Ok, so they arrived last weekend, but I have been waiting to get a photo of them to put on my blog - which I haven't yet...oh well. There are two new Finnish families now working with us here in Banja Luka: the Kaakinens, Rami and Katja Marja with four girls, and the Hartikainens, Jukka and Heidi with a girl and a boy. Jukka is actually the teacher for the older 3 Kaakinen girls, while Rami is taking over Miika's job.
We had Rami and Katja Marja and their four girls over last night and we had a lovely time with them - especially with little Elina, who is 5, and the most social of them all. And when I broke out the plasticine, that it when things got really fun! I love how all ages love to play with plasticine... and I also love having an excuse to play with it :-)
It is a bit hard as the girls don't know English that well and so communication with my few words of Finnish wasn't really happening... although I didn't realise how much I have picked up of Finnish through my interactions with my previous Finnish colleagues until now!
Tonight Jukka and Heidi came with their two children - but as they are 4 and 18 months, they were about as much work as the 4 Kaakinen children :-) But we enjoyed our time with them, and eventually the kids even warmed up a bit and by the time they left we were all firm friends...
With them coming it has really sunk in that our old Finnish colleagues, the Kurkkios and Lea, are not returning (well Miika is here now and two more times to help with Rami's orientation to his job, but that is that), and that has been hard. But despite us missing our old friends, we look forward to forming friendships with our new Finnish colleagues... and I will post photos when I get the chance!