A Travellerspoint blog

The last few days.....

Saying bye to snow, loads of work & a lil fun :)

snow -1 °C

The last few days have been mellow for me. I have so many things to do just for my Finland courses that thinking about it exhausts me. I have 5 courses at UEF that run till November/December and I have 4 courses at the Savonia Design Academy so its too much for such a short time. The saddest thing about it is that most of the independent hours I spend on them force me to neglect my Masters thesis and its not good, causes me to stress more. The other thing about my thesis is that at this crucial time where I want to burn myself and finish, I dont seem to get lotsa interaction with my supervisors as I dreamed when I left South Africa. I know they try their best, and maybe I expect too much? I just hoped they would make me run around a lot with small deadlines to build up this huge thing.....anyway, maybe I should start driving myself more.

The snow came and it went! Superb experience it was, some snow chunks can still be seen here and there and there is a weather rumor (I dont follow weather channels, the element of suprise does it for me! :) ) that the snow might come back next week Thursday! NICE! I had fun everyday seeing landscapes covered in white. At the same time the poetic inner me could not help notice the shocking contrast in the environments;from a thick warm green sight to a happy and bubbly yellow-leaves one then suddenly to an extra silent,naked and still snow covered one....a beau and a sad tone at the same time. Things become so still and sad when there is snow, like a beautiful lady wearing an amazing evening gown that hides scars of abuse....U see what you are meant to see. Ok, too much of a writer in me coming out now! lol! I can write for days on end! Well I took some few more pics before the snow ran away:

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And more pictures taken! This was an exciting time for me!

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There are a lot more pics, but I dont want to bore you with lots or to show all my cards! heheheehe..all this time here and I had these experiences, I wished my fiancée Monty was here. I miss her lots but atleast I am left with a week to get back to her. Hopefully someday I will come back to Finland with her and show her all these places she has seen on my pictures....I am to do that for her, she has been supportive of me all these 90 days here.

Posted by Kratos 05:58 Archived in Finland Tagged me landscapes lakes buildings people trees sky snow bobby educational monty moeng Comments (0)

Seeing real snow for the 1st time in my life!

***Historic day***

snow 0 °C

Hmmmmmm! where do I start?! :)

The past 4 or so days burnt me lots. I was preparing for the Design Agent design brief and it drained me. Spending time at the design academy is really one of my most favorite times in Kuopio, its amazing to be ethnographic in a serious design world and the students there are just WHOA! The ideas that come from those heads! We were given a design brief for a mobile,hand-held design agent concept that will help a designer in a work environment. I came up with a mobile device that will help a designer capture project information during a context-mapping phase of a design circle. In addition to thinking of a 'brilliant" device, 1 of the expectations was that we model this concepts in Solidworks 2010 (I had to download & teach myself in less than 2 weeks! God bless the internet) and to also do a real-life prototype of the device. Unfortunately I did not manage to do the prototype as the lecturer there got busy with other commitments by the time I approached him. Below are snapshots of my model:

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My presentation went well, and unfortunately the teaching language is Soumi so I did not get good feedback as the lecturers struggle with English. Sad, but its a reality here and some of us swallowed it down like bile and carried on. As we were given a break for lunch, I saw the 1st snow flakes come down! I got really excited and told Monty (We were on mxit chat), I sneaked out as others went for lunch, the camera had some work to do! :) And as more flakes came down in a concrete form, so did the temperature!:o By the time I got to the town center it was 1 degrees Celsius! I was wearing light summer gloves and pushing the bike, at some point my hands got so cold I could not type into phone! Then I decided to ride the bike slowly and by the time i got to the University of Eastern Finland I literally could not feel my fingers!I had to go to the bathroom and wash my hands with hot water for a while, my hands freeze easily even when I am in my country. The lunch was good, lots as always and afterwards I dashed out as the snow fall got thicker..lights, camera action! Take a look:

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And More! Camera was busy! Lil African Boy was seeing snow for the 1st time! :)

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After this I took a nap.I was tired, slept for only 7 hours in 2 days! Design world!I'm getting there! Woke up to find the outside even more white.More memories to follow....;)

Posted by Kratos 11:52 Archived in Finland Tagged me landscapes lakes trees snow bobby educational savonia Comments (0)

Pressure cooker

A countdown with a drill

snow 2 °C

The last few days have seen me watch more online videos than ever, mainly because I dont sleep much and i have to watch something in between books to avoid falling asleep. I know, lame excuse but it works for me. At times I feel like I am wasting time but it helps me not get stressed. I have loads to do...LOOOOOAAAADS! This week is going to burn me as well; other than classes at my official university (Ita-Suomen yliopisto: University of Eastern Finland), I have a major design deadline at the Savonia Design Academy. This Thursday, 14th October, we will get to present our design agent mobile concepts in front of an audience and lecturers! I am nervous, but at the same time i am Kratos->no fear :)

In addition to this, my thesis progress is really bugging the crap out of me. I want to get it over with asap but first I want to make it worth remembering, worth all the months I spent dancing with it.Its harder to finish a Masters thesis than to start it, i see it now. When you start you know you can always go back and tweak this here and there, but when its down to the finishing line then you have to write everything as precisely as possible...no 2nd chance. So in addition to having so many essays, designs and readings to do here this week I have to submit something to my supervisors at least twice by the coming weekend! I guess I cursed myself when I once said that I'll sleep when I'm 40!

Other than that, the news are exciting! This week I am going to see REAL snow for the first time in my life!:) YEP! Well, it comes at a prize; The temperatures this week will vary between -3 and 1 degrees Celsius! brrrrrr!! I am so looking forward to it! Today there is word that the roads will be covered with thin ice, so I have to be extra careful with the bike, a lot of people break bones at this time of the year because the ice is hardly visible when riding then you slip and.....BANG!I will be careful, i'm too good-looking to be in casts!lol..

And the final countdown has begun! In a lil over 2 weeks I will be back to Monty again, thats the only thing I dream of now. I cant wait to see her, I dont even know how I will react. Will the mighty Kratos shed a public tear, or wait till in private? I dont know really, all i know is these past weeks have been the longest in my adulthood. Each day filled with something to do,yet at each instance I will miss her......people take this for granted but when you are walking in those shoes the blisters are unbearable. The positive thing about it is that it really makes the heart grow fonder, you get to love without seeing someone..you get to feel all those without having their presence as an influence....and that makes you really know that you love them. Its like a timeout that sucks but is all worth it in the end ;)

Well, I better get out there and experience the temperature below 5 degrees! I am so lucky, God is great! It me here, its me! A dream...a start of many. I intend to conquer the world, I have dreams bigger than could be put into words. Time will tell my story, the legend has begun :)

Posted by Kratos 01:32 Archived in Finland Tagged me landscapes lakes sky bobby tourist_sites educational monty savonia Comments (0)

Ending September....

*Workloads dynamics*

overcast 12 °C

I had a hectic last week of September. Before then I was stuck on looking forward to my first course lectures at UEF, and the possibility of having to drop my design courses in case the public health course require my 100% attention. We have a big design brief and it has become interesting, so to drop off in the genesis of learning new skills was going to be sad.

Well! Turns out I worried for nothing much! On 27th September we had our 1st lecture on Introduction to health informatics & human services. Other than constantly getting lost in the building, the lecture was great! I learnt a lot of things within those 4 hours and the topics got me very interested. Sipho and I even got to talking about coming back next year to do a masters specifically in Health informatics. Now with the sugar levels in my blood stream down, I dont think next year will be most suitable for me..maybe some other time in the near future. 2011 for me is to build a foundation for my own family->get married :). The 30th September was marked by a whole day of Strategic management theories in public health & then Leadership theories in public heath organizations. Good lectures.....very good. Other than the sleepy head, I got a full doze of what I wanted.

September 30th marked my country's 44th year of independence and that day I was at my most lonely, reading all the Facebook status updates of how people are planning to celebrate and here I am in Europe and most people her dont even know if there is an African country named Botswana :( *sigh*...anyway, I raised a can of Fosters beer to my country after dinner. So officially: HAPPY INDEPENDENCE BOTSWANA!!!!

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Design had me stressed up all week last week (and now till October 14th!) because we are supposed to create this nice models and even make a real-life prototype. The problem is that while other students are ahead I had to do a 5 hours download of a 5GIG Solidworks 2010 installation file so that I can start learning the 3D rendering software we are supposed to use in the project! Over the last 4 days I have gone through more than 40 online tutorials and spend almost all my weekend free time staring at SolidWorks! It was worth it because in between those I started learning the ropes and i have made great progress with my own design concept. I was not sure if I am on the right path till this morning when I went to the design academy and saw some of the other design students so I went to chat them up. I saw their concept and when I discussed mine they got interested and it looks like what i have in mind is what is expected of us! :D Out went Bobby the IT man, and HELLO Mr Designer!! :)

This week and others to come will be marked by balancing design and public health assignments.I will make it, I am made to last long after most have given up....hence Kratos!! AHUUUU!! See ya!!

Posted by Kratos 08:23 Archived in Finland Tagged me bobby educational savonia Comments (2)

Health Informatics course

A carrot dangled right in front of me!

sunny 12 °C

The last few days have been great. I have more friends now so being here is warming up regardless of the declining weather. Friday I got invited to join my Chec Republic & Slovakian friends at Passions club and I had been looking for a way to break out of the rainy blues. Good 3 hours I spent there then came back to the house. Saturday I promised a Polish friend that I will attend her birthday party at her place in Serkienieme so I paddled thru the rain to get there. The temperature was about 6 degrees!

Today was the most interesting day. I attended my first course at the University of Eastern Finland! Yip! After almost 2 months of being here! Introduction to health informatics and human services is the course. The lecturer gave a great overview of health informatics topics; from e-health, m-health, health informatics itself, consumer health informatics to the IT status in Finnish healthcare systems. Great four hours of my life! I was so amazed at the developments and initiatives that the Finnish government strives to achieve. The most important point she raised was that there is still a lot of research opportunities, and it got me thinking/wishing that I could come back for atleast another Masters strictly in health informatics. There is a huge need for this type of knowledge in Africa, and Botswana could use my insight on these things. Rome was not built in one day, so I know that in our continent it will take longer but with insights like mine research can be directed towards what is working in other countries.

I will sleep with good thoughts tonight, I got a plan in mind. I hope Mikko will help :)

Posted by Kratos 13:22 Archived in Finland Tagged me bobby educational Comments (0)

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