Steve and Linda Sander's Trip to Finland
Friday, June 8, 2001 -- PM
In the afternoon Kim, Niko, John and we started our five-hour drive to Jussala, Munsala, Nykarleby, Vaasa and Replot in the north. On the
way we stopped at Rauma, about one hour north of Turku. Kim works near Rauma, and he stays there during
the week at an apartment in Anu's grandmother's house in the old town. Rauma is one of only
two towns in Finland that never
burned. It's old town is just as it was two hundred years ago -- with the houses and shops still
At about 9:00 p.m. we arrived at Jarl and Ann Len's farm. Jarl and Ann-Len are Kim's parents.
Jarl, Linda's mother's first cousin, retired from teaching math and physics at the University
of Turku many years ago in order to live on his family farm in Jussala near Munsala
and Nykarlby. Jussala is a small village of farmers. (The farms are long and narrow so
that the homes are near each other on the road.) This is where their children, Kim,
John, Maria, and Frank grew up. Frank, who is still at home, is fifteen and starting
high school in the fall.
Jarl is semi-retired - he teaches computer science and physics at
the Vaasa Polytechnic University in Vassa and is an administrator of several departments there.
He farms grain crops and trees. Paper is Finland's biggest industry. Jarl is certified for the way he
manages his timber to meet environmental standards. He also heats his home with a small wood
stove that heats a hot water system. Ann-Len takes care of their beautiful home and is a kindergarten teacher.
She cooked us a great Swedish meatball dinner and made us feel
at home. Frank is a great track and field athlete like his older brothers and sister.
He participates in many competitions.
Jarl, Ann Lyn, and Frank visited our cousins in Cuba
couple months ago. They showed us photos and told about the trip. Cuba is having a
difficult time because the Cuban economy has been bad since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Our cousins there also have a very difficult time.