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by Smitha Thomas
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Smitha Thomas
• National Board Member of
YWCA India
• Rotary GSE
(Group Study Exchange) Fellow
• Head, Content and Creative ipsr solutions ltd.
We were supposed to leave on the 19th of April. I was all set to leave Kottayam for Chennai on the 17th (our flights were from Chennai) when I get a call from Mr. Ramesh, our Rotarian Team Leader that the trip was delayed due to visa problems.

But we managed to leave on the April 22nd. A big sore spot was the excess baggage charges we had to face at Chennai. In case you are pointing your fingers at me, the boys were solely responsible for this. But we decided to share the burden of duty. When we landed at Oulu airport on 23rd April it was 1.45 am. We had yet another problem. Ramesh’s baggage was torn in transit. Then we had to wait for the authorities to replace it. It was freezing cold (3 degrees Celsius) and I was glad when I got inside the car.

A gentleman from the Haukipudas club drove us to a beautiful summer cottage resort on River Ii. It took almost an hour’s drive to reach River Ii. We spent the night at Ii courtesy of the Haukipudas Rotary club. There were two cottages and I had a cottage to myself. Being the only lady in the team meant that I got preferential treatment almost always. The best breakfast we had in Finland the next morning was at this great inn nearby (I forgot the name). No other breakfast we had later in Finland could match up to these standards.
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Vishu Onam thiruvonam 2011
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