Monday, August 31, 2009

Køge Festuge

Køge festuge translates to: Køge party week. I wrote a little about it the last time a blogged but let me start by saying things have been a little crazy sence Wednesday. Our house has been like a bed and breakfast. I havent been able to keep track of who's who is sleeping here. There were extra people for breakfast every morning. Anne had 2 friends sleep here Wednesday night so they were here Thursday morning. Then on Thursday the Germans came. It was 2 men, not kids (thats what I wrote in my last post), and they were here to perform at Køge Festuge. They were in the band with mor and Anne. (orcestra) They stayed here Thursday, Friday...and maybe Saturday night, I can't remember. And we also had 2 other Danes who were in the band stay here on Friday and Saturday night. Dinner at night was crazy! Mor warned me that she wouldn't be talking to me much becuase she had to speek German to the Germans and she couldn't do 2 foreign languages AND Danish all at the same time. But I talked with the others so we had 3 languages going at the same time at the same table every night! Now THATS what I came here for!...haha. It was fun.

In the midst of all this, we were all very busy. After I got home from my trip on Wednesday, Simon and I went down town to Køge Festuge. Every night a differnt Danish band performed for FREE in the town square. They had the town square closed to cars and there was a huge stage set up in the middle. There was also a moon walk, and Euro-bunjy, and a bunch of food and beer tents. But we had school the next day so we didn't stay to long.

On Thursday I had a full day of school with language school in the evening so I didn't get to go down town, But we went on Friday! There was a huge Danish pop band playing and their consert was really elaberate and....POPy. It was fun. I danced with a drunk Asian women :)

On Saturday morning Simon, far, and I went to an AFS picnic for the AFSers in and around Køge (there are only 6 of us). It was nice to see some of the kids from the arrival camp again and to see how they were doing. The park we went to had a bunch of middle age Danish games. We had a guy show us how to play them all. They were....pretty interesting, but we had a lot of fun together. After, we had tea and cake and coffe (very danish). We all desided we were gonna meet up that night at Køge Festuge. AQUA would be playing! "I'm a barbie girl...." I went with Simon first and we met up with some of the same people from Friday. Then all of us went to meet the other exchange students: Andy from the US, Lenart from Germany, and Jesper from Denmark( he had been on exchange in Argentina). The town square was more crowded than It had been all week. People came from all over the place to see AQUA!

kind of a bad picture....

After the concert we were herded over to harbor for fireworks! It was a great finale to an awesome "party week" in Køge and I was tired!....among other things.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Week (condensed)

Hey. This week went by pretty fast. It's Wednesday and the last time I blogged was Wednesday. I had a really fun week. Here it is, condensed: WEDNESDAY: So after I blogged I rode my bike to the train station to meet my class. We took the train into Copenhagen then switches onto a metro sytem thats only about 5 years old so it was really nice and "high tech" looking. We took that to this new area in Copenhagen were all the buildings are really modern looking. We went to this big outdoor sports place in the middle of it all. The coolest thing there was this big cement playground. haha. Thats not really what it was but I forget the name of it now, but your supposed to jump from one thing to another like an urban monkey! haha

After that we went to the biggest mall in Denmark, Feilds. It's in the same area and also very new. I didn't buy anything there but I got a taste of how expensive things can be here. No pictures of that. After the trip I went to the beach with Simon and some of his friends and we got giant ice cream :) no pictures of that either.

THURSDAY: As far as I can remember thursday was just another day. I went to school during the day and had language school at night, which is somthing I havent talked about yet. Every Tuesday and Thursday I ride my bike to the language school and have class from 5:20 to 9:00. It's long! But ts been really helpfull. There are 7 people in my class. 3 of us are exchange students with AFS and the rest are adults who have moved to Denmark. I'm always starving when I get home.

FRIDAY: On friday I went to school 8 to 9:45. haha. We got off really early. So I went back to bed when I got home. Then I think I got up and studied my Danish. After that Simon and I went to Rasmus' house (one of Simon's friends) We ended up staying the night and we watched the Extended Edition of Gladiador. It was really, really long.

SATURDAY: Hey, so I forgot to mention that earlier in the week I got invited to a party on Saturday! A girl in my class, Stina, who lives in Herfølge invited me. Ya! So I left Rasmus' around noon and I went with Anne to buy some beer for this party. It's so weird that I can just go buy alcohol now. haha. After that me, Anne, and Rasmus went to watch Simon play soccer. I think they won 12-1. haha. They did good. Anne was having a party of her own at home that night. Mor and Far were in Germany and sense I wasn't going to be home, Simon could have some friends over too. Anne kept her party down stairs and we stayed up stairs mostly. After we ate, Philip, from my class came over. We hung out with Simons friends for a little while then the two of us left and took the bus to Herfølge, were Stina lives.... And well....I had a really good time.

And just for the record I think I was very safe. I dont want anyone back home worrying that I'm gonna get into trouble this year now that I have this freedom. Denmark is a safe place, the buses are safe, the people I'll be with are safe, I'm smart, and I wont do anything illegal. If I do mess up, then I'll learn from it. But I dont plan on messing up so don't worry ;)

SUNDAY: On Sunday morning I was back home, but not in bed. There was still a party here till around 5. Woowhoo. I slept a few hours, and the rest of the day was kind of a blur.....

MONDAY: On monday morning my class left for a canoe trip! We had so much fun, and I learned so much Danish. We took the school bus somewhere south of Køge and set up camp. On monday we just played some games and cooked some food. It was nice.

TUESDAY: On Tuesday we got up early and got in the river! We canoed most of the day and stopped for lunch about half way. When we ended we were in Næstved. A town in southern Zealand. From there the bus took as back to camp and we made dinner again. It was a fun day...with a lot of splashing and crashing.

WEDNESDAY: Today, havn't done much. We got up and took down camp. We were out of there pretty early but I did manage to get my face and hair lit on fire this morning befor we left. We were making a camp fire and someone thru some lighter fluid type stuff in it. It exploded right in my face! It didn't hert. It was actually pretty funny, but the front of my hair is all singged now so I'm gonna need a hair cut. haha. Of course by the end of a trip like that, no matter how fun, your ready to go home. Your ready to take a nice long shower and sleep in your own bed. The cool thing is, that for me, that place was my home here, in Køge! and it feels good to be home.

THE NEXT FEW DAYS: So, "Køge Fest" I haven't talked about this yet but it started in my town while I was gone. It's a series of free concerts and parties in the town square this week. There's a concert every night of the week. I might go tonight. Everyone say's the good stuff starts on Tursday but I'll have language school. So I'll for sure go on Friday and Saturday. Aqua is playing on Saturday!!! haha. You know the song: "Barbie Girl" ??? Thats them. haha. They're gonna be playing in the street, just a few blocks from my house, so that'll be fun :D
Also we're having 3 German kids coming to stay with us tommorow (?) I dont know how long they're staying and I can't say I remember why, and there's no one here to ask, but...that should be fun :)...This has been a long blog post, I hope it wasnt boring. bye!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It's 8:00 on a Wednesday morning and my class is going to Copenhagen today, but I don't have to be at the train station till 9. So I thought this would be a good time to write about Køge, my new home :)

I really love it here. The houses are really cool, the town square is just a few blocks from my house, and we have two good beaches that you can easily bike too, and yes, they bike everywhere here. To work, to school to the grocery store, to the beach....I really like that. People don't have to be motivated to do it. It's just the way things are.

One thing that was very different was my room... and the size of my bed. Which is about a 3rd of the one I have at home. haha. But I've gottin used to it and I actually like my little room.

The town square is sooo cool. I can't believe I'm living in a place like this. Køge is the home of the oldest dated building in Denmark. so ya...all the buildings are really old. I love it. It's like a mini Copenhagen. With all the colors and little windows and crooked red roofs and cobblestone streets :) It's nice...

One of the coolest things about living in Køge is being right on the Sea. I've been going to the beach with Simon (my host brother) and his friends whenever we have a chance. We swim, play vollyball, buy icecream, and do what people normally do on beaches...except we're not on vacation! I love it.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting used to school

So I'm finally kind of all cought up with this thing. I've been sitting at the computer scense I got home from school and I've done every post scence "New York" in one sitting. It was wierd to start school at the begining of Auguest becuase If I was back home, I would'nt be starting till about A week into September. So this really is the middle of the summer for me. But luckly my school is very interesting to me so I would much rather go there then sit at home:)
I'm in what they call here 10th grade. And yes I would be in 11th at home in the US but things are very differnt here. The kids in the 10th grade are 16 like me or turning 16 soon. And my school starts with very young kids. What we would call pre-schoolers :) It's really wierd to see little kids running around when my class is taking thier smoke break. And yes, we have random 10 minute breaks in the middle of the day were I would say at least 50% of my class go smoke a cig. 10th grade is opptional here. You go to "grade school" until 9th grade (our 10th) then everyone does somthing different: you could start at a business school if you know thats what you want to do. You could stop going to school. You could go to a boarding school and specialize in a specific type of education. You could start at gymnasium (upper high school/collage type thing. 3 year program) you could be an exchange student. Or if you feal that you realy arn't ready to do any of those thing yet, you go to 10th Grade. So it might sound like a place for kids who just want to slack off but It's really not. It's just a bunch of kids who dont know what they want to do yet.
In the 10th grade you choose a "line" which is like a path of study. And two days out of the week your scedual is based around that thing. I chose sport. Not very academicly challenging but hey, I don't speek Danish. You do a lot of fun things with you line and go on trips. This winter I'll be going skiing in Austria with the sports line in my school! And I also might spend a week in Holand, going to school there:) So cool!
On the other school days I stay in one room with the same 30 people. Every hour or so a differnt teacher will come in and teach us a new subject. The scuduel is differnt every day of the week and some days I get out as early as 11:20. And I get out at 12:45 every Friday! It's great. I got out at 1:30 today.
As an exchange student I like having one class. We'll really get to know each other. I've been there for a week now so I have aquaintances but I'm still working on actuall friends. haha. Being with the same people all day makes it a lot easier.
So...this is probebly a pretty confusing and misspelled blog post but I'm not gonna go into any more detail. I'm done with this for now. But I'll make a blog about my town soon. I went around and took a bunch of pictures the other day so I'll put those up within the week. I'm going to Copenhagen with my class on Wednesday, so that'll be fun. I'm doing great! I love it here....bye.

My First Week

So I don't know if I mentioned this already but my host family wasnt in Denmark when I got there. They were in the USA ironically enough. And whats even crazier as that they were in a city in Ohio thats only about 2 hours from my house in Michigan. So they got to visit my family! Which is crazy becuase they were meeting my family before I even met THEM. And this was on the day the arrival camp ended, so I was picked up by Christian, a cousin, and he took me to his house where I met his wife Lee and their one year old little girl.
We had a very Danish dinner there and my oldest host brother Anders came. He left the States early becuase he had to come back and take a test. He doesn't live at home. He's a student in Copenhagan. He took me to Køge (my new home) and I hung out with him for the rest of the week. We road our bikes around town and he showed me all the cool places. Then one day we went to Copanhagen, the capital, were Anders lives. It was a lot of fun. It all looked so old and European. I met one of Anders's friends and we hung out in a big park.

The coolest thing we did in Copenhagen was going to Christania. It's within the city but it's actually not even part of Europe. It was "conquered" by hippies a while back and people are free to sell and smoke pot on the streets, and they don't all pay Danish taxes. Its a really cool looking place. Everything is painted, or spray painted with bright colors and the houses are mostley "home made." Takeing pictures was forbiden on the main streets but I got some good pictures of some less crazy areas.

At the end of the week, Anders an I went to the airport to pick up my host family. Which is kinda a wierd way of meeting your host family, picking them up at the airport after you've already been living in thier house for a week. But I was really happy to have finally met them. After that Anders left, I started to settle in with my family, and before I knew it: the first day of school....

Arrival Camp

Ok so, arrival camp: It was so much more fun than I thought it would be. We arrived very early on Friday morning and I was very jet lagged. For us it was about 2am, but we had a whole day in front of us, and I was determined to stay up all day to get myself on Danish time. The 6 of us from the USA were the first to arrive in the morning. So we spent most of that day just sitting around and meeting everyone as they came in. We were also supposed to prepare some kind of entertainment to share with everyone the US culture...but we were very tierd...We should have come up with somthing better.
By the end of the day there were 160 somthing kids from 33 differnt countries! It was crazy. We all ate together. Then it was time for the US kids to share with everyone the entertainment we were working on all day!...we really didn't have anything. haha. We each just talked a little bit about the state we came from...tried to be funny. It was really lame. But it got so much better from there!
The next two days we spent all of our time making friends with people from all over the world. I learned soooo much about everything (especially Denmark) The whole camp was in English. And just incase you didn't know: EVERYONE speaks it. I feel so lucky to have it as my first language but at the same time I feel so worthless just speeking one. Well, that'll change soon enough.
The camp was hosted entierly by young people. I thought that was really cool becuase they had all been on exchange pretty recently. They were really helpfull. We learned sAdd Videoome Danish, ate Danish food for breakfast, lunch. and dinner. And we sat there and listend to the Danish leaders speaking Danish to each other...very fun.
At the end of each day, the 6 of us from the US would have wierd accents. It was a mix of New Zealand, and some english as a second language type thing. It was kind of annoying, but at the same time amusing. I had no idea accents could rub of that quickly. and then I'd be speaking normaly by morning...kind of.
So even though this camp bound as to the grounds of a random grade school in a suburb of Copenhagan. And even though we had to sleep on the floor every night with a bunch of people we didn't know, and even though we were all extremely jet lagged. I think it was one of the best experiences I've had so far....ever. It was a big celebration. Each and every one of us was alone, but we were all together, and we were all FINALLY in Denmark!!!!

New York

Hey! So I haven't even really started this blog yet and I'm already behind. I'm in Denmark! and I'm pretty much settled in. I've been living here for more than two weeks now! Sense I have so much to write I decided I would break this up into separate posts. Starting with New York: It was amazing! I've wanted to go there for such a long time.

We drove from Michigan. It was Me, my brother Mike, my sister Amy, and my mom :) It took us about 10 hours to get there. But It flew by for me. I had already said goodbye to half my family and I only had a few days left with the rest of them. The whole New York trip went by in a second. But it was really memorable. We drove through mountians on the way over... out the back window...

Me and Mike...
So we got to New York late on monday night, but we were hungry so we walked from our Hotel to a little pizza place and had some real New York pizza. It was delicious. mmm. peperonie and grease :)
Then for Tuesday my mom got us tickets for a bus tour called "On Board New York". It was perfect. We only hade one full day in the city and that was a great way to see everything. I recomend it if your going to New York for the first time. We saw so many places and it was over by 3pm!

My first view of Manhattan, right off the subway...

The Statue of Liberty...
Theatre is one of my favorit things, so of course I wanted to see a show. We didn't get tickets for anything in advance so I was going to try to find some rush/last minute tickets with my mom. Mike and Amy decided they wanted to go to some comedy show so It was just me and mom:) I wanted to try to get into "Next to Normal" It's a new musical that I've heard a lot about, and it has awesome music. But when we got to the box office they were sold out...and so was Billy Eliot...Shrek...and basiclly every show I had in mind.
So we were walking down the street and we passed the marqui for "In the Heights" A modern musical I had never really heard much about except that it won "best musical" last year, and a buch of other awards. As we walked by they told us to fill out these forms to try and get front row seat for $25 dollars (and for those of you who dont know thats about 80% off!)The drawing was at 5. It was 4:56. I quickly filled out the form, put my name in the bin, they took the bin, and pulled my name!!! 2 front row seats to the best musical of 2008!!! what luck.
We were literaly right under the actors. I could feel the spray from their spit! It was amazing. And it was a really crazy show. It was so differnt. They were rapping and dancing and the music was sooo pictures though :) that would be illegal. Look it up.

Time Square at night...

My mom and I after the show.
So the next day, Wednesday, is the day I would say goodbye to my family. My AFS orientation started at 3pm at some private Collage in Queens. We managed to take the subway to central park before I had to go. It was so hot out!
After that, I took all my stuff and we drove to my orientation site. It was so wierd saying goodbye, but I was really excited. The orientation started that evening and went on through Friday. We left for the airport on friday afternoon. There were only 6 of us. Me, from Michigan, a girl from Alaska, a girl from Cunneticut, A guy from California, a guy from Wisconsin, and a guy from NY.....And we were off!