Celebrating 100 Years of U.S.-Finnish Diplomatic Relations by Visiting 100 Places / March 2019

100 Places March visits (© State Dept.)

To commemorate the anniversary year of the U.S.-Finnish diplomatic relations, the U.S. Embassy Finland is taking on a challenge. By the end of 2019, our American diplomats and friends of the Embassy community will try to visit 100 places in Finland. Can we do it? Follow along as we journey through Finland to celebrate our strong relationship. Please check our webpage for more information about the anniversary year Celebrating 100 Years of U.S.-Finnish Diplomatic Relations in 2019. The Google Map tracing our journey is available online.

March 9. Mustio: Political-Economic Affairs Section Chief Shawn Waddoups spent a day playing blacksmith in Mustio with Onnellisen Sepän Paja’s Sami Ryhänen and fellow class member Samppa Ranta. (9/100)

Kallio swimming hall (10/100) (© State Dept.)
Kallio swimming hall (10/100) (© State Dept.)

March 10. Helsinki: Political-Economic Section Chief Shawn Waddoups is making the most of his time in Helsinki. He and his wife are visiting all 13 swimming halls open to the public around the city as well as Vantaa and Espoo. This time they were checking out the pools at Kallio. (10/100)

March 12-14. Ruka: The Senior Arctic Officials Plenary Meeting was held at Ruka on March 12-14. U.S. Embassy Finland’s Arctic representative Jay Heung visited an ice bar at the restaurant Kontioluola after the official talks. It was the last of four meetings during the Finnish Arctic Council Chairmanship and the meeting ahead of the Arctic Council’s Rovaniemi Ministerial. L-R: Wes James, USCG; Matthew Kastrinsky, OPA Arctic Officer; Julie Gourley, SAO; Jay Heung, U.S. Embassy Finland; Meredith Rubin, Deputy SAO; and Patrick Huber, EPA. (11/100)

U.S. Army Attaché Major Distifeno and Defense Attaché Colonel Felter attended the Finnish observance of the anniversary of the end of the Winter War. (12/100) (© State Dept.)
U.S. Army Attaché Major Distifeno and Defense Attaché Colonel Felter attended the Finnish observance of the anniversary of the end of the Winter War. (12/100) (© State Dept.)

March 13. Helsinki’s Kasarmitori: U.S. Army Attaché Major Distifeno and Defense Attaché Colonel Felter attended the Finnish observance of the anniversary of the end of the Winter War. (12/100)

March 18. Störsvik: Major Chris Distifeno tried his hand at Ice Fishing, Finland style along the Finnish coast at Störsvik. Sadly the fish were too crafty that day and all Major Distifeno got was the flu. (13/100)

The Embassy’s Commercial and Political-Economic sections joined forces and attended the 14th Vaasa Energy Week (15/100) (© State Dept.)
The Embassy’s Commercial and Political-Economic sections joined forces and attended the 14th Vaasa Energy Week (15/100) (© State Dept.)

March 18. Rovaniemi: Consul Jeremy Wisemiller brought his visiting family members to Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi. (14/100)

March 18-19. Vaasa:  The Embassy’s Commercial and Political-Economic sections joined forces and attended the 14th Vaasa Energy Week, the largest energy expert networking forum in Finland. EnergyVaasa, the leading energy hub in the Nordic countries, consists of 140 companies with combined turnover of EUR 4,4 billion. (15/100)

March 19. Kemi: Consul Jeremy Wisemiller and family at the Kemi Snow Castle, the largest snow fort in the world. The Snow Castle of Kemi is rebuilt every winter with a different theme. (16/100)

March 19. Gulf of Bothnia: Consul Jeremy Wisemiller in the Gulf of Bothnia courtesy of the Icebreaker Sampo. (17/100)

Consul Jeremy Wisemiller in the Gulf of Bothnia courtesy of the Icebreaker Sampo.(© State Dept.)
Consul Jeremy Wisemiller in the Gulf of Bothnia courtesy of the Icebreaker Sampo.(© State Dept.)

March 21. Ranua: Consul Jeremy Wisemiller and family visit the Ranua Wildlife Park in Ranua, Finland. (18/100)

March 22. Pietarsaari: Political Officer Harald Olsen met with Trey Howard, a member of the Pietarsaari town council originally from Washington state. Trey and Harald posed in front of Finland’s largest clock tower, which stands on top of an old factory that now serves as the town’s government offices. (19/100)

Political-Economic Section Chief Shawn Waddoups met with Tuomas Martikainen, Director of the Migration Institute of Finland (20/100) (© State Dept.)
Political-Economic Section Chief Shawn Waddoups met with Tuomas Martikainen, Director of the Migration Institute of Finland (20/100) (© State Dept.)

March 26. Turku: Political-Economic Section Chief Shawn Waddoups met with Tuomas Martikainen, Director of the Migration Institute of Finland. The Institute is a leader in researching one of the strongest U.S.-Finnish links. They are also doing great work on some of the most important issues facing our countries and the movement of people. (20/100)

March 27. Rovaniemi: Major Distifeno visited the Finnish 11th Air Squadron in Rovaniemi, home to Finland’s F-18 Force. (21/100)

March 27. Kemijärvi: The Embassy Finland’s Political-Economic Section visited Kemijärvi’s Keitele wood products sawmill. (Far right is Heikki Nivala, CEO of Boreal Bioref, and second from left is Jarmo Kaatranen, the mill’s production manager.) The mill has the world’s fastest feed line – traveling at 180 meters per minute, it cuts 37 trees a minute totaling up to 55 logging trucks and 40,000 trees a day. (22/100)

March 30-31. Inari: Dylan Fisher and Janet Heilig traveled to Inari for to see the Northern Lights and the Inari Reindeer Championships Race. (23/100)

Consul Jeremy Wisemiller brought his visiting family members to Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi. (14/100) (© State Dept.)
Consul Jeremy Wisemiller brought his visiting family members to Santa’s Village in Rovaniemi. (14/100) (© State Dept.)
Consul Jeremy Wisemiller and family at the Kemi Snow Castle, the largest snow fort in the world. (16/100) (© State Dept.)
Consul Jeremy Wisemiller and family at the Kemi Snow Castle, the largest snow fort in the world. (16/100) (© State Dept.)
Consul Jeremy Wisemiller and family visit the Ranua Wildlife Park in Ranua, Finland. (18/100) (© State Dept.)
Consul Jeremy Wisemiller and family visit the Ranua Wildlife Park in Ranua, Finland. (18/100) (© State Dept.)
Political Officer Harald Olsen met with Trey Howard, a member of the Pietarsaari town council originally from Washington state. (19/100) (© State Dept.)
Political Officer Harald Olsen met with Trey Howard, a member of the Pietarsaari town council originally from Washington state. (19/100) (© State Dept.)
The Senior Arctic Officials Plenary Meeting was held at Ruka on March 12-14. L-R: Wes James, USCG; Matthew Kastrinsky, OPA Arctic Officer; Julie Gourley, SAO; Jay Heung, U.S. Embassy Finland; Meredith Rubin, Deputy SAO; and Patrick Huber, EPA. (11/100) (© State Dept.)
The Senior Arctic Officials Plenary Meeting was held at Ruka on March 12-14. L-R: Wes James, USCG; Matthew Kastrinsky, OPA Arctic Officer; Julie Gourley, SAO; Jay Heung, U.S. Embassy Finland; Meredith Rubin, Deputy SAO; and Patrick Huber, EPA. (11/100) (© State Dept.)
Dylan Fisher and Janet Heilig traveled to Inari for to see the Northern Lights and the Inari Reindeer Championships Race (23/100). (© State Dept)
Dylan Fisher and Janet Heilig traveled to Inari for to see the Northern Lights and the Inari Reindeer Championships Race (23/100). (© State Dept)