This past week we had fall break (efterårsferie) in Denmark. It’s an entire week off, and most people use this time to travel around Denmark, or around neighboring countries. Søren went to Belgium, France, Germany, and Spain to visit friends from his exchange to Australia, and I stayed in Denmark and visited all of my friends here! I was with different people every day and doing something new every day as well. I kept very busy (which I love) so my efterårsferie was simply delightful!
Here are a few of the exciting things I did over my break:
-I went to Fredericia on Jylland and met Denmark’s best guitarist (in his age group).
-Made the world’s most delicious banana chocolate cake!
-Ate pigeon. It was great.
-Carved pumpkins and cooked the pumpkin seeds.
-Had a movie night with all of the girls in my class.
-Ate Turkish candy while at a sleep over with Turkish exchange students.
-Went to Odense to the Harry Potter Festival with a few exchange students from Canada and the U.S. (unfortunately I missed the day that J.K. Rowling was there..)
-Took a train to Copenhagen with Missy and met up with our friend Manuel from Mexico.
-Got to see Nyhavn, the Opera House, and the Queen’s Palace in Copenhagen.
-Made American/Mexican/Danish burritos.
-Made a cookies.
-Met some of the oldies (exchange students that have been in Denmark for 9 months already) and spoke some Danish with them!
-Met up with more Mexican and Brazilian exchange students in Copenhagen and got to speak Spanish the whole day with them :)
-Went to Frederiksborg Castle with Susanne, my brother Jens, his girlfriend Mathilde, and Grandma Nina.
-Got a boat tour of Copenhagen.
-Ate at a running sushi bar with Jens,Mathilde, Susanne, and Henrik. (I didn’t know how much I loved sushi)
-Saw the old Viking ships that were dug up from the bottom of a canal and rebuilt.
-Went to Roskilde with Susanne and saw the outside of a beautiful famous church there; there was a concert going on inside so we couldn’t go in...
-Came home and realized I had school the next morning. Dang.
But I think all the nonstop activity got to me, because I’ve got quite the cold and my body is just exhausted. So today I’m taking a day off to recovery. Susanne and Niels have been so extremely helpful and are taking very good care of me :) Hopefully I’ll be better soon, because I’ve got more places to go and people to see, starting Friday with a Rotary get together in Hoelbæk. The day I return from that, I’ve got a class trip to Copenhagen for 3 days, and then when I get back from that, I’m going to the summerhouse in Jylland with my second host family for a few days. I really do love being busy, but I have to remember to slow down a bit and take care of myself. Plus, there is so much to see and do everyday, I need to take some time to take it all in and remember all of the amazing experiences I’m having.
The weather here is getting colder, and the days are getting shorter. Yesterday I biked to school in the dark... not fun... and the cars were covered in frost this morning, too. There was suppose to be snow last Wednesday, but it turned out to be just really cold rain. I’m pretty excited to have winter here, but I’ve been told that they don’t always have a white Christmas, which would be something new for me! I secretly hope that there is snow on Christmas, though.
As far as the language goes, I feel like I’m a bit of a pitstop right now. I’m not learning as much as I did earlier, but that’s because I know all (or most) of the basic conversation words and phrases. Now I just need to learn all of the other words. And besides my Danish classes every Monday, the only way to do this is to speak Danish and keep asking questions! So I feel like my skills are slowing down right now, but I’m still learning new words everyday, and I just have to use my Danish as much as possible to learn more.
Here is a link if you'd like to see some more photos of my exchange so far!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Well it's been another great week here in Denmark! I'll try not to make this too long, but here's a bit of what I've been up to in the past week:
Saturday Oct 2
Susanne and I drove over to Jylland, the main peninsula of Denmark, to the small town of Ribe. It's Denmark's oldest town, and they happened to be having a their Fall Festival (similar to Crazy Daze in Nfld) when we arrived, so we bought a few homemade knit hats and some flowers from them. We also climbed 251 stairs to the top of the church where you could look out over the entire town and see for miles in every direction because the land is so flat. We then drove south to a town called Uge where Susanne went to look at a horse's eye. Our plan was to go to Germany afterwards and just buy a few things over the border, but her work took longer than expected so we didn't quite make it there. Afterwards we drove to another town in Jylland and had dinner at her friend's (who was an exchange student in Massachusetts when she was younger). We had some delicious food and then we started on the hour and half drive home.
Monday Oct 4
Danish classes in Svendborg continue every Monday. This day, though, all of the different countries went up and told about the school system in their country and how it's different from Denmark. It was really interesting to learn about all of the other countries, and we did this all in Danish, of course, so that made it even more exciting :) I attended another Rotary meeting in Ringe. It wasn't for any special reason, but my counselor said that it would be one of the less boring meetings so he asked if I wanted to join! He also told me that they were having a really good meal that night, so of course I went. It was a good thing I went, because I got to meet the Rotary President of Denmark. He has to go to all of the district meetings in all of Denmark, and in Lithuania, because apparently they're part of our Rotary program as well!
Wednesday Oct 6
At school we had our first lesson, and then the second lesson was replaced with a live jazz performance for the entire school. I'm not exactly sure why, but every now and then we have these large school assemblies and they cancel the classes and everyone gathers in the main commons for whatever event they have planned. So far we've had a surviver from the Holocaust, a speech on "Sex and the City" and New York, and then this live jazz band. They were very good, and it was a very hyggeligt (this is a danish word which has no direct english translation, but it basically means cozy and happy and fun and wonderful. This word is used very often here) After school I biked to my friend Frederikke's house for a sleep over. We had a challenge that she could only speak english and I could only speak danish for the whole night, and it worked for most of the evening, but I was showing her some pictures from the U.S. and then prom and Beat Cancer came up so I switched to english so she could get the full effect :) Then she taught me how to play a few songs on the guitar and she helped me with some of my Danish homework and we ate the best pizza I have ever tasted; her mom made it and luckily there were leftovers so we took some with us for lunch the next day at school. It was a wonderful night!
Friday Oct 8
At school there was a campaign going on during lunch to try and get Danish teenagers to not drink as much. So they had these goggles that you could put on that blurred your vision and made it seem like you were drunk, and I'm not really sure how this was suppose to help, because most people had a great time playing around with the goggles, but supposably this was going to make them drink less. We'll see if that works. After school we had a Friday Café in the basement of the gymnasium, and then later that night there was a "musikklasse fest". Even though I'm not really in the music class, I was still invited to the party. It was for all three grades that are in the music class, so it was fun to meet some new people!
Saturday and Sunday
I had two birthday parties on Saturday. Danish birthdays = Danish flags everywhere! And really good cake of course. The first one was a brunch for Kaya, one of the exchange students from my gymnasium. It was just a few of the exchange students there and it was very fun! The the other was for two girls in my class for their 18th birthday, also very fun. On Sunday I had my first volleyball tournament! We played two other teams, and lost to both... but it was still a really fun day! There were only six of us there, so we all got to play the whole time. My host dad said that next time I have a tournament he'll come bring some cheerleaders to help my team!
All for now!
Saturday Oct 2
Monday Oct 4
Wednesday Oct 6
Friday Oct 8
Saturday and Sunday
All for now!