DAY 52, BUS 2: Free Day, Helsinki

15 June 2018

Unusually we had a free day mid-week in Helsinki. One of our volunteers Jouni, brought us on a guided walk to see some of ‘his’ Helsinki. We had a chance to take lunch in a day care centre run by Ehyt, NGO organising ‘preventive social work’. We saw a campus run by the Helsinki Diaconess Institute, which includes a block of apartments for homeless and people with substance abuse problems. We also saw the block of apartments where President Tarja Halonen lived. We visited the Kallio church, which has a long history of social action. We looked down Union Street, with its shades of San Francisco.   At the end of the tour we visited the impressive library of Helsinki University and sat on the terrace with a view over the centre of the city. Perhaps most importantly Jouni pointed out the flash point of the bloody civil war, when in four months in 1918, some 40.000 people lost their lives. A far cry from the image we have of Finland today.

Today our volunteers Jo (EMIN Coordinator Netherlands), and Tou-Latu (Photographer and video maker), left us, to join the other bus in Slovakia.