland, which the co-pilot addressed with a newly-learned ”Jak leci?”). And we ended up talking about theology for much of the trip!

We talked about Jerusalem and peace in the Middle East, Reformation doctrines, female priests, salvation history, hypocrisy, and 9/11. The pilot told an anecdote – he was flying on 9/11 and he overheard a conversation between Helsinki-Vantaa and an Aeroflot plane on its way to the US. They told the plane they cannot go to the US because there has been a terrorist attack and the airspace in the US has been closed. After a moment of silence the answer came in a Russian accent: ”Come again”. ”Yes, there has been a massive terrorist attack in the US and they won’t accept any flights, you have to go somewhere else.” Again a silence. Another heavily accented Russian response: ”Confirm USA closed?”

They had apparently not believed what they heard until they got the same message from Russia when they had already flown past Norway – then they turned back. Luckily my flight didn’t turn back but arrived safely in Helsinki-Vantaa. The most breathtaking sight was that of Helsinki by night from the sky – beautifully lit… I could see all the way up to Järvenpää and further. At the airport Mari surprised me and attacked me from behind – she had not seen me on the plane and had thought I had not made it and thus was happy to see I had come home too. All in all it was a wonderful week, many new friends, new encouragement in the faith and a lot of stories to share – some of which you’ve just enjoyed reading right here.

Uutuuskirja(ni): Katolinen Paavali (KATT 2009)

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Kuten blogin ahkerimmat seuraajat tietävät, kirjoitin viime kesänä kirjan apostoli Paavalista, kristinuskon ja läntisen maailman suuresta kirjallisesta, kulttuurisesta ja uskonnollisesta vaikuttajasta. Kesällä 2009 julkaistun kirjan kannessa on Rooman Lateraanikirkon Paavali-patsas ja takakannessa Suomen johtavien Paavali-tutkijoiden, luterilaisten teologien, suosituksia/kommentteja. Kirjan voi ostaa Katolisen tiedotuskeskuksen kirjamyynnistä hintaan 16e + 8e (postikulut) = 24e. Toinen vaihtoehto on kävellä toimistoaikana Pyhän Henrikin aukiolla sijaitsevaan tiedotuskeskukseen ja ostaa se sieltä suoraan 16 e:llä. Kolmas vaihtoehto on hankkia se suoraan minulta (tavallisesti hintaan 20e). Samat tiedot sisältävä sivu on lisätty blogin oikeaan reunaan sivun ”Teologia” alle.

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St. Paul/Minneapolis 19th-20th June 2009

I finally got my long lost memory card from the US and so I can finish the story of my trip to America. We travel back in time to the evening of June 18th, as I say goodbye to the Hahn family in Steubenville, am driven to Pittsburgh by a neighbor of theirs and take another Greyhound bus toward Minnesota via Chicago, Illinois.

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This must be the time to expand a little on my Greyhound experiences. I spent over 60 hours on those buses during my 2-week stay. I met all kinds of people you can see black people and a Jew below, as well as a nice black driver. The drivers changed every now and then (glad they did – I suddenly realized I could be in danger on those bus rides if a driver fell asleep in the night… many lives in one man’s hands…), and there was another black driver whose English was extremely fast and very hard to follow. One traveler wore a t-shirt that said ”Wish I could kill every day”.

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Every now and then we had stops and could get off the bus and stretch our legs, and oftentimes visit a nearby McDonald’s, as in Wisconsin in the photo below. I also noticed huge differences in the bus stations. For example, in St. Paul there was barely a parking lot for the bus plus a tiny building with a desk and a waiting room. By contrast, the station in Milwaukee was big, beautiful and modern. I remembered Milwaukee from my Super Nintendo baseball games, and now I got to stop there:) Obviously, sometimes you’d get to see some cool things through the windows – below you can see one – a double rainbow:)

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Well fine then, it’s time to tell about my first days in Minnesota. My friend Jerry was expecting me on the bus stop in St. Paul, and had patiently been doing so for more than an hour – we were badly late. But we arrived, and it was a happy reunion – it had been some years since I last saw Jerry in the 5-3-1 juggling festival in Helsinki. Now he got to show me around St. Paul/Minneapolis. Here are the most important political and religious monuments (the latter we’ve already seen, but not in all its splendor):

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We went out for an American dinner and finally headed home along peaceful, green parkways. It was an America wholly different from that of New York and Pittsburgh. It reminded me of Finland and I felt like I could live there. Then it was time for me to give Jerry some gifts: a traditional juggler’s hat and a booklet on what/who other than St. Paul, by who other than Scott Hahn:) Jerry also played me some mandolin:)

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After a night well-slept (remember the previous night was spent on a bus) we drove to the American Swedish Institute to celebrate a true Finnish midsummer. No, just kidding, there was no Finnish midsummer celebration in Minnesota, only in Wisconsin, and so I opted for our beloved and hated western neighbors, which was good because Jerry has some Swedish blood in him too (although he’s lost all ties with Swedish culture – which might not be all that bad:). Putting a sticker with the Swedish and American flags on it onto my heart was like sticking a dagger in, but there I was trying to act happy and speak Swedish… but guess what – almost nobody knew any Swedish!

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But soon the traditional dresses and summer hymns (I didn’t know they had Suvivirsi in Swedish!) brought me home to a very Nordic atmosphere. I attended a lecture on Swedish midsummer traditions and finally spoke some Swedish with the lecturer. I also got to speak Swedish with a girl from a choir that had come all the way from Sweden to Minnesota just to sing at this event (obviously they did some other things too since they were in the US now). There was another choir, too, a men’s choir, which reminded me of my grandfather and uncle who are well known in the family for involvement in men’s choirs.

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The climax of the midsummer celebration was of course the midsummer pole which was decorated and raised around 1 pm. It was a very hot day but we danced around the pole anyway singing about smågrodorna and smågrisarna (pienet sammakot, pienet sammakot, ne lystikkäitä on jne på svenska:). I also offered some aunties some salmiak :) One of them remembered her grandfather used to have that… But they didn’t want to have any more:)

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Then it was time to attend another festival, namely, World Juggling Day picnic by the river. There, it goes without saying, we juggled a bit and got to know some new people. I met Alan and his fiancée from Peru and had some interesting theological discussions with him. And of course we had something to eat. It was a nice, fun and peaceful afternoon.

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In the evening we headed to the Mall of America, which I heard is the biggest shopping center in the world and hosts the biggest inside amusement park in the world. The tickets were ordinarily very expensive but since it was evening they were very cheap, so I got to take a ride on all kinds of fun machines, and they let Jerry on one for free, too! I also visited the Barnes and Noble bookshop and was amazed at the quality of the books they had on Christianity compared to, say, Stockmann in Helsinki… (the two books on the right are incidentally the precise ones Scott Hahn was reading back in Latrobe. I got and read the Pope’s book already but still need to find Wright’s book somewhere without paying too much for it:)

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Well I guess that was pretty much it for America, then. I still haven’t written about my trips to Italy and the pilgrimage to Turku. Hope to do that sooner than later. Now it’s time to say goodnight… (with my bed in Minneapolis.)

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