Sunday, 26 July 2015

Gymnaestrada camp Day 6 - Doing our own gymnastics

Following the usual somewhat difficult wakeup and rush to the 8:40 ferry, we were divided into three groups, because the Töölö practice fields had been put into use and the presence of the environmental team was now required there as well. I was, in fact, initially placed there and only spent the first two days in Messukeskus because the area was not in use. So this time I went along with the Get Together Area group, since both the areas are next to the Olympic Stadium.
The Töölö working area was quite large, consisting of several fields and surrounding seats and areas, the Sonera stadium, a couple of recycling stations we theoretically had to watch, and the areas surrounding the Ice Hall, including a small practice hall inside. It took some 30 minutes to patrol all the areas, however the workload there made it like a spa vacation compared to Messukeskus. The people passing through did not litter very much and the recycling stations were very rarely used, thus it was enough to just check the bins occasionally. Elina, who was our leader in that area consistently reminded us to take coffee breaks and have lunch, so we made sure to remember to do a little work occasionally between the breaks.

Empress, the only cruise ship doing turnarounds in Tallinn every season since 2011, was visiting that day.
On this day my largest task was making sure that the porta-potties in the area were equipped with enough paper. First of all, realizing that most of them were close to running out of it, then bringing a lot (like, really a lot!) of rolls from a place about 5 minutes of walking away (while dropping them all several times during the process), and then supplying every single toilet with two rolls. Fortunately all of the toilets were very clean, people were using them properly and on the following days they were well maintained by other people. I did keep a few spare rolls nearby in a box under some stairs in case I would have to refill again, however there was never a need and come to think of it, that box with like two spare rolls could still be there today if someone else didn't remove it.

After work we all gathered and went to Töölö sports hall, where lots of various gymnastics equipment was installed, free for everyone to try. In one area there was ribbons, hula hoops and such, in another one trampolines, in a third one various mats and there was also a fourth, separate area with more difficult things such as balance beams, still rings and even bars. Had there been uneven bars I would have had something to do there too since I have a little experience with those, but tweaking them to uneven didn't seem worthwhile, so I just stayed in the first three areas I mentioned.

I was very happy to discover that I'm still quite good at all forms of rolling around and cartwheels, which I got to practice a lot on the mats. But my most favourite place was undoubtedly the large trampoline.

Mommy look I'm flying!
Um, ouch.
 Jumping nearly three meters high was not difficult at all on that trampoline, however falling to the right place after the jump was. I dare to say that within the hour or so that we spent there, I had enough workout to last me a whole week and enough failures for a year.

You see kids, doing a somersault isn't at all that difficult, at first you prep...
... and then land on the bottom!
 After the time we were given ticked to zero (in my case about minus two, it was very hard to stop), we headed back to Suomenlinna where we played some rather interesting form of dodgeball (as it turns out the rules vary a bit in different counties), which must have been the first enjoyable dodgeball game in my life. After the game we had dinner and then it was my turn to introduce the country I'm from. I threw a couple of boring facts in the air, including the fact that the highest "mountain" (well we do call it a mountain!) is 318m from sea level which made several people giggle, and after a brief introduction sent around a cone of Olde Hansa sweet almonds, which were very well-received.

Spectators at the Helsinki Cathedral
Silja Serenade on her way out
After finishing work we met a person giving away Gymnaestrada balloons so at one point the girls' room looked like this - from the balloons that hadn't been used for making funny voices, that is. 

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