Saturday, March 26, 2011

Long time no see...

I realize it's been ages since my last update, but they're not lying when they that the second half the exchange goes by in a blink of an eye. I didn't even realize what month it was, like it's almost April already. I hate looking at calendars, I hate looking in the future. I actaully go out of my way sometimes just so I won't have to know the date and I don't even think it's working to my advantage anyway because when I finally do realize what day it is the time seems like it faster. In the last months, it really seems like my life is just here now. I go to school, see my friends, go to the gym, see my host family, and do it all over again. Everyday is still a learning experience but I don't notice it as much anymore. The months of January and February were kinda the "eh" months of my year so far except for a few really fun a memorable moments. In January I went to Germany with my classmate and his family, I definitely got a new but good experience there. (Sorry, can't really elaborate but it was good and safe, no worries) They are sweetest people ever and I'm really glad they invited me along. February was kind of a downer month. I got really sick and there's no Nyquil or anything here to get you through it, just regular good old bedrest. Which doesn't help at all by the way but I guess what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I didn't have a voice for 3 weeks so it's like, when I finally understand 90% of what's going on I couldn't even talk back. And the worst part is I got sick right before winter break so I missed a whole week of school and then it was winter break and all my friends went skiing. So I was alone a lot, which didn't help. However, Elena, another exchange student from California and I went with my host family to their summer house and we went out that weekend also, so it wasn't all bad. It never is. I've defiitely learned that you just have to try and get over it or things will never get any better. For me, it's just good to find someone to talk to and get through it. Cheesy I know, but seriously! That's all it takes for me.

Keil, Germany

Keil, Germany

Gymfest- Marianne, Me, Anne

Gymfest- Sebastian, Anne, Me, Jonas, Marianne, Julie

March has been really great though! I just got back from a trip to Florence with my school. I traveled with a different class though because mine was going to the US and I'd say that was a good call because I loved every second of it. It was a very good group of kids too and also a good opportunity to meet new people a the gymnasium. It was my friend Anna from Brasil's class and another exchange student from Vennezuela, Maria, went too so it's not like I didn't know anybody which was good as well. We had tons of fun, tons a memories, and tns of execellent food. I'd definitely say the best school trip I've been on in my life. I saw Brunellechi's Dome, the David, and the orginal Birth of Venus not to mention tonsmore culture as well. All four ´Ninja Turtles were born in Forence. (Michealangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rapheal, and Donetello) It was an amazing city, maybe the most beautiful one I have ever been to. It was amazing to hear this beautiful language all the time and also to see all of the beautiful architecture at the same time. Sometimes I would try to just imagine what it would have been like during the birth of the rennissaince but of course within the sight of iphones and cars and modern clothing I would be instantly back into the 21st century. I can honestly say that there is nothing that I didn't like about thi trip, absolute perfection!

Brunellechi's Dome

Me, Maria, Anna

Ate this everyday.

The David in all his naked glory.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dreaming of a white Christmas...

Actually, I HAD a white Christmas which I'm very appreciative of because I've never experienced one before! Christmas is Denmark is so lovely. I wish I could come here every year and take my family with me and celebrate here. The Christmas spirit is truly here. As there are some similarities to the Christmas I'm used to, there are many differences as well. For instance, Christmas is not just the 24th and the 25th of december, it's the entire month. Most of the important things happen on the 24th though. With my host family, we first went to church then came home relaxed a little and started cooking. For dinner there was duck, lots of potatoes, and some other vegetables. For dessert we had rice pudding with a cherry sauce which is so delicious! And if you find the almond in the pudding then you win a special gift, and I got it! (And no it wasn't a set up because I'm foreign, I actually won it fair and square.) After dinner we all gathered around the tree and danced around it and sang songs. This was really strange for me, but it was really nice! Here, they open presents on Christmas Eve as well. I especially like that tradition. ;)

On Christmas day, my host dad, mom, brother and I all went outside in the snow after breakfast. (I made them an American pancake breakfast by the way). My host dad had attached a sled to a motor bike, it was so much fun! There are no hills in Denmark so you kinda have to get creative when you wanna sled. It was a relaxing day of just enjoying your time together with family.

I had a great Danish New Year's Eve as well. First, I watched the annual speech the Queen gives every New Year's Eve and ate a little bit before going to my classmate's house for a party. It was the most fun New Year's I have had in a long time!

The new year has started off great, still love it here and I have still only been homesick one time. I'm actually more sad that I'm leaving sooner and sooner. I really hate thinking about it, it will be soo hard to leave this place. I'm seriously considering coming back and going to school here because I love living here and I love speaking and learning Danish. The way of life here is great and I'm incredibly satisfied. I almost wish I didn't like it this much so it would be easier to leave.

Anways, that's all for now...

Vi ses næste gang!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

So, I realize it's been too long since I last blogged but gimme a break man, it's good to be busy. I'll start by mentioning how great Denmark usual. It's called the "happiest country on earth" for a reason. Sometimes I just get really jealous when I see a perfect Danish family with their perfect Danish children on the perfect Danish street they live on. I mean, it seems like nothing bad ever happens here. They use stories from the US on their ews because they don't have enough to talk about here sometimes. I kind of want to stay here forever, but don't worry folks back home, it's not possible right now.

Since the last time I wrote, I have been to Oslo, Norway with my language school. It was absolutely gorgeous but insanely expensive. I didn't buy anything but a post card and seigemenn, or more commonly known as sugar ladies ( which are the greatest candy of all time). We went to a few parks, walked around the city a bunch and we also went to the Nobel Peace Center which was amazing. It was really nce to sight see and experience a different Scandinavian culture and language, which I surprisingly can understand a little bit of. We also went there by boat, which was a cool experience as well.

Next, I went to Copenhagen with my host mom and host sister. It was so nice of them to take me and I really enjoyed it. We went shopping and sight saw. I also got to see Prince Frederick from his balcony! My host mom said it was a big deal, she'd never seen him before either so I felt lucky. My host family also made a Thanksgiving dinner, well as thanksgiving as it could get. It was a Danish style Thanksgivng so it was extra special. It was a really nice way to end my stay with them, it's crazy how much you can grow to love complete strangers after only 4 months. It was very sad leaving their house, but it's a good thing to change. I have been living with my new family now for almost 3 weeks and they are so sweet! They live on a grain farm which is totally different for me, especially because I have lived in cities my entire life. It's really nice though, I'm having a great time!

It snowed the last week in November and as annoying as it can be sometimes, it's so beatiful and I really do like it! It's so weird for me to be living in a place that snows, I come from a desert so I've never even really seen it before. It is so "hyggeligt", unfortunately there's no English translation for this word that describes it perfectly but the best words are nice, cozy, or lovely. I think we need to adapt this word asap. I am really hoping for a white Christmas this year, although apparently it doesn't happen very often in Denmark, the snow is already disappearing. Dansh Christmas is SO nice though. I'm loving every second of it. It's really not about the gifts or cooperate marketing in this country. There aren't any more sales in the stores than there normally would be and it really seems to be about being with family and friends and enjoying the time you have together. And the food is delicious.

That's all for now folks,

Lots of love and merry Christmas!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's been a while..

So sorry I haven't updated for a while. I have been so busy, which is good right? I've been here now for 2 and a half months and I'm still not homesick. (I hate to admit it but it's true, sorry America!) I really feel like I'm meant to be here, like this is where I'm supposed to be. I love Denmark and I think it will be really hard to leave this beatuiful country. It's autumn now, Denmark is the most beatuiful place to be this time of year. The weather is only crappy sometimes but on a clear day it looks amazing! The leaves are changing color and falling, it's especially nice in Silkeborg by the lake. I'll have to take a picture before it starts getting dark and depressing in the winter time. Ha, just kidding...kind of.

Anyways, so this past month I have been to Legoland with another exchange student and her family. It was so kind of them to take me and it was so much fun! I really loved it. It was so awesome to go the Legoland in the country where Legos were invented. (Yes, they really were invented here.) Besides that, I have just been really busy with school. I do all of the English assigments and I even had to present a powerpoint about the US economy for my Social Studies class, which wasn't very easy. "Well, our economy sucks because we spent more money then we had. 13 trillion dollars to be exact. Any questions?" It actually went really well thouugh so yay me! Moving on, my class is so much fun and I'm not trying to be a suck up if any of you are reading this, but I really do have the best class at the gymnasium! They really are so sweet. I should probably mention my math class because everyone seems to think it's so funny. One day I was sitting in class not understanding a single thing, as usual, and I asked, "Man, what is this?!" and my classmate was like, "Rocket science." And I was like, "Pshhh, that's funny." and he said, "No seriously." So I asked the teacher and turns out it was rocket science. In Danish. Definitely not what I signed up for. I basically don't stand a chance in that class. Bu oh well! There's always English class! I went to Århus with a very nice boy from my class and his friends from Germany. I really needed some "cheap" winter clothes and the big cities are the only place to go to find them and it was a success so I'm happy. Found a coat and some boots and I think I'm ready to not die this winter. I hope. We also went to a "bazar" which is a big middle eastern market where everything is really cheap as well. It was right up my ally, I really love ethnic places like that. It really reminded me of Morocco too. Then I got to go to an authentic Scandinavian IKEA. So lovely and I was so happy. Everyone who knows me knows that if there are 2 things I love in this world it's cheap things from other countries with Arabic music and a good furniture store!

I'm very excited because now we are on our fall break and and it has been a good start so far. There have been 2 birthdays in my host family and Danish birthdays are always the best. There is so much food and music and it is very nice. I'm also going to Oslo, Norway and then I will be going back to Fur for a few days with my host family! So fun and so nice.

Well I think that's almost everything. Actually, it probably isn't but I kinda gotta get off the computer now so farvel for now!

Jeg elsker dig og jeg savne dig!

Check out the pics from all these exciting events on my facebook!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ikke Mere Engelske

No more English for me accept of course when I'm blogging or else you folks back home would never understand! So I finally got smart and decided that the only way I'm gonna learn this crazy language is if I just stop speaking English. It's going to be so difficult not speaking it. I guess the saying "You don't know what you got until it's gone" is true. I'm going to miss you've gotten me so far in life but no offense, you're really slowing me down here! Actually English, you really suck. I blame American education for this right now. If we were forced to be bilingual at an early age then learning a 3rd language would be so much easier but nooo. We can only learn English because that's the American way. Ick! Well that's just sad but I guess that's exactly why I signed up to be an exchange student in the first place. Also in case ya'll are wondering about the weather. It's not that great. In fact 2 weeks ago it rained 5 days in a row. I was considering building an ark. But it's been getting better! You still never know when it's gonna get freezing or rain out of no where though. So watching the weather channel is basically pointless. I really think I could get a job as a meteorlogist here because all I would have to say everyday is, "It's probably gonna rain and it might be cold. But then again you never know.." Okay anyways, I think I've ranted enough, now time to talk about the good things!

I went to a party with my class which was SO fun. Everyone is so happy and excited about everything and there is so much food! Actually, everyone wanted me to bring American food and I was like, "Well...what do you want me to do? Stop at McDonalds?" Yeah..not so easy to do here. So I ended up making Mexican food. (Hey, Arizona is close to the Mexican border!) I made quesadillas with homemade salsa because quite frankly, Danish people don't know what salsa is so it was just easier to make it. And they really seemed to like it. Yay! I was afraid it was gonna have too much flavor for them to handle. (Seriously, Danish food could use some Tapatio sauce every once in a while!) I feel bad about being vegetarian sometimes of them wanted me to try their pizza because it supposedly was the best pizza ever, even better than American pizza but it had meat all over it so it was kind of a bummer. I always find myself saying, "Sorry, if I try your food I'll die, but it looks great!" Ugh. Oh well, that's the way it goes sometimes I guess. It ain't easy being green.

So um, I guess that's all I have to update you with. So farvel for now!

More pics uploaded on the FB! Sheck em' out if you have the time. (And I'm assuming you do because you just took the time to read this.)

Vi ses!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A whole new world

I have officially been in Denmark 1 month now and it is so awesome! It truly has been the best month of my life. Let me bring you up to speed, I have started school at Silkeborg Gymnasium and went to the Rotary Introcamp. Danish school is so awesome! I really do love it and the teachers and students are so friendly. Yes, all of my classes are in Danish and I can't understand a single thing but my classmates are really cool about translating when they can. I'm taking English and Spanish so I know I'll be able to pass at least 2 out of 7 classes. Everyone is pretty outgoing for the most part so it been easy making friends as well. I really don't feel that out of place besides the fact that I can't speak Danish yet. My class is taking their trip to the US though so that's a huge bummer because I can't go and the class trip is supposed to be part of the whole experience. Although, I am trying to go with a different class to London so I really hope that works out! The thing that really made me feel like I belonged was the "pep assembly". It was actually nothing likea pep assembly at all. Pretty much everyone stood up, sang Beatles songs, and hugged all the new students. That was my first "Wow, I freaking love this place!" moment. I felt so at home. Man, I should have been born in this country!

I just got back fromt the Rotary Inrocamp and that was pretty fun but I have to say I was a little home sick for Ry and my school. It really was a bummer I had to miss an entire week of school to go to this camp. But I think it was worth it because I had a really awesome Danish teacher and I learned a hell of a lot. I also made a lot of new friends from around the world so that's pretty awesome as well. We took some trips to see Viborg and Århus. It was really nice to get out and explore some Danish cities with my friends! Viborg is a really cute little town up north where we went and got hot chocolate and Danish chocolate and pastries. Mmmmmm. We did a little shopping and saw the Viborg cathedral  as well. Then we went to Århus which is the second biggest city in Denmark. It was such an awesome city. We went to the Aros art museum which I LOVED. It was so interesting to see some modern Danish art and some really interesting takes on the concept of  "love" which I like to call "artistic pornography". This month's exhibit was called "I Love You" which seriously was so graphic. Honestly though, as uncomfortable as it was sometimes, it was kind of refreshing in a way to see that the Danes can just take sex and love for what it is and appreciate it in an artistic way. These art peices would never fly in the US, let's just leave it at that. Anyways, after the museum we just had some more free time and it was a great day. The camp overall was really good, we saw a Danish film (also pretty graphic because people just don't give a shit here), had a huge bon fire, and just hung out. Then on the last night we through a huge party with music and dancing and it was SO much fun. Just imagine 150 exchange students in a room dancing. It was insane.

I think maybe you should learn some Danish words that I'm probably gonna start saying a lot:

Jeg elseker dig = I love you
Farvel = Good bye

Also, don't be afraid to check out the photos on my facebook! (They're kind of a pain in the ass to put on here.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Downtown Ry
What I see when I wake up every morning.

T-t-t-t-today junior!

So learning Danish is very difficult but I think when I finally get the hang of it, it will be so worth it because it is such a cool language. And even though everyone here in Denmark can very easily speak English they don't. Ever. And that is frustrating sometimes but I think it's better this way because it will help me learn faster. As of my first week I have learned how to count to 100, say the days of the week, name most colors and name most things in a kitchen. Not too shabby I'd say. My host mom and sister got some children's books from the library so I could start learning how to read Danish. I felt like a little kid and it was so embarassing but I think I'll look back on it and realize how funny and cute it is. We got Alice in Wonderland, Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles, Bananas in Pajamas, Hansel and Gretel, and a popular Danish book. My host mom literally sat down with me and read me a story. It really is helping though which is so good. But I am having so much un here. So far my family has taken me to the North Sea, a few cities in Northern Jutland and I have seen the entire island of Fur which I don't think very many exchange students get to do. Yesterday I went to the Skanderborg Musik festival with my host sister which was so much fun. I had the opportunity to check out some Danish music and meet some people from the school I'll be going to in a week. And for once in my life, I'm actually excited to go to school! Hej hej for now!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is this new kind of music?

  Hej! Finally I am in Denmark and it feels amazing! My trip was problem free (thank jebus). I had a 6 hour layover in Copenhagen though, which was SO boring when you're by yourself. You can only look in the shops so many times before the workers start to look at you weird (or weirder than when you first walked in because I was wearing my Rotary blazer). I finally arrived in Ry, at midnight and my host family was very welcoming. Their house is so beautiful. When I woke up the next day and looked out my window, I was so shocked (because remember, I arrived at midnight so it was too dark to see anything the night before). It is so green, and there are so many trees and a windmill and there were sheep grazing in the hills (Now that's something to see Mr. McKinny!). It was like a movie or a painting or something. I still can't even believe that this is where I live now. My first day, my host sister, Mette, took me around Ry and that only took about 10 minutes honestly. It is a very small town and there are no stop lights. Crazy!

 I have been here 3 days now and it has been so interesting to say the least. My host family lives in a town called Ry, which is about an hour away from the second biggest city in Denmark, Aarhus. Ry is not pronounced "rye" but more like "oui" but it comes from the back of your throat. It's kind of weird, which brings me to my next thing, learning Danish. It is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. This language is very confusing, very different, and very hard to learn if you're not Danish. But despite all that, I think I've made a lot of progress in only 3 days. Or at least, that's what my host parents are telling me. Yesterday I went with my host family to an island called "Fur" which is about 2 hours away in Northern Jutland. We went to their Grandpa's 80th birthday party (which is apparently a big deal in Denmark). There were a lot of people from all over Denmark and even from Norway. And no one could speak English. That made things a little difficult for the American exchange student. I couldn't really talk to anyone, just a few people who could speak a little English but not much. It was a very interesting and difficult day. Fur is such a beatiful island and we are staying in my host family's summer home that they built themselves so it is very special. The back yard is green hills that over look a fjord! It's pretty freaking awesome. Life is good.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Only 2 more days...

Finally it's almost here! Only 2 more days before my life changes forever! After some last minute advice from my counsellor and support of my friends and family, I feel more ready than ever to take on the biggest adventure of my life.