Helping Hand Experience at NBRC (09.-13.5.2017)

Text By Iida Pyykkö, Ilja Vuorinne & Mikko Keski-Laturi                                                  Photos By Ilja Vuorinne & Sanna Kujala

We started our congress journey from Oulu the weekend before North and Baltic Regional Congress. We worked night and day in Oulu and at the congress in Oulanka but it all really was worth it!

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Preparing toasts for the participants

After the Oulu weekend, we were ready for the congress and excited to meet the participants at the University of Oulu where the opening ceremony took place. We, the helping hands, were welcoming our guests and doing some preparations already in Oulanka. Meanwhile, the Orga team opened the congress and after that participants were also lectured about the reindeer herding in the northern Finland.

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From the opening ceremony at the University of Oulu

The first day, we arrived to the snowy, winter-wonderland-like Oulanka. First, after the long trip, we had a small chaotic feeling but we managed to find rooms for everybody and were ready to start preparing the sitsit. Some of us were working as waiters during this traditional Finnish student event but it was still very fun, especially when we saw all the participants enjoying the party and atmosphere. We noticed that the sitsit was the final ice breaker and people even were asking if it is possible to organise this unique event again.

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“Sitsit”, a tradiontal finnish student party

During the evening program, we were working in the bar or in the party room as DJs but had still a lot time to time to get to know other congress participants all around Europe and show them some sauna traditions, for example. Sometimes our night shifts lasted until 7 am so we were working hard during the congress week.

The second day started with the workshops. In the evening, we experienced a true EGEA tradition, the Cultural Fair. And what an experience it was! Delights and drinks from all over the Europe and such an amazing atmosphere during the whole night. This was a great way to get to know EGEA spirit, later EGEA classics like Moskau and Schatje mag ik je foto? took us to the EGEA flow on the dance floor.

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Cultural fair mayhem

The next day, it was time to explore the nature of the Oulanka National Park, before starting to prepare the Finnish night. This was a highlight for us as we started to Finnish our dear participants with Finnish names. After this Christening ceremony, there was a bunch of Finns, such as Pirjo-Riitta, Kyösti, Vale-Tiina, Minttumarja, Molla-Maija and Matti & Teppo, hanging around the Oulanka Research Station for the rest of the congress.

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Excursion-day scenery

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Hanging out in a traditional Finnish ”kota”

Last day and more workshops for the participants. In the evening, it was time for a closing ceremony where we received our certifications with a huge applause. At this point we really felt how people appreciated our work at the congress, and wow, what a feeling after all this! Later that night, another EGEA tradition, the BDC. We could sense that this was something that people had been waiting for. And we could see why. If you want to see what it is all about, sign up for the next EGEA congress!

We didn’t sleep during the last night so in the morning, tired but full of enthusiasm we partied all morning long, had time to admire final winter landscapes in the bus and said goodbye to all our European friends in Oulu before heading back home.

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The whole congress crew – organisers and participants

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