Remembrances of my Association with John and Melva
I studied at the Pittsburg State University, Kansas as an exchange student
for the academic year 1998 - 1999. Mr. John Darling was then the President
of the university.
In the middle of the darkest autumn 1998 John and Melva invited us,
all Finnish exchange students, to their house to join "a Finnish Coffee
Table". John and Melva had just returned from Finland and they surprised
us with leipäjuusto, lakka, munavoi and karjalanpiirakka, which Melva
had made by herself. I was quite homesick at that time, and was very happy
to have some traditional Finnish foods. John and Melva told us about the
year they spent in Finland. Melva showed us the house and all the Finnish
stuff they had. They even had a sauna! And their dog's name was Yksi!
The second time we were invited to their house just before Christmas.
This time we had sauna and a casual dinner. It was fun, especially for
those who didn't go home for the Christmas. I know everyone was very happy
to go to sauna after some time. John and Melva had a beautiful christmas
tree full of decorations from all over the world.
The third opportunity to meet this pleasant couple we had in April.
We had an American dinner. We ate outside at the patio by the lake. It
was a beautiful and warm evening. John and Melva told us more about their
experiences in Finland. We also shared our own experiences with them about
studying abroad and at the Pittsburg State University.
It is difficult, or impossible, to tell all the things that I learned
and saw during my stay. That's why I highly appreciate the work John has
done with the Finnish universities to build the exchange student program
and offer such an opportunity for us.
As a whole I remember John and Melva as caring persons that love Finland.
I wish them all the best in the future!!!
Johanna Uotinen 08/30/99
[Johanna Uotinen Itäinen Pitkäkatu 80 B 26,
20810 Turku p. 050-376 52 76, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org