We got a late start on our planned walk to the old wooden houses in Valilla and just as we got out the door, the rain began in earnest. Instead of Valilla, we made it only as far as the coffee shop on the other side of Bear Park. In good weather it's closed, because the same folks also run the outdoor Bear Park kiosk. Today though, it was a good place to take shelter and meet the owner who is also a fourth grade school teacher. We had an interesting talk about the freedom of Finnish teachers to set their own classroom goals and teach to the moment, rather than following a strict curriculum. He admitted that often he went into school in the morning with no particular plan in mind other than to let the children and their mood direct that days lesson. Even better, he stays with the same group of students over two or three years, sometimes getting to know them better than their parents do. Best of all, he's never given his students a test; none are required.
Still trying to keep dry, we hopped on the 3B tram and took it the long way around to the Rock Church. We'd thoroughly explored the exterior last week at the end of a sunny day when the church was closed, so we spent an equal amount of time today in the dry interior. Most surprising was how bright the space was, in spite of the rainy gray skies. Back on the tram again, we rode into the city center and walked across Esplanadi to the just-opened Design Helps Living Room for the first day of an exhibit organized by Tikau, an NGO that connects Finnish design sense with African and Indian crafts to promote sustainable products and support the local skilled craftspeople. We did our part with a purchase of a hand-embroidered pillow cover, in black and white, with outlines of cars and trucks and trams. See photos.