Sunday, November 20, 2011

I know, I know, I've been slacking

Hej alle!
I know I am slowly getting slower at putting these blog posts up, but hey at least they are still being put up at all!
and yes I know I promised to put pictures on photobucket, but it takes SO long, but hopefully soon I will find enough motivation to do that.

Now time for what everyone actually comes here for! To see what I have been doing! At least I think that's why you guys read this?
So in my last blog I left you around November 4th. As I mentioned I had a Rotary get together in Holbæk, which is a town on Sjælland.
It was for all of the exchange students, newbies and oldies. In case you aren't familiar with all this exchange student lingo, I am a newbie and the people who came in December/January of last year are oldies since they will be leaving in December/January of this year. We hadn't met most of the oldies, so it was fun to meet some new people, but I also feel like we all already had our groups of friends and people to talk to, so I didn't meet as many oldies as I would have liked, but hey at least I met a few cool Australians, Brazilians, a South African, and New Zealanders.
Friday (nov. 4th) Alicia and I took the train together from Odense, but the train was pretty late because of some issue, so we missed our 2nd train, but that was fine because we met up with some other exchangies in the Roskilde train station and had another train like 20 minutes later that we could take. On this 2nd train there were a bunch of Brazilians and other South Americans, and one poor American left in all the craziness of Spanish and Portuguese. We all also kind of dominated the sitting area with our bags and things, but no one seemed to mind and they were all a bit interested in us since they kept looking at us.
Then we arrived in Holbæk and there were LOTS more exchange students there waiting to get on the bus to take us to the school we would be staying at. We took a city bus and in total there were only 2 Danish people on the whole bus, the driver and the Rotex helping us. Then we got to the school and had to wait in a not so organized line to get signed in and it took awhile because people kept distracting the person signing us in.
It was nice that at this weekend we could choose where to sleep. There were I think maybe 6 or so rooms and you could just put your stuff in any of them.
That night we just ate pizza, had a disco, and talked with each other since most of us hadn't seen each other since Intro Camp. I think I got to sleep around 3:30 that night.

The next day we had breakfast of what else, but Bread as it seems we always eat a lot of at Rotary events. Then we had a couple hours to explore Holbæk on our own, which was pretty fun. I went off with Kirsten (from Canada), Marisa (from USA) and we went shopping a bit, then walked by the water and took pictures and then through a park, where I made them take lots of pictures of me, and them since I was the only one not used to a "real" fall where the leaves all change colors.

Then we came back and had lunch. Then it was time for activities. There was pumpkin carving on the schedule along with some sports, but since Simran (India) had never carved a pumpkin we all wanted to do that, but we later learned the people who had promised us the pumpkins couldn't deliver them anymore for some reason, so we just watched the soccer game for a bit and then went inside since it was so cold.

That night we had a Halloween party and my costume was a California girl. And no I didn't just wear my regular clothes and say I was that, I wore a California t-shirt, shorts, flip flops, the California flag as a cape, and sunglasses to compete the look.
We had a dinner that night and it was fun with everyone dressed up, with some being more creative than others. Rotary was there for dinner and our show. People that wanted to had signed up for different acts for our entertainment. A bunch of us from the US were going to sing Party in the USA, but then people slowly started backing out and we never really practiced, so we just decided not to do it. The rest of the performances were singing, a dance battle between Latinos and Brazilians (that was really fun and funny), an Australian dance, a slideshow for the oldies since they will be leaving soon, and some more. They also had a battle of the countries in singing our national anthem as fast as we could and as much as we could in 30 seconds. Let's just say America did not do so well.  It's hard to sing it to a different tune and really fast when most of us barely know all the words to it, but it was still hilarious.

Then we had another disco that night and could just hang out and talk also.  I did a mix of both, but somehow I ended up at 5:30 still talking with 4 other exchange students, then I realized I really should get some sleep, so we all went and passed out. People kind of just slept wherever they wanted, so there were people all over couches and the ground and in the hallways, pretty much anywhere you could find a semi comfortable spot.

Sunday we were woken up and had to pack all our stuff before we got breakfast. Then there was a few goodbye songs for the oldies and it was pretty sad watching them all and realizing that would be us in some months. It's really scary how fast the time is going and I don't really like to think how many months I have been here or how many I have left.

Sunday I came home and just relaxed and then Monday I got to stay home from school because my host parents couldn't really drive me there or pick me up, so that was nice to get some extra sleep after only have 8 for the whole weekend.
All of the exchange students

Tuesday and Thursday I am kind of having trouble remembering what I did, but I don't think there was anything too special.
Wednesday was a day called Operation Dagsværk, where we had the day off from school and if you wanted you could raise money for building schools ( I think) in Peru. I went to Odense for the day with 4 girls from my class and we sold cake. In total we made over $100 US dollars on just selling the cake for 90 cents each piece. It was a nice day and I liked being able to bond a bit more with people from my class. Then after that I went to a girl's house who is in my class and we watched a movie and I talked to her parent's a bit in Danish. Then we went to another girl in my class's house to have dinner with 7 other people from my class. It was really tasty and a nice end to a good day.

I found this sign- apparently California has special chicken

The dinner with some kids from my class

Friday we had a Gymnasium Party that night, so I got ready at my house and then went to a girl in my class's house for the pre-party. The gym party was all right, but there was some Danish rappers that weren't very good especially since I couldn't understand them. Then Alicia came home to my house for the weekend.
Saturday we woke up nice and late and then went shopping Odense with another exchange student from our school, Katharina from Germany. It was nice and I bought a couple of things, but we kinda forgot that stores close around 3 or 4 on Saturdays, so we had to finish earlier than we planned. It's so weird having Saturday be a short shopping day where back home that's one of the bigger shopping days. We ate at McDonald's because Alicia wanted it and it's cheap, but she had fun saying the American (me) was in her natural habitat and finally at home.

That night we ate dinner with my family and then watched movies and ate junk food.
Sunday we made an American breakfast for my family, consisting of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. It turned out pretty well and I have now made pancakes twice in my life all on my own!
Then we spent the rest of Sunday being lazy and taking pictures outside again because of the beautiful fall leaves and my obsession with them.

Monday nothing really happened.
Tuesday one of the exchange students I had become friends with was sent home, which was a sad day for all of the exchange students and we tried to support him the best we could.

Wednesday: Alicia and I were supposed to go see Twilight: Breaking Dawn with the boy who got sent home, but since we had already bought our tickets we still went. Before that though Alica, Nora (from Austria), and I went to Alicia's house to get her things for the movie and somehow we just ended up lying on the floor in her laundry room because the floor was warm and heated and we were freezing from our walk home. Then we went to a restaurant called Asia with Gustavo (from Brazil) since he is going home in December since he's been here since January. Also, I kinda made them go since I was really wanting Chinese/Japanese food. It was pretty good and definitely filled my craving for Asian food for awhile.
Then Alicia and I went to the movie. It was in English with Danish subtitles and at one point the subtitles said "hjem i fart" or something like that which really just has to do with home and speed, but Alicia and I had both been reading the subtitles at the point and started laughing because to us it was funny, but of course no one else found that phrase funny.

Thursday my Mormor (host -mother's mom) picked me up from the bus station and we went to her house and had tea and bread which she had made. It was really good! And then we went to her friend's shop where he fixes clocks and it was actually pretty cool seeing all of those really old clocks. Some were around 300 years old and one even had it's original paint. Then I saw the daycare where my Mormor works sometimes and it was pretty much the same as an American daycare, but it was nice to see. Then I went home and had the usual Thursday night pizza with my family.

Friday I deleted my English essay by accident, so I had to rewrite it all since it was due that night. That was not so fun, because then I got writer's block on what to write about since I couldn't remember my other one very much. Then I watched most of the 2nd part of the last Harry Potter movie with my family. Yes, Katie I actually watched Harry Potter. I didn't really know what was happening though because I haven't seen most of them.

Saturday I slept kinda late since I was really tired. Then later that day my host mom and I started on Thanksgiving dinner. We made the cranberry sauce and pumpkin (butternut squash instead- we couldn't find pumpkin) pie. Then my host mom made some caramels, which tasted really good!
That night we watched the last episode of Bingo Banko for this season and then 2 movies. I was kinda proud of myself for staying up to 12:30 since I usually go to bed fairly early here, but it may be because I had slept until 11:15....

Sunday I woke up at a bit more of a reasonable time and had breakfast with my family. Then I just kinda hung our for the day until it was time to start making Thanksgiving dinner. I made the stuffing and then my host mom made the mashed potatoes, turkey, green beans, and gravy. I invited 3 girls from my class to come celebrate with us. It was a very nice, hyggeligt night and all the food tasted almost as it should! The pie was a bit thinner than usual, but it was fine still and I'm pretty proud of making a butternut squash pie all the way from scratch, since they don't sell cans of filling here. Before dinner started I had everyone say what they were thankful for, which was nice and heartwarming haha. Overall it was a good night and I'm glad I got to have Thanksgiving in Denmark (even if it was a few days early). And to all you people from my Thanksgiving back home who may or may not be reading this: I wore my 25th Annual shirt in the spirit of Thanksgiving! And I hope Thanksgiving is good for everyone this year!!

Now highlights from this last week:
Monday I brought more pumpkin pie into class to share with my class and most seemed to like it!

Thursday I went to downtown Middelfart after school and finally got my NEM ID, which means I can finally get my bus card, which gives me free train rides on Fyn also! Then I went home and watched some of the Macy's Day parade online, which was really nice. That night I skyped with my mom and dad and sister and it was nice to see and talk to them for a while since I have only skyped with them each once since I have been here.

Friday we had gym class and we are working on making dances in groups to perform in a few weeks to our class. The group all the exchange students were put in (Alicia, Paulina, and I), is doing African dancing, which should be interesting to do in front of 2 classes. Then that night I watched a Christmas movie with my family and started packing since I move on Sunday.

Saturday: Today I woke up at 5:45 to skype with my whole family that was at my parent's house and it was nice and kinda funny to see them all trying to skype! Then I went back to sleep because in my opinion there is not much of a reason to be up that early on a Saturday. Then today I finished packing and took some pictures of Morud before I move tomorrow.

To end this post I want to put what I'm thankful for: I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful people I have met so far, and the wonderful experiences I have had. I am thankful for my family and friends back home who have supported me through this and encouraged me to go on exchange! I will see you all before I know it! All in all I am thankful for where I am right now.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! ( a few days late)

Farvel for nu,

(and if you want to see the pictures bigger just click on them!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

What I've been up to these last few weeks!

So I figured it was time to tell everyone what I have been up to these past couple of weeks since I haven't done a post in a little while.
As I said in my last blog I was on holiday for a week from school and I will just go over the main highlights of the week!
Wednesday (10/19) my host parents didn't have work, so we took a trip to the west coast of Jutland. It was very windy and we could pretty much be held up by the wind. The water was nice to see and it was a good day to be there since the weather was a bit wilder because then we got to see the waves. It was somewhat similar to Northern California beaches, but way windier! We also drove through the military base and saw the tanks and trucks returning from practice. Then we went to a small town called Ribe where we ate lunch in a small restaurant that was really just an old house turned into a restaurant. There were I think just 2 different small rooms with tables, so it was very hyggelig (Danish word with no direct translation just cozy, nice as the closest translations). We then went to Ribe Domkirke (Ribe Cathedral), which is very old and famous. It was a beautiful church with a big organ. Then it started raining, so we ran to the car. Then we went to a town and saw a lighthouse and the levee where they had some poles that showed how high the water had gotten during different storms. Then it was off to just past the border into Germany to buy candy, soda, and beer since it is much cheaper in Germany. We stocked up and then headed back to Morud.

Thursday (10/20) was I finally got to go to the foreign service registration place to fill out the papers for my Danish CPR number since my visa paperwork finally came!! Then it was Chris' 12th birthday. We went go karting and then out to dinner at an American restaurant called Bones. During go karting I kind of crashed into the barrier walls a bit, but I was fine it just took a few minutes to get the kart out, but I promised my family I drove much better in a real car. Then I just sort of took it easy driving for the rest of the time we had go karting, so I came in last place, but that's fine with me since I don't want any broken bones! Then we had dinner. It was a really good ribs place. They had a bottle of California wine on the table, co of course that was the wine my host parents had to have ;). Then we went to a candy shop and then headed home where we watched a movie. It was a really nice and fun day.

Saturday (10/22) my whole family came over for Chris' birthday breakfast. There was some of Jytte's family and some of Niels' family. It was nice to meet everyone and we had a delicious breakfast. I had peanut butter on one of my pieces of bread and that started quite the discussion about peanut butter. Then some of the daring family members decided to try it, but no one liked it, they were all pretty grossed out haha.
We watched Bingo Banko also and I was only 4 away from winning, which was pretty close for us, but maybe next time!!

Sunday I can't really remember if I did anything too exciting, but I don't think so.

Then Monday (10/24) I only had 2 classes in the morning, so Jytte and I decided it was kind of pointless for me to get up at 6:30 to go to school for an hour and a half and then have to wait 3 hours for the first bus, so I got to stay home and just sleep and relax, which was nice.

Tuesday (10/25) I had my last soccer practice. It was pretty fun, we just played a mini game the whole time and then some tv station came to film us playing because the town I play in, Veflinge, has to close it's elementary school, so for some reason they are making a video about it and our soccer team got to be in it. Then we had a dinner with the team where we ate burritos (they call them Mexican pancakes here) and played a foosball tournament. It was a  fun way to end the season, but I'm sad I won't be able to see the team very often once I move to Gamborg in around a month.

Then on Thursday (10/27) Alicia and I did our presentation in Danish class on the psychiatric hospital and it went pretty good. Then Alicia and I had decided to carve pumpkins, so I slept at her house that night also. We walked to her new host familie's house with 2 pumpkins, our back packs, and my bag of gym clothes and sleepover stuff, so we must have looked pretty funny. Cadu (from Brazil) also came with us since he is living in Middelfart right now. We had a fun day just hanging out and laughing a lot. We had a delicious dinner with Alicia's host parents who are really funny and nice.  Alicia and my first 4 classes had all been canceled for the next day, so we got to sleep in, which was really nice. Then we made pancakes from scratch while listening to some Danish and Disney music. We also worked on our pancake flipping (without a spatula) techniques, which was really funny and entertaining even though the pancakes got a bit destroyed from being flipped over and over again. Then we went to school to 2 hours and the day was done! Then I went back to Alicia's house and we hung out until her host parents were home. They brought us to a bigger town called Kolding, where we went shopping, but Alicia and I were just feeling really poor and everything was so expensive, so we only bought one pair of shoes each. It was a fun, yet depressing shopping trip just because shops are SO expensive. The cheaper option is H & M, but even that is more expensive than H & M back home. Then I came home to Morud  and it was nice to be home again. We just watched a movie and then I went to sleep!

Saturday (10/29)- My host parents had a party to go to, so Chris and I were home the day, but Jytte's mom and her friend came over for dinner, which was really good and we mostly talked in Danish, so that felt good how much I could understand. Then Chris and I watched Bingo Banko and fell asleep on the couch until my host parents got home.

Monday (10/31) I gave a presentation in Chris' class. He's in 6th grade here and I just spent the whole day at his school. I told about California, the United States, and they asked me LOTS of questions, which were fun to answer and I made brownies for them which they seemed to love. It was interesting just to see how an elementary school is here in Denmark. Then I went to a Rotary meeting that night.

Tuesday: (11/1) I went to the movies that night with Jytte and Chris to see the newest Tin Tin movie in 3D and it was really fun. It was my first time at a Danish movie theater and they are a bit different than American theaters. First of all you get assigned seats (you can decide whether you like the one's they offer you or not), but you have seats you have to sit it. Then you go in and buy food and you just grab what you want, like popcorn is already served in bags and there is no butter popcorn :(, just extremely salty popcorn. It was a fun night even though we got back a bit late.

Wed (11/2): That night I had a Spanish class field trip to a city called Kolding which is on Jutland. it was to go see a movie about abortion and the laws regarding it in Nicaragua. I went there with 2 girl from my class and the Spanish teacher drove us since we live the farthest from school I think and he had room. The first hour and a half was a lecture in Danish on what we were going to see and then there were 3 questions asked (one by a boy in my class named Martin who I know might read this- thanks for continuing my boredom ;) ) and he spent like 10 minutes answering each one, so I was a tad annoyed/bored during that part. Then the movie came and I wasn't sure what language to expect, but it ended up being in Spanish with Danish subtitles and they talked really fast, so I was a bit lost the whole time and I ended up falling asleep for some of it. To my defense I was really tired also, but that was not my favorite movie for sure. Then I got back at 11, which is the latest I have stayed up in awhile. Yes, I know I am like an old lady here, but I get so exhausted every night and my family tends to go to bed earlyish, so hey why not get more sleep?

Thursday (11/3)- I went to soccer. I thought I had gone to the last outdoor practice, but they won their school team soccer game, so they needed to keep practicing. It was good to see them all again and it was a nice practice. Then at the end they completely surprised me with a t-shirt with a picture of the team and I <3 VM Pigerne (Veflinge-Morud girls) on it. I almost cried because it was so sweet. They really made my first months great and fun even though I was pretty new to soccer. They helped me a lot and taught me lots of Danish. I met some of the sweetest people and I hope I will still be able to see them once I move, which is coming so soon!

Friday: I got to leave early from school (missed history- YES!) because I had to go home and pack and then go to the Odense train station to go to the Holbæk for a Rotary get together for the weekend.
I wil write a short post about the weekend late this week since I think and I know all of you do too that this post is WAY too long.

Well there's what I have done! I hope I remembered everything that was important!
Farvel for nu,