Sunday, July 18, 2010

conclusion (?)

I'll start this out with a story.

About 2 months ago I had a goodbye party. I set up a big white tent in my backyard and spent the night out there saying goodbye to my friends and drinking beer until I couldn't really feel sad anymore. By the early hours of the morning all the faces I had come to know and like throughout the year where gone. I still had a week left in Denmark at that point, but for a lot of them, we wouldn't be seeing each other again.
The following night I was at Jason's goodbye party with all the other exchange students from Koege. We met at the station in Greve and walked/road bikes to where the party was. Latter in the week we met up in Solroed, where I had gone to school, and went to the beach there. That was the last time we all hung out together.
Wednesday was St. Hans, the longest day of the year. I went with my host family to a small town in southern Zealand to have dinner by the beach. And Anne and my host mom played the St. Hans song with the band on the beach while we burned a big stuffed witch on a stake. By 11:00pm I was back in Koege again at our beach with Zenia, Simon, Rasmus, and some other friends. We stayed late, and it never really got completely dark out. The next day I watched Denmark loose in soccer with Zenia and Niklas, then said goodbye to them.
The day after that was probably when Anne graduated gymnasium. We all waited out side the door to congradulate her as she finshed her last exam. The next day her whole class came to our house in a giant wagon (a danish tradition) and drank beer for about 15 minutes before hitting the road again.
A lot of little things must have happend between all this but before I knew it, It was time to drive to Copenhagen and say goodbye. Like I had suspected, I couldn't feel it. I don't think they could either. The car ride conversation was normal. We got the the school were I needed to be dropped off and we all sat down and ate the cookies they had sitting there...the table conversation was just like any other... until it really was time to say goodbye. One of the volunteers came around and sad they had to get going. That's when it hit...after we all hugged...after there was nothing for them to do but just walk away and nothing for me to do but just stand there. That's where all the messed up confusion I had for the past week, turned into pain. It was the worst 10 seconds of my life. But probably the most outstanding too.
The camp was strange. It was weird seeing all these kids again. There were only a few out of the 100 something that I saw on a regular basis throughout the year. Most of them I had only seen at camps. I hadn't seen a lot of them for a year, not scenes the arrival camp at the beginning of our big adventure. It was cool seeing how so many of them seemed to have changed so much. and some of them seemed exactly the same. Made me wonder how much I had changed. I feel like I had already left Denmark when we where at the camp, so leaving the camp and heading to the airport didn't faze me that much. It was sad saying goodbye to some of my best friends, but for some reason I didn't feel much of anything that day.
The first plane ride flew by, and feeling the plane land on American ground was a weird feeling. What was weirder was getting off the safety and comfort of my Scandinavian airplane and entering the airport... the real US. It was shocking. Everything was so new to me, I did not feel like I knew this place at all. I remember waiting in the terminal for my next flight, wondering if the girls sitting across from me where speaking english. They were American! Of corse they were! But I couldn't make out half of what they were saying. I couldn't understand half of what anyone was saying.
After two more flights and a lot of hours without sleeping, I had landed in Detroit at about 12 midnight. The place was empty, And I knew that somewhere in there, my family was waiting for me. The family I hadn't seen for 11 months. I walked, then walked faster...then jogged a little, ....and then I saw them. As I was ridding down the escalator they appiered in front of me. My Dad, my mom, my sister, and my twin brother. It was nice...relieving...strange. But not very dramatic. I had run through that scene so many times in my head throughout the year and it was always BIGGER than what it ended up being. It was almost like, the second we were all in the same place again, looking eachother in the eyes again, everything had gone back to the way it was before. Like I had never been gone. We waited for my stuff to come out of the shoot thingy then we drove home, were I saw my two other brothers, my sister-in-law, some cousins, friends, our exchange student and my dog (!)....... I'm sitting here trying to remember how I flet then but I don't really know. I was happy of corse, but among a lot of other things too. tired being one of them.
In a way It didn't take long at all before I felt like everything had gone back to normal. Struggled pretty bad with english for quite a few weeks but besides that It was just kinda, same old same old. It was all pretty refreshing for a while but that only lasted so long. You are so cought up in being home again, that it's not till after that wears off that you truley're gone now...your're not there's over. And that what I've been dealing with for the past month and a half or so.


I havn't blogged for almost 2 months. I don't know If anyone even checks this anymore but writing this has been importiant to me. So I felt it needed a conclusion. Or just a last post becuase there can't really be a conclusion. Everything just keeps going. Parts of Denmark stay with me. My exchange year will coninue to be a big part of my life for a long time. It's made me who I am. When I think about myself at the begining of my exchange year and look at my self now. I see that I've grown up. I've grown up even scenes I've been home. My exchange year was a trial and error period. It gave me the chance to learn so much. Now is the time to apply it.

A high school exchange year will improve you. It will make you work and grow and expierince thing you would'nt be able to in ANY other way. But most of all....It will mess you up. An exchange year will confuse you. It will make you think and it will make you think again. It will make you change the way you think. It will make you're world so much bigger and you're not going to like it. Becuase before you know it, your closest friends will be very far away. You won't know where you belong. But you'll know who you are. And you'll know a lot of stuff other people will never know. And you'll lead a pretty kick ass life from there on out.

Friday, June 25, 2010


It is the end :/ Tomorrow is Saturday and I will be saying goodbye to my host family and be left at the goodbye camp in Copenhagen, then I'm flying out Sunday morning. That means today, Friday, is my final day in Køge. This evening is the last time we eat together, and tonight is the last time I sleep here. I can say that, "this is the last...." over and over again about everything but I know I still don't get it. I probably won't get it until tomorrow, maybe Sunday. We've been so busy with so much stuff here, It just doesn't feel like I'm about to leave tomorrow in the middle of all of it. But my bag's are packed, my walls are empty, and my bedroom looks like a guest room. It's sad.

A lot has happend the last few days, cool stuff I should blog about. But I don't really have the energy to sit and write about all of it now. I'll try to once I'm in the states again.

this is my last post from this country!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Goodbye Party

Once again quite a bit has happend latley. I've been to Copenhagen in the rain...twice, saw "Youth in Revolt", had a picnic, started packing, went to some goodbye parties, and held my own goodbye party on Friday.
It turned out really well. With about 35 of my closest friends out in a giant tent in my backyard:) Anne is graduating this year too, so they are gonna use the tent for her party next week (after I'm gone). My host mom and I were working on "night food" the whole day, rapping weenies in bread doe and making pizzas and cookies. It all tasted really good. It was a realy nice party. My class took turnes giving speaches about me hah. and my host family wrote a song about me! It's a danish tradition when you have a big party for one person. People make them for importiant birthdays, comfermation, and stuff like that. And there was a kid from the musical who came
with his guitar and played while everyone sang. It was fun.

I only have 5 days left now and I can't see myself really having a chance to blog about much. But tonight is our last day of lanuge school/party. I'm finally done, and I just got 12 on my oral exam (which is the best you can get!) That was a good way to end it :) tomorrow is my last exam at the Gymnasium, that one will probably not end to well :/ and on Wednesday I'm going out to eat with my family for St. Hans day. It's the longest day of the summer and in the middle ages they would burn a "witch" on that day. Now we just have a big fire on the beach :) Anne graduates on the 24th, and the 25th is my last full day here in Køge. I'll try to blog one more time before I get home. then I'll write a couple there too.

We are allowed twice as much logage this time. Which is good, I need the space!

Monday, June 14, 2010

tick tick tick...(thats a clock)

Of corse I've been up to a lot this past week :) DK is treating me greatly,..but I find that my adventures might seem slightly repetitive to you guys, and while I could sit here posting a bunch of pictures, telling you about all the stuff that I've been up to and making you jealous, I think I'd rather change it up a little bit.

The ticking is getting louder and louder and it can be pretty annoying. To be honest, even though this year has flown by faster than I can understand...time is going kinda slow now. I'm having so much fun with these last days (less than 2 weeks!) and I'm gonna miss Denmark a LOT.... but becuase I think sooo much about stuff, I think I'm actually pretty mentally prepared to come home. This year has been by far the most progressive year of my life, but It all has to end at some point for it to really mean anything. After months of confusion, not knowing how I really feel about having to go home, I think I've finally figured it out; leaving Denmark is going to be very very sad...but it's not going to be hard for me. I'm gonna be sad leaving Denmark, and the people I've met, but I can deal with sadness. Comming home is going to be amazing.
I remember my first couple months here, were I would sometimes have nightmares about comming home, haha. And they really were nightmares! There was nothing particularly scary about them, I just wasn't ready to go home, at ALL. But for the last few nights I've been having the same types of dream again. My family is all standing there waiting and smiling just like in the old ones... but this time, in stead of thinking, "crap!, no no nono!", I feel the complete opposite. I get the best feeling you could possibly get. And even though I love my life here, and it's generally way more exciting than my life in Michigan... I really just can't wait for that dream to actually happen in real life.
Comming back to my old life is gonna be great. And while I've heard from some past exchange students that it's only good to be back for maybe a week, I don't think it will be the same for me. Now that I've been able to step out of the whole thing and have all this time to look back on it and see it from the outside, I think everything is just gonna be better when I get back. I'm not the same as I was before and I'm glad I get to go back to high school again and use everything I've learned here about people and myself.
The situation of an exchange student is a very unnatural one to be in. And no matter how natural the life you make may seem to feel after 9 , 10, or 11 months, it just isn't. There is always that other life-- your real life, waiting for you over on the other side of the world, and at some point, it will need your attention again. I've embraced my time here so much and I'm going to continue for the next 12 days. But I'm ready to go home. I'm looking forward to it.

Leaving will be sad but not hard, sådan er det bare


- extra crunchy peanutbutter
- sun chips
- cheese-its
- charp cheddar cheese
- onion bagels
- oreos
- root beer
- kool-aid mix
- Garden fresh chips and salsa
- beef jerky
- pizza rolls
- fago water
- V8 splash
.... i'll think of more later :)

See you soon Lucy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The sun is always up.

I have less than 3 weeks left and finally, it seems that summer has started and is staying. And just like in the winter time when it was almost always dark, it is now almost always daylight! It doesn't even get completly dark at night anymore. It looks like late evening at 1 or 2 in the morning and the sun is moving up toward the horizon again by 3. Its bright out at 4.30! It's pretty cool, and the days are just gonna keep getting longer until June 23, the longest day of the year.

I've been up to a lot since the last time I've posted:

Last monday was my last day working "praktik" with all the little kids. We took a field trip to a park a little bit south from Køge, and we just let them run around in the mud all day. It rained the whole time. (the summer I've been talking about hadden't started yet then. haha) We took some of them down to the beach too, which was across the street from the park. They had fun :)

On Wednesday my host dad and I ran in a 5k relay race. There were 4 people on every team and we were on a team with people from his work. It was HOT. I ran a 21 minute 5k which is ok considering I havn't been in full running shape for a year now. I was the last one to run on our team so I got to finish holding a danish flag while I ran in. My host mom came to match is too and she was waving an american flag. haha. After that we went to my host dad's friends house and BBQ'd. That was fun.

On Friday I went to Copenhagen with Jason from France and two of his friends from his class. We hung out by the harbor and went swimming. There were a lot of people there. Copenhagen is one of the only big cities in the world where the water is safe to swim in right in the middle of the city. They duild a swimming area a few years ago with a big giant wooden thing you can jump off off. It was really fun. We bought one of those grills you can use one time and ate hot dogs.

On Saturday my host mom road in a long organized bike ride with her sister and some friends. She's been training for it for a while. The ride starts and ends at the habor in Køge, so every year my host family has dinner at our house after. we were about 20 people. It was another perfect day weather wise.

Simon and I went to a party that night and didn't have much time to sleep becuase we all got up early Sunday morning (My host parents, Simon, and I) to go on a canoe trip with AFS Køge. It was the very last meeting with the Køge group which is kinda sad. But we had a really fun time:) We did the same canoe trip I did with my 10klasse last year, but it was better weather this time. I got burnt! Sunday might have been the last time the 6 of us exchange students were all together at the same time, which is weird. We've all gotten to be really good friends, but in a way, more like siblings or just a family of 16-17 year old exchange students. haha

After our day long canoe trip we all went to a resturant and ate danish food, and AFS paid :)

The last couple days have been pretty normal. I've been studying for my oral math exam which is now tomorrow! I'm going to Copenhagen again on Thursday and parties Friday and Saturday so I'm still keeping busy.

19 days!!!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


The people in Michigan might think they've got weird weather, but It's not even close to as weird and random as it is over here in Denmark. I dont want to talk to much about somthing as boring as weather, but I thought I should let you know that within the past couple of weeks we've finally had some nice hot summer days!!!....and some winter/fall/spring days too, but at least "summer" is in the mix now :) I've finally gotten some color, and we've had days and nights with open windows. And people are wearing shorts! The first hot day of the year was one of our last days of school. I went to the beach with some friends right after class and went swimming!

It wasn't nearly as cold has it was in April! haha. But they hadn't re-built the dock yet and and there was smelly sea-weed stuff that haddn't been taken away yet that went out to about 20m. So I had to crawl/ walk/ swing my way out there.

Last weekend really got me in the summer mood too. We had a family BBQ out in my host dad's sister garden and it was nice and hot that day :) We spent the whole day grilling and playing yard games and drinking coffe with cake (very danish) It might have been the last time I see some of the family too, which is kinda weird to think about. I don't have pictures of that day...

The last school day has now come and gone (over a week ago) and I'm free! Don't be too jelouse. If you can remember, I started about 3 weeks before you guys over in the US. And I still have all my exams to take, and 8 hours of language school every week. But still, it's very weird that it's all over. Im not comming back to that school again next year and I'll never have another school hour with my class. We don't even all come to exams at the same time! It krept up, which is kinda nice becuase I have vacation now, but kinda sad too. I few days ago I had a meeting at the school with the principal and my counselor, and the 2 other exchange students who went to the school. Just kinda a goodbye thing, and we each got some papers documenting that we went there and what classes we had and stuff. So,..thats over with!

This is inside Solrød Gymnasium ("Sun Red High School", haha) my school....that I no longer go to :/

Since Tuesday I've been working in day care, just for something to do haha. It's at the same school as my 10klasse was and the same school Simon goes to now. All the kids I'm working with are 5 or 6 and it's been a pretty interesting excperience. I kinda forgot that I haven't been around kids that ago since..well....I was that age!!! I don't know any little kids and I havn't gone to school with them since 5th grade. haha. (we never saw them in 10 klasse) I don't even see little kids. they're always at home, with their parents, or in school. So it was so weird to me the first day. Seeing the things the find funny or exciting, like stiking their head in and out from around a corner for 5 minutes. haha. It's fun to just watch them with each other too. I would have loved to go to kindergarden/grade school in Denmark. They have so much more freedom! I remember when I used to have resess and the teachers and lunch mom's would ALWAYS be yelling after kids telling them to stop. Here, you don't really stop them unless they're about to kill each other. I was a little confussed at the start. But it seems like we're just there to help them if they get hurt or yell at them if they're hurting someone else. It's their choice if they want to jump off the top of the playground. If they get hurt, we help them out and they learn not to do it again. haha. They have sooo much fun. There are a lot of kids there, and not that many adults but it doesn't seem like it's not enough adults. The kids seem to take care of themsleves more than they generally do in the US, or from what I've seen at least. If the 5 year old spills something at lunch, 4 of them get up, grab paper towel and help clean it up. They're soo much fun to watch!! They other day me and one other adult took about 10 over to another place for lunch (there are over 100 of them all together!) It was just a little walk from the school and they got to go over by a little pond to eat. When they were done eating we set them free and watched them help each other up onto the roof of some shed type thing.haha. Then one of them started chasing a couple of ducks and all the other kids joined in. They ran pretty far away...but then they came back!... FREEDOM is the key. haha

Simons last school day was a week after mine (on thursday) He graduated from 9klasse which is a big deal here becuase in Denamrk you go to the same school all the way up till you're 15-16 (9 klasse is like 10th grade) Some kids top going to school there (kinda like stopping after high school) you could still get a job and stuff. But most kids go on to something else. Simons going to Oregon next year as and exchange student, then to Gymnasium for 3 years like Anne and Anders. Anyway, on the last school day they drees up in weird costumes and run around the school throwing candy. Then they go to the park and drink A LOT and hit eachother with all kinds of weird smelly food.

This is Simon after comming home from his last school day. hah
Anne had her last school day too and she's done with Gymnasium now! But there hasn't been too much celebrating yet, A little bit, but they're not done with exams until the end of June, right when I'm leaving. Thats when all the big party stuff and traditions happen. I'll write about that when It comes.
I've still got 1 day left with all the little kids on Monday and we're going on a feild trip! that'll be fun. (I actually don't know where yet) Also, my first exam is on Tuesday, but it's not a big deal beacuse it's just a written math exam. The ones I'm really nervous for are the oral exams. but once again, I'll talk about those when they come. I'm keeping pretty bussy and the plans just keep rolling in :)....It's scary how "home" I feel here. I didn't think it was possible after just 10 months to feel like I'm home in a completley differn't country. I know I've said I feel home here before but I feel almost like I must have been lying then, when I compair it to how I feel now. I almost want it to stop getting better. It makes it to hard to think about leaving. Thinking about comming home makes me soooooooo happy, but thats completely differn't then thinking about leaving. ...but when I think about this whole "problem" I have, I realise what I nice delema it is to be in; To have two places were you feel at home,.. to have amazing experiences and people you love and in multiple places across the world. It's pretty nice. And life must go on at some point. I'm gonna enjoy what I have here for as long as I have it.
10 months down, and 1 to go.

My favorit Coca-Cola ad in the WORLD!!! haha. I've seen it in a lot of places here. Now that I've been away for such a long time this seems soooo American to me and makes me laugh every time I see it.
Thats all for now :)