Reflecting back, the selection process for the GSE outbound team to Finland in September 2011, was intense. Getting a place in the team, an honorable privilege. Finishing the program gives a sense of accomplishment, in exchange of one month being away from family. It is hard for me to write this last blog knowing the challenges and changes that have occured for me since the GSE and the finality of the program itself. So here goes;
Mother’s or the ladies of the house, create spectacular original meals that have been passed down from different generations. All my female hosts have cooked such beautiful meals that have been nameless. None the less tastes fantastic. The host gentle men have provided non stop saunas from electric, wooden and smoked and even ice swimming. And of course, my wine glass was hardly empty.
The families have been very exceptional, accepting, accommodating and above all fun. So a big Kiitos sinun avustasi. From Forssa, Pori, Rauma, Laitila, Sastamala, Åland island and Turku I can say that my stomach has never grumbled, conversations never ran dry and that my Christmas card list has now significantly increased.
My team that I have had the opportunity to get to know from September 2011 till May has been rewarding. Coming from different vocational and cultural backgrounds, up brining and personalities. We have bonded, and lets say have made nicknames for each other. Mine for instance is Marcu or long legs, Andrew is the big one or Alti, Margaret is the Sauna queen or chocolate, Damian is D and Liz well its Mummi Liz. (Note, these nicknames may vary depending on team member perspectives).
Finally, the GSE has provided me with much insight into my vocational investigation and comparison of the health care systems of Finland and Australia. Finland’s health care system is interesting because it borders on some similarity to America’s health care system where the employer provides private health insurance to the employee (this is limited cover, inclusive are investigations and consultations and excludes operations and treatment). There are a lot of positives I uncovered, but the one universal discovery that can be applied to all health care settings in Australia is: the unified approach and relationship between nurses, doctors and patients. For instance, psychiatrist treating anorexic patients actually goes and visits their patients at home to assess their progress. Doctors and nurses in Turku University hospital dine together. Åland private and public hospitals work in collaboration and not in competition. And most importantly, nurses and doctors work equally without barriers or seniority. And to top it all off, most hospitals nation wide are paper less.
So thank you Finland (Suomi) District 1410 for your hospitality, and thank you Australia District 9690 for the opportunity. I have definitely made a lot of new mates in Finland. Moi Moi