It smells like dog and wood. Everywhere. The last night was full of weird dreams. I hardly slept. Alarm at 6 o'clock.
I have to admit, that my darkest nightmare-the cold- feels actually less cold than thought. It's all about the right equipment! I spent months to gather all I might need to be sufficiently covered, but it took me not even 5 minutes in the snow to find out that the stuff people (need to) wear here plays in a totally different league Rightly! So I got appropriate boots, extra thick trousers, an extra thick jacket, a beanie cap and an "under"-beanie cap from Erä-Susi...I still felt the cold, but I don' t want to complain. With my stuff I wouldn't have survived this day...So I was ask today at least 100 times if I'm really ok and how it is going with the low temperature. I'm definitely not úsed to the cold yet-every action outside takes me so long to do it, everything requires so much more energy. And we did a lot:
200 dogs live on the farm (and they all want to be called by their names...). They need to be watered and fed, cleaned, cuddled, trained... And not just the dogs, the reindeers are hungry, too. 8-10 worker/trainees take care of the animals' and tourists' welfare and keep the farm running. Immediately I got involved in the daily work and, yes, it is hard, physical work. I helped out where ever I could and learned a lot. How to harness dogs and prepare the sledges, saw how the husky food is prepared, I drove a snowmobile (about 30m :)), met the team-bipeds and quadrupeds- and learned about the curing of ill dogs, hierarchy, snow conditions, equipment, Finnish...Everyone speaks Finnish, despite of me, but I still get something. Estonian helps a lot and I really like the sound of the language. In any case...that means I necessarily need to learn some Finnish. And I'm really looking forward to have at least a try.
They want me to guide German and Italian tourists as soon as they get a request. That's why I have to learn everything as fast as possible. .... And, the high-light of the day- it already happened to me to drive a team of sledging dogs by myself. :)
By the way it was a fantastic day-the white winter fairyland was softly enlightened by the sun colouring the snow in pastel shades. It was so beautiful.
I'm too tired right now to go into details. More photos and stories will follow soon.
Knowledge of the day: If you like your tongue, keep it away from frozen metallic items- it hurts as hell to tear it off, even when you do it very fastly.
High-quality gloves are a well worth investment! (Unfortunately I did not thought about before and ruined a pair just the first day.)