Saturday morning, December 2. The Sauna Bosses get up early for the big finale. A little ahead of schedule, shall we say. No butterflies, but... Change of plans #2. Photo shoots around the White House, etc., anyone? Maybe Mr. President is home and interested in some sauna diplomacy?
But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s go back a week and to Florida.
Sister City Sauna in Boynton Beach was as warm as expected. Mid-80’s temps and wonderful people celebrating the newly formed sister city connection with Rauma, Finland. Mayor Steve Grant test drove Sisu and, to cool off, dipped in the Intracoastal. USASuomeksi came and did a couple of really nice interviews.
Thank you, Jeanne Heavilin and the Boynton Beach Sister City association for the great afternoon.
Following Boynton Beach, Sisu visited Suomi-Talo in Lantana. Sisu was made available for sauna time while Jouko gave a presentation of the trip to the full house. A photo op provided by the one-and-only, Mr. Eino Grön, was a nice surprise!
Suomi-Talo is a wonderful resource and the people running it welcome you to visit. Thank you, Sirpa and Ari Aho, et. al., for letting Sisu to stop by!
Click this link to read more about Suomi-Talo and its wonderful hosts.
Fast forward to D.C. and December. Plans to visit the White House didn’t work out. Since the co-pilots’ last visits, security around the building apparently has been increased. No problem. Washington D.C. is full of attractions, and opportunities for sightseeing are a plenty. Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, here we come!
It was time to head to the Embassy. Upon arrival, Risto stopped the caravan on Massachusetts Ave NW and turned on the blinkers to gauge how to get in to the front yard of the Embassy. Before he even got out of the truck there were five (5) police cars behind Sisu! Eh, no stopping at or around the Naval Observatory, the Residence of the Vice President?
It turned out the police presence was most helpful. They cordially stopped all traffic and assisted (encouraged) Sisu to move in. Quickly!
Quick stats from the event at the Embassy:
*Sauna from Saturday noon until Wednesday 5pm, total of 48 hours.
*180 people booked a sauna vs. 185 available spots.
*One fellow who already had sauna in Oberlin, OH came again!
*One lucky son who had not seen Sisu yet, because of being in Thailand as an exchange student, got to sauna twice!
*19 bundles of wood burned, the ash tray emptied only 2 times. Kastor heaters are pretty darn efficient.
To commemorate the occasion, a Sauna Guest Book with close to 1,000 greetings was presented to Ambassador.
As if all this wasn't enough, Sisu was honored in a very special way. In his greeting to Finland December 6, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mentioned Sisu and gave praise to the practice of "sauna diplomacy". Just call us, Mr. Secretary of State, and we'll be there!
What can we say? You folks enabled this all to happen!
Thank you for organizing your events nation wide and inviting Sisu to be part of your celebrations! You know who you are. Give yourselves a big thumbs up!
*70 stops with 102 days of events
*150+ volunteers helping Sisu on the way
*1,400 people taking the sauna
*1,000 signatures in the Guest Book (presented to Ambassador Kauppi December 6)
*20,000 people checking Sisu out, unknown number who saw Sisu at events or on the road
*Numerous articles in local papers, papers in Finland, the New Yorker
*Millions of viewers on Youtube, local US media, media in Finland
Finally, a big and heartfelt THANK YOU to all Sisu’s sponsors:
Ice Cold Crime
Providence Private Client Services
Suomi Finland 100
North American Sauna Society
International Sauna Association
Finnish American Heritage Center
Concordia Language Villages
Salolampi Language Village
Finlandia Foundation National
December 13, 2017
Jouko Sipila & Risto Sivula