On Monday the 9th August Prof Korpela came to pick us up and took us to the Kuopio station. There we met another Mikko (younger) who was also going to attend the summer school, but on a different course( Robotic visions).
The journey to Lappeenranta was long but pleasant, I played my krump in the MP4 player and that kept me busy .
We got delayed at Kuovela but no biggie. We waited there for like an hour or over. We were a little sleepy from trying to do last-minute reading on the course materials!
And in Lappenranta I got my 1st big suprise; a Mercedes Benz cab?! jeez...I almost thought it was a joke! lol...well, see for yourself below! . Anyway,, we arrived late to the classes and had to sit in front (yack!). Afterwards we went to see the Karelia Park that was arranged for our accommodation. Jeez.THAT place aint awesome, nope! There was not even a single spoon in a room, they gave out coffee packets but no kettle! I mean..really now!Look at the room I shared with Bennett (Prof);. Later on it was a hunt for food, hunger calls! We walked a long distance into the city center to get some, it was tiring and our campus was clueless but hey! worth it in the end!
The Service Design course was presented by Dr Tuure Tuunanen. He is a funny man, been around the globe and sure knows what he is talking about. He made sure that you take part and kept us all awake. He touched on several topics. started with the theories of business modelling, looked at things like service touch points, service blueprinting to mention a few. For more on the Service Design course I attended, check out; http://www2.it.lut.fi/ecse/course2.html The students were also cool, we were a mellow blend. Here are some of the snap shots;
Too bad Sipho and I missed out on the sauna experience..next time (",)
Wednesday we joined the clans for the ferry cruise on lake Saimaa (its the 4th largest lake in Europe). Prof couldnt come with us coz he wasnt feeling well, sad coz he missed out. It was all fun tho, we even got to FINALLY make friends. We made friends with Myriam, Tersia, Leah and many more to mention a few. For Sipho and I, it felt good to finally meet some people. I mean, all were did with our spare time for the previous 2 days was look for the best yet affordable pizza available in shops, exchange movies and hole ourselves in each's room to eat away at the hours till morning. Made me a lil grumpy I must say, especially without my Kuopio streaming internet!
Lake Saimaa is a beau! It is so big and as I may have already mentioned; the trees! LOL! Myriam and Tersia are bored of the trees by now! They are still a "WOW!!" to us. The camera shutters clicked and clicked. The only boring thing about the 2 hour trip was that not even snacks were offered! I mean, not even a packet of crisps atleast?! Our organizers need to get their ducks in a row. All in all, the day was great. Leah even ended up inviting us to her place the for the following day so that we can have a good time (",)
Took too many pics, if I try insert them all here the whole blog will look like Picassa home page! The rest will be on my laptop; I charge per photo view!Hey! I'm broke! Finland is expensive so bear with me here and take off the frown please! hehehe.... The ferry trip revived my spirits well. I was worried about Bennett though, his kidney stones were beginning to give him a problem and he looked very uncomfortable. That night it was fun; Prof and I had a long chat about many-a-different topics. From religion, politics, our up-bringings to Finland. It was a privilege for me (",). He is a very humble man, even when in Cape Town. Most of us always just greet him and all but I share a room with him and had long hearty chats with him! God works in mysterious ways...
The following day we got a new lecturer; Prof Matti Rossi for Action Design Research. He is knowledgeable but VERY different from Tuure! Most of us struggled to stay awake in his class and I felt sorry for him because people were just busy on their laptops. He struggles with his English delivery and is more calm than the chatty Tuure. He gave us group assignments (applying action research to our service design blueprints) to present after lunch. Here are some snapshots:
Later on that day we chilled at Leah's place and had fun. Now this was fun! I met other African students studying in Finland. Some have been here for long. The ladies ran around preparing a well-appreciated meal and even made some cake! In the meantime; Nana chaired all discussions while sipping on his Koff beer! It was fun. Again, Prof could come through because his back was hurting. These kidney stones now worrying me coz he looks really uncomfy but tries to hide it- I like Prof (",). Anyway, at some point Sipho and I asked Nana to drop us off, he refused to drop us off just like that and told us that a friend of his has a chill session and recommended that we go there! Myrium, Sipho and I got restless but he promised to drop us off at Karlia Park afterwards, Tersia was sick so she went to sleep. It was funny when I tip toed into the room to drop off my laptop and Prof woke up! LOL! I felt like a son caught by his dad! He wished me well off to go and have fun. SNAP SHOTS;
The following day we received our certificates and all! I got my Service Design credits!!whoop whoop! Cant wait to show it to Monty and Moms! My 2 most favorite women (",).. The closing ceremony was short and sweet. The other guys were remaining behind for another week of mobile gaming course. From then it was exchanging email addresses and Facebook contacts, then lots of photos. It was really a cool bunch.
From then it was en-route to Kuopio. Boring trip because Lappeenranta was just getting nice! *sigh*..but we all gotta do what we gotta do ay? I was tired during the trip but chose not to nap like the others => My insomnia was going to punish me later if I did so. Prof wasnt feeling well; his kidney stones were making his day miserable. He even limped a lil and sadned me. I offered to carry some of his bags. Myrium suggested that he tries cranberry juice, we bought it when we got to Kuopio.
Its been an interesting 1st week...and all the way back to Kuopio I was thinking of my woman...my Monty. She is in South Africa and being here without her is really challenging. But in God's grace, I will endure all.
See you soon Lappeenranta...