On Tuesday evening it became obvious that no one of our group members neither acquaintance could drive on Wednesday. But a promise should be kept so I decided to take a bus to Simo on my own in order to visit the two senior citizen units of the day. I had luck on my side; the only possible bus rides of the day fitted just fine to schedule and as Simo was a small town, I was able to just take my time and explore the town center too.
Since I had time to spare, I came to the first unit of the day well in advance. Palvelukoti Mäntylä´s nurses welcomed me to their staff room and unlike in many other senior citizen units visits, I got a bit more time to explain about our project. I got super nervous the moment nurses started to gather seniors to a corner in the living room, announcing that I was going to sing to them.
In the moment of truth, the program was the usual; singing Olen Suomalainen, holding a small Finland and Sami themed trivia and ending with the song Täällä Pohjantähden alla. I think that performance went fine as I had already grown accustomed to hosting but if I had others to sing along as well, there could have been more impact. Also long pauses between trivia answers made me worry if it was boring to seniors but the flood of thank you greetings from nurses gave certainty that the overall performance went just fine. In fact the nurses were that nice to me that one of the nurses even ran after me as I had absentmindedly started walking towards the next unit without my phone.
Because of me being again present well in advance, I got to spent time in the staff room once again. Nurses were extremely busy, first attending a meeting and then power walking to do their tasks so I was almost completely alone for a long moment. I became bored quite quickly and after hearing a senior passing the room complaining about how the nurses did not even have time to greet her, I spontaneously moved to the living room area, planning to chat with the elderly present there before the actual performance. This proved to be a great solution as I got to speak freely with a senior that revealed himself to be an ex UN peacekeeper. Due to relaxed chatting I did not feel nervous almost at all and I think I may have done my personal best in hosting at Kiikanpalo. In fact I enjoyed my time so much that I had to eat in hurry the handmade doughnut offered to me in order to make it in time.
Author: Laura Ukkola