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The Journey of the Girafe Photos and the story by Elina Mäntylä
This is a story which began in Hossana Deaf School, Ethiopia, and returned to Finland with me, a little Girafe. Special thanks to FELM and the students and teachers of The Hossana Deaf School. God bless you all.
This is the place where I was created, with lions and many other girafes.
This is the boy who made me. His name is Aron. I like to call myself Aron’s girafe.
I was given as a farewell present to a Finnish woman. Her name is Elina. She loved me immediately and carried me around the school. She told me that she will take me to Finland. I got very excited about that.
When we started our trip to Finland we had many people waving us goodbye. We will miss you all!
I was sad to leave Hossana but exited of my first car journey. How fast the world moves! No Girafe has ever run this fast.
ADDIS ABEBA I checked our flight plan: Addis Abeba to Dubai, then Dubai to Helsinki. It doesn’t look so far when you look at the map.
On the first flight i travelled in a suitcase. It was a bit unconfortable with my long neck but I had a good sleep. Elina promised me that on the next flight I could travel with other passengers.
DUBAI I woke up in Dubai and went to check out the city. Most people hadn't seen tourist girafes before, and I had never seen such high buildings before.
It was very hot so I went to swim in the sea. It was a nice sandy beach with many people who also liked swimming. This was the first time i had seen the sea, it was so beautiful! I got lot of sand on my fur so I had to shake it off.
After swimming I dried myself in the sun. I had a little rest under an umbrella. I had nice thoughts about my friends in Hossana deaf school.
I went to different shops to find something warm to wear in Finland. I heard there would still be snow when we arrive. I found nice materials and made a long scarf for my long neck.
I visited a big and beautiful shopping center where everybody tried to buy happiness. I saw many beautiful things but I didn’t see too much happiness.
DUBAI AIRPORT Elina took me on the plane in her hand luggage. I was very happy because I could see the plane.
I was so excited that I could not hide myself in the bag any more. There where many planes that were ready to take off. I had always wanted to have wings!
“Move along people, please. The world’s first flying girafe is in the air soon!”
I was so amazed to be above the clouds. They look so soft and beautiful. We flew over Saudi-Arabia, Turkey, Austria and many other countries. I saw many seas, lakes, mountains, rivers, cities and forests.
FINLAND After the flight I felt a bit shaky so Elina took care of me and held my neck. It was so exciting to come to Finland!
Finally! I travelled by bus to Porvoo to my new home. It was big and wide high way with hardly any cars. The land looked brown. Snow had just melted. Plants hadn’t began to grow after the long cold winter. It was very early spring.
When I stepped out of the bus I was introduced to a local beast. This big cat was luckily very friendly to a foreign girafe like me. We didn’t speak the same language so it was a bit difficult to communicate. I think the cat liked my smell.
I also found new people friends. Anne is one of them. I told her everything about Ethiopia and deaf school. She loves to hear my stories. I am really looking forward to meeting many other Finnish people. Maybe they will like to hear about Ethiopia too.
I went to see the sea. It was still all frozen. I wanted to go to walk on ice but it was not strong enough for a big girafe like me. Maybe next winter? Not many girafes have walked on ice I think.
When I miss Ethiopia I ask Elina to take me to the sea. She points out to the south and says: Look over there! Ethiopia is that way. And even though we can’t see that far we think about our friends in Hossana.
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