Thursday, 30 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 10 - Wrapping up the Gymnaestrada

When we took our last 9:40 morning ferry to Helsinki, I was still quite unsure of where I would be working. I was supposed to go to Messukeskus but I was much  more willing to go to Get Together Area instead, and fortunately, just minutes before the said groups split, I was able to exchange with Atoumata and thus I got what I wanted. This time the shift was especially easy - a few patrols, cleaning up a cliff, a tea break, a few more patrols with Oskar, a lunch, and as we were having lunch Elina and Helena came up to us and said that we've been doing some g'job, and released us as a reward. Once again it was me, Oskar and a few hours of free time in Helsinki, which we chose to spend looking around in stores, as usually. After the free time we all gathered at Get Together Area to go watch the Gymnaestrada closing ceremony.

Finnish Coast Guard vessel Turva was in Helsinki that morning - The first patrol vessel that runs on LNG in the world, and the 2nd LNG-powered ship serving in Finland, first being my favourite Viking Grace.

While looking around in stores, we found both wooden boards and postcards with this Estonian Tallinn-Helsinki route ad from way back. 
A bit of a sad moment

The closing ceremony couldn't really be compared with the opening ceremony or the Midnight Sun, but the greatest part of the ceremony and one of the highlights of the whole camp was when most of our group along with many other volunteers left the spectators' seats and went downstairs to do the official Gymnaestrada dance on the stadium.

At first we had to wait a little,

... and then it was time! It was just one short dance that happened quicker than a blink, but we were all very excited about it. 

After our final dance was over, so was the ceremony. As we headed out we tried not to lose each other, however the crowd was huge, people were exchanging uniforms and many members of our group used the opportunity to get rid of the green volunteer uniforms in exchange for some country's or group's uniform jackets and such. So in the end we were scattered quite badly, almost everyone had lost everyone. After a while of looking around with Oskar and Christine we found some of the others and we waited for a while before making phone calls to the ones who were still lost. Then we tried to make our way back to Suomenlinna without falling apart once more; the city was so crowded that we had to walk a few tram stops before we could get a tram that had enough space for us. Afterwards we had to make a dash to catch our ferry. Finally, having arrived at Suomenlinna we had a long and somewhat fancy dinner where we were given official certificates of participating in the camp from Kesälukioseura and also for volunteering at the Gymnaestrada. The party continued to the hostel common room where we looked at some photos to reflect and then received copies of our uniform group photos with some more personal words of thanks as well as small prizes; I was acknowledged as the Wikipedia of the camp and given a strip of licorice and pear candy.

Then we were all given large hearts with our names on it to send around as we wrote something on everyone else's hearts and after that was done, it was time to send our French group to the ferry with lots of hugs, kind wishes, invitations and promises to visit, and some tears. Their plane was leaving early the next day, therefore they couldn't stay for the last night. After they were gone the rest of our group spent some more time together, however the common room suddenly seemed much emptier and the few more irrelevant hostel guests who were present in the room suddenly actually seemed to make a difference. Since most of us had no need to wake up early the next day, no one was really willing to go to sleep before early morning hours.

Love you guys to bits!

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