Organized, independent worker with strong interpersonal skills. Detail-oriented, eager and able to learn new tasks with efficiency and cooperation.
First, I was in Pajarinkyla, near the Russian border, helping Marja Miettinen on her completely self sustaining farm. I was there for a week and my duties included some post harvest maintenance, stacking firewood to dry, cooking, and harvesting artichoke roots and kale. I would gather what food we had in the cellar (potatoes, parsnips, and aronia berry juice) and go to the forest to harvest wild blueberries and the bog which had wild cranberries. I also participated in heating the house ( no electricity!) and cooking on the wood fired stove. Then I took a train to Parkano and stayed with Mikko Sakari Sillanpaa I his home/ farm in Kurjenkyla. This required more work! I woke up every morning at 09.00 to feed the horses, clean their stalls, and lay down new straw in the stables. Then I'd let the cows outside and feed them, clean the stalls, and lay down more straw for them. I'd check the water for both. If they needed more I would get buckets from the well and fill them and bring in boiling water to add to it so that it wouldn't freeze in the northern winter conditions. I fed the chickens and goats and got new water for them as well and collected birch wood for the fire. Then I would wash potatoes from the cellar and start a fire and make food for the day. This usually included carrots, beets, potatoes, and cabbage, all home grown. At 16.00 I would go outside again and feed the cows and check everyone's water again and fetch more if necessary and bring I more firewood. Then at 19.00 I would go out yet once more and do the morning duties again except width the additional job of brushing down the cows and horses. Additional duties sometimes included shoveling snow, repairing tools ( welding and blacksmithing experience as well!), going to the forest to collect lumber for firewood), beating rugs, maintaining the fire, and of course, loving the crap out of his two dogs, Raisa and Wilma. Sometimes there were others who would come to help on the farm and I was there to answer their questions and help with translation issues as well as learn all I could from them! I learned some Finnish while I was there and even managed to learn a little bit of French (I speak Italian and Russian semi fluently) since the others who came to help were always from France! Other skills I learned include how to do plant placement and groupings and the kind of land that is best to use. Marja always told me it was best to let nature take her course after planting with check ups for water and the like when necessary.
I was a receptionist for my friend Linda Levine at her private chiropractic and massage therapy business in Hadley for about a month before I went to Finland. It wasn't for very long, but I learned a lot. I did a lot of task juggling between filing and answering phone calls, making new appointments and showing people to their rooms and calling people to confirm appointments. It wasn't that difficult, but I think the skills are necessary!
I helped a 30 year old woman with epilepsy do every day things. Mostly I cooked for her from time to time or supervised her cooking, in case she had a seizure. I used to have epilepsy myself so I remember what to do when that happens. I helped her clean her place and I drove her to appointments, went food shopping for her, and helped her and her boyfriend get around town as well as just helping her with personal matters.
Member of Russian Club
Bronze medals in Russian Essay Contest
Coursework in Gay and Lesbian Literature
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