Posted on Jun 10, 2020
Henrik Horkko is winding up his year with us and gave an excellent presentation about his year long Canadian adventure. 
Henrik is from Turku , a city in the south of Finland. He prepared a video presentation which he shared on Zoom. His video began with a shot of the airport floor as he first set foot on Canadian soil to begin his exchange year. 
His first host family was very busy as the father was a candidate in an upcoming election.  Henrik got an inside look at the life of a candidate and learned how important politics are and how hard the candidates work. He had not been that interested in politics until then but he learned about problem solving and leadership skills by example. He also learned the meaning and usage of the Canadian word "Eh".  Henrik concluded that it means everything and nothing, very hard to explain to his Finnish friends!
The second host family had no sons so Henrik's stay was an experience for them as well.  With them he learned a new appreciation of nature as they did a lot of hiking and lived on a lake.  Here he also began experimenting with nature photography using an old camera that they gave him to use.  He learned to respect nature and he became more independent and took responsibility for his choices.  When the pandemic caused a shutdown his parents let him decide whether to return home early.  Henrik felt that the situation was worse in Finland and he opted to stay.  Then he had more time on his hands because school assignments didn't take too long.  
With the final host family Henrik learned to play the piano and learned to study independently.  There he also learned the importance of family.  
Summing up, Henrik said he learned to help people by volunteering and the importance of leadership.  He improved his English and leaned to adjust to different families. He gained friends all over the world.  Now his parents are trying to arrange air tickets to return home without going through the USA.  He will likely go home in July.   
Bon Voyage Henrik!  We enjoyed your time with us this year.  Keep in touch.