Monday, 15 December 2008

It's been really busy since Monday, when our "supervisor" Taina Tukiainen, head of the program of industrial management came to RSA. We drove around the city with Taina, since it was also her first time here. So we visited the Meraka Institute at CSIR research center, where two of our South Africa project groups are working. There we picked up Kristiina Lähde, their coordinator and we headed for a long lunch at Botanical gardens. Then we drove Taina back to her accommodation and headed back to Colbyn, to do some research about the universities.

On tuesday, we headed to SAP offices, where we met Max and Taina, and talked for a few hours about what we had been up to here in RSA. First it was quite hard to memorize all the things we had done here, since we hadn't had a single boring day in this trip. Everyday we have been circuling around Pretoria, Joburg or areas around them. Things started to came in to our minds when we got our heads together and eventually we managed to explain everything in the right order. Best parts of our trip had been visiting Tokoza, and Soweto, the CIDA-academy and Pilanesburg. We realized that we hadn't even thought about Finland, when you have had such a wonderful time alltogether. Meeting went well, and then we had lunch at SAP offices for the last time, because people are closing the offices for Christmas.

Taina had arranged a meeting with Riitta Vänskä, the coordinator of the Nokia groups, so we went to Monte Casino for a glass of wine. It was such a big contrast when we arrived at the casino because at the second last turn there was a man begging for money and on the last turn there was this five-star luxury hotel with customers who absolutely had no shortage of money.It seemed so unreal, but unfortunately that's the way it is. After the drinks, We drove Taina to the Waterkloof guesthouse, where the Idean group were having a dinner where the ambassador of Finland, and Max Fuzani was also invited. We joined them later in the evening for a couple of drinks, but unfortunately we arrived so late that the guests had already left.

In the middle of the week, we went to Menlyn to finally invest a bit in ourselves. The girls in our group are a bit of shopaholics, so we managed to spend half of the the day there. In the evening we went to theWoodlands boulevard, to have some dinner with Taina at the HEAT restaurant, with all of the students and guests we all had invited. We had a fantastic three course dinner, with some excellent wine, and some good company. Sadly, this was the last time we would see Max on this trip, and we tried to get the most of it, but it still wasn't enough. The gentleman managed to entertain the whole group by himself, and at the end, all of us were really satisfied. We headed back home to Colbyn quite early,because we had an early flight to Cape Town, and all of us needed some sleep before that.

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