The Adventure (Denmark 13-14)

The Adventure of a Lifetime. Rotary Youth Exchange to Denmark, 2013-2014

Ch. 11: The truth about leaving.

Honestly: It sucks- and there’s no better way to say it. I’m not talking about the cliché leaving-home-going-to-the-big-city kind of thing. I’m talking about leaving your life behind. Your friends, your family, your school. The places that make you happy, and the memories that make you sad. The things that make you feel like your still young and innocent, and the feeling of falling in love- with anything and everything.

I’m talking about leaving yourself behind.

The worst part of leaving is that somewhere along the way- you get addicted. As much as you hate the tears and the heart-wrenching pain, you can’t help but be drawn in. As much of you leaving causes you to leave behind, your always left with a promise of something better -something new, and just enough of your heart solid enough to believe it. Inside of all of us, there’s a little girl who grew up too quickly with too much at stake. All that girl ever wanted was to please, and please no one more than herself, she wanted to be perfect. Starting over where no one knows your name- you get the chance to change everything. All of the mistakes you made, the parts of you you don’t like- poof! A snap of your fingers and they’re gone. Your promised a second chance- if only you’re brave enough to take it.

The problem is, we can never get it right.

We’re humans, that makes us incapable of perfection by default. Everything we unconsciously strive for is unattainably out of reach. We try and try to no prevail. We give our all- one-hundred and ten percent only to discover that the only thing we’re fighting for is a lost cause- and we’d give anything to try it over again. So we do, we leave- over and over, cradling the naïve girl who clutches to the fraying rope of a long gone promise, hoping with every atom we’re made of that she was right.

And one day she will be.

The day will come and go in a blink of an eye. It’s not until you’ve left that you realize you’ve come as close as you’ll ever be. Everything you had- everything you were was one stroke from perfection and a shade away from being everything you dreamed. On this day you will wake up and and nothing will different. And on that tomorrow you will wake up and nothing will be the same. Your heart will ache with a dull fire that can only be describes as the as the ache of missing- needing what is, but soon will be once was. Your mind will be lost in the yesteryears of today.

Once it’s gone, it’s too late.

There’s no going back, just like always. And so are the rules in life. Yet you can’t help long for what you unknowingly chose to loose, so we leave again. Praying that you just may get lucky and find yourself where you left her.

DSC_0083

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Leave a comment

Ch. 10: Llévame de vuelta a España (Take me back to Spain)

Hello Everybody! I hope you had a wonderful winter despite all the snow and cold, and I hope spring is treating you well!  I know this blog is a long time in coming, but better late than never? It was been a very different winter for me, the temperature mostly staying around 1 or 2 degrees, and only having snow for 2 weeks! It rained a lot in the winter and was overcast all the time, so we literally never saw the sun… Now, it is almost summer, with green grass and flowers, and some days even being warm enough to tan, but it was nice to take a break from the cold when I went with my host family for a week to Grand Canaria, Spain, for our winter vacation in February. Grand Canaria is the biggest island in the Canary Islands, a group of islands owned by Spain that lay off the west cost of Morocco, Africa. It was a wonderful vacation, sunny and warm the whole time! We spent mornings going for walks or lying in the sun, afternoons shopping or seeing little towns and harbours, and evenings eating good food and taking in the local night-life. And of course we went to the beach and swimming in the Atlantic ocean (it wasn’t even cold!!) I got to try traditional Spanish food like Paella and Sangria (Both so good!) and a lamb stew I cant remember the name of…  We also found a restaurant that became our favourite, called Café Opera. They had live shows every night, really good coffee and ice cream and really fun friendly waiters. The show one night was traditional Spanish Flamingo dancers, which was really cool to see, they had bight colours, fans and the little clapper things for their hands and everything. Since we were in Spain, I got to try speaking Spanish. I have little to no Spanish experience, but was still able to talk to a man who didn’t speak English and understand his directions to our hotel when we were lost the first night there.  I also learned a little German, because we stayed in a German hotel, so the staff only spoke German or Spanish, and heard a lot of Swedish or Finnish because Playa des Ingles, the town we stayed at is a very popular Scandinavic tourist town. It was a little challenging, especially since I spoke only Danish with my host family, but spoke English to almost everybody else. But all in all, it was a lot of fun to be surrounded by so many languages. It was a really great vacation and I came back home to Denmark a lot browner, and a lot more cosmopolitan, than I went. Over all, Spain is a country that you can’t help but love, from the food to the people to the very atmosphere it emits. All I can say now is ‘Llévame de vuelta a España’!

DSC_0004

The Airport in Hamburg

DSC_0007

Coffee and Sandwiches for dinner!

DSC_0743

Dejligt varm!

DSC_0025

Soaking up the sun

DSC_0051

Blue skies, blue water

DSC_0054

DSC_0059

My host parents, Lars and Marianne

DSC_0090

Fun on the Beach with Laura!

DSC_0104

DSC_0710

DSC_0434

DSC_0452

DSC_0778

Ice Cream at Cafe Opera!

DSC_0791

Diego, the world’s best waiter

DSC_0167

Flamingo Dancers

DSC_0178

DSC_0797

Elvis Presley show (The hair was real…)

DSC_0849

The perfect Valentine’s day!

DSC_0312

Søstre altid!

DSC_0259

Flot by!

DSC_0331

Wild Cacti…

DSC_0332

The inland town of Mogan 

DSC_0360

They could tell we were foreign

DSC_0296

Sangria! 

DSC_0818

Paella, a traditional stew of rice, seafood and a tomato/chilli sauce, ordered fresh from a fisherman’s restaurant on the wharf!

DSC_0371 Swimming in the Atlantic ocean!

DSC_0569

DSC_0623       DSC_0903

Like a scene from a Jurassic Park film (minus the dinosaurs)

DSC_0944

DSC_0986

Goodbye my Island Paradise, I hope we meet again

DSC_1001Over the coast of actual Spain

DSC_1017

“At rejse er at leve” -H.C. Anderson

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Leave a comment

Ch. 9: Home of the Memories

My favourite place in the whole world is my garage back home in Canada. My garage is not my favourite place because there is a spectacular view or it is anything out of the ordinary, but because the memories and feelings associated with it. The garage is something that my family ourselves had to create, to mold it into what we wanted to be, not just what it had to be; which has made it one of the most important places not just for me, but for my parents and little brother Nicholas too.

Our garage started as an empty shell left by our house builders and it was up to us to make it into what it is today. This meant late nights of drywalling and sanding, leaving Dad and I whiter than ghosts from the dust and having to change outside because we were too dirty for Mom to let us into the house. Next came the painting, and with it, ugly face masks so we didn’t inhale the spray paint. On these nights, my job was to hold the ladder while Dad was up painting the 14 foot tall ceiling, because there was no way I’d let him do that dangerous job by himself. We had to work, really hard, to make our garage the place it is today, and we have to work just as hard to keep it in tip-top shape. This is why, last fall, we were on top of the roof in 95km/h winds to fix the shingles so they wouldn’t blow off. In the winter, we had to fix the big door because it would not close and it was -30 out. We’ve made it part of our home, so it is only fitting that it has become the home of some of my favourite memories.

With every season comes new scents and new sights within my garage. You can find the hockey net set up in the corner, tennis balls strewn across the garage, goalie pads tossed on the concrete floor and hockey sticks lined up in a neat row against the wall as my brother and I sit, laughing and joking, taking a break from practicing. While this sight remains all year, only in the winter will you find the smell expected to come with it, cause by the two sets of ice hockey equipment and skates spread all over the workbenches and floor to dry after a long game. Also covering the floor in the winter time, you will find the puzzle of car parts that make up the 1968 Chevelle that Dad and I have spent years finding time to redo. Winter nights too cold and dark to be outside as a child were used to completely take apart the candy apple red car, paint it, fix it, update it and slowly put the car back together again. Our garage, with the towering red metal toolboxes and the shelves holding rows of oil jugs has become an escape from the long winter nights.

When the winter nights fade and snow begins to melt, you know it is almost spring and there is mud everywhere. Shoes will constantly be left out instead of put away on the rack so that they can be cleaned and dried from the mudpuddles forming a mine zone outside. The garage will have the smell of rich black earth from the mud and from the tomato plants that we have started to grow in pots, being still too cold at night to plant them outside. Gone are the tomatoes come summer time, instead you will find carpentry projects, all in various stages, left out until completion, piles of sawdust and wood chips being swept up and tossed into the trash can. Bikes, kites, footballs and other summer toys will be haphazardly laid in the entrance way as all the neighbours’ kids, my brother and I run around causing mischief in the school-less summer days. Also in the summer will you find the days where the garage has actually been cleaned up enough for it to be presentable. Friday nights filled with casual shop parties, family and friends. You can hear the sound of laughing and singing as people converse, scattered with the metallic crack as cans of beer are opened. Wafting in through the open doors, you will be able to smell the mouth-watering scent of steaks on the barbeque, and the clean air as the day begins to cool and the frogs begin to croak.

Fall brings a lot of change. The nights are freezing and the days are windy and grey. The only colour can been seen in the bright reds, yellows and oranges scattered across the tree beds. The party chairs and summer projects will be put away, to be replaced by rakes and tools, trying to finish the last of the handyman jobs before winter makes it too late. In one end you will hear the steady drip drip, as fresh moose meat hangs to dry from the fall hunting excursions. Mom’s car will once again be parked in the garage as it begins to get too cold to park outside. Stacked in the corner will be the pile of logs and scrap building wood, making you anticipate fires with hot chocolate and marshmallows set under the clear star speckled sky in the cool nights to come.

Although, with each season, the sights, the contents and the scents may change drastically, the heart of it will always be the same. Lying at the core, you will always smell the perfectly balanced combination of exhaust, brake clean and wooden planks, a smell that is refreshing and reminds you where you are at the same time. You will always see the organized mess of tools, hockey equipment and projects meant to be finished lying around. And you will always hear the steady stream of good home country music flowing from the battered old radio in the corner. A place doesn’t have to be something magical for it to be special; it has to feel like home. A place will be your favourite because of the memories you associate with it, and if you are comfortable with it. I am familiar with all the complicated workings of my garage and the changes each season brings, it really does feel like home to me, and that is why it is my favourite place.

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | 2 Comments

Ch. 8: Jeg Elsker Ost

So I have to say the Danish food is really quite good. Some of it takes a little while to get used too, like rugbrød, but it’s still pretty good. One thing I fell in love with since coming here (although it is not exclusively Danish, but they eat a lot more of it than at home) is cheese. Yes, I know, cheese. I’m serious though. So, I am going to introduce you to my 3 favourite kind of cheeses that I’ve tried since being here.(but there are a lot more than just these) Here goes:

1: Brie

Okay this is a cheese sent directly to earth as a reward for actually managing to hang on for 65 million years. I cannot explain how wonderful it is. Its got that creamy spreadable consistency to it and just yum, I’m literally at a loss of words. So good on bread or toast with butter. Or on crackers. Or rice cakes. Or just anything. I eat this minimum once a week, but probably a lot more. It’s so good on its own, but when you want to class it up (like if your eating it with wine) put some pecans or walnuts (I can’t remember which one they are) that have been canned in cherry syrup on top and place it all on a wafer thin cracker. (;  Just so good. And using this wonderful tool called google, I’ve found recipes for baking it with brown sugar and pecans and cranberries and all these other delicious things. And it makes me so excited for when I get to go home and try making them all.

untitled imagesCABEPSKS

Okay just look at that. Perfection. Delicious perfection. Am I right or am I right? (And this is literally the Brie my host family buys.)

2: Prima Donna

Lets list the wonderful things about this cheese:

-A crossbreed between Gouda and Parmesan.

-Similar texture of parmesan, hard and crumbly, but still soft. Like what?

-Dutch.

-Thinks It’s Italian.

-Tastes like heaven.

-You can eat it on it’s own, use it in cooking or practically however you want too.

-You can buy it online. (I Didn’t even realize that his was possible. But they literally have online cheese shops.)

untitled (2)PrimaDonna.1

3: Port Salut

I’m pretty sure this cheese is made by monks. Just thought I’d throw that out there. It kind of tastes like mozzarella cheese, but way better. And its soft and spreadable but you can also cut it into slices. Needless to say, its delicious. I like eating it on crackers with red or yellow peppers, but one time we were eating tomato soup and I had it on bread and dipped it in my soup. Lets just say it was beautiful, and I like this cheese.

untitled (3) untitled (4)

Honorary Mention:

My favourite kind of cheese ever. You cannot buy sharp cheddar cheese here, you can’t really buy cheddar cheese at all…. I mean as much as I love these gourmet European cheeses, I really do miss having a slice of good ole’ cheddar. <3

imagesCASJM43Ucb_lightblock

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Leave a comment

Ch. 7: The Empty Seat

I was in English class one of my first days here, and as an alternative assignment so I wasn’t doing nothing, my teacher told me to write for 10 minutes. To take an experience, the smells and sights and feelings associated with it, and make it into a work of fiction. She said “just write.” And this is what I wrote:

The Empty Seat

Rolling over in the upright seat, my mind was snapped from the deep state of consciousness of sleep by the flittering stream of light caused by the open window shade. Not bothering with fully waking up, I muttered “Close the window, would you?” and began drifting off to the land of hopeless dreams once again. Frustrated with my travelling companion, whoever they may be, for not responding to this one simple request; I began to prepare myself for the reality this I would have to do it myself. After the four hour layover and the eight hour flight before that as an end to my day of flying, packing and driving, sleep had not seen my face in almost twenty-four hours. He was probably in the same situation, so if he was tired, he would be out. He’s probably one of those lucky people who get into a deep sleep and don’t wake up until they are ready to or they have to, whichever comes first. I cracked my eyes open and was startled to see the empty seat sitting still beside me. Trying not to panic, I closed my eyes and forced myself to think about this reasonably. He was probably just in the washroom or got up to stretch his legs, he would be back any minute.

I could hear the heavy rolling carts and the clinking of trays coming down the aisle just a few seats up, as breakfast was handed out with smiles too big for this hour in the morning. The smell of microwaved Egg McMuffins and burnt coffee filled the air around me, making me stomach sick yet want to eat at the same time. I widened my eyes and yawned, trying to stretch as well as I could in the cramped economy class seat. I took in the sights surrounding me, the baby just beginning to wake up across the aisle, the young couple coming home from some tropical destination, hands intertwined and fast asleep. I cast a glance to the never-set sun out the window, and my eyes were led astray by the still empty seat paired with mine. I could not remember my seat mate from last night and I became curious as to who I was sharing my adventure with, who he was and where he would be heading. Trying not to snoop but really wanting to know, I searched around me with my eyes for any clues to his identity. Not seeing anything at all, I was caught by the sight of the red blazer stashed on the floor under the seat in front of me. The bright red stood out like a fire in the lightening grey interior of the plane. By the time the tray of breakfast had been set in front of me, my appetite was gone.

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ch. 6: Efterårsferien

So I decided I would try something different, by writing a little bit and then having a galley of pictures at the bottom instead of in the post. You can hover over them and captions will pop up, and you can click on it and it will be a full screen thing you where you can look at them all. (I thought it would be easier, but I’m not sure how I feel about it… Comments?)

This post is about the vacation week that I had in October, and is mandatory for all school aged children in Denmark. Friday the 11th was my last day of school, and it was alos the day of my first school party! We had to dress up like different people from around the world, so I wore a toga and went as a greek. Before the party started I went to one of the girls in my class’ house, because it was Heidi’s 18th birthday! It was a lot of fun to help her celebrate and then to go to the school afterwards, I can’t wait until the next one!

Saturday was spent cleaning up and getting ready, because Georgia and her family were coming to stay with us for part of the week that day. On Sunday we went to Ebletoft, which is a small harbour/vacation town on the northeastern part of Jutland. (The peninsula where I live.) Apple in Danish is æble, which sounds a lot like the name of the town. My hostdad had to convince us that it actually had nothing to do with apples, which was hard because there was a giant apple by the Tourist center, and when we were exploring the town, we found out it was their annual ‘Apple Festival’. But it was okay, because we got to watch them make homemade apple juice and taste it. (It was sooooo good!) Then, we got to explore a giant antique ship that was actually used for war! It was just like the ones in the pirate movies and was such an amazing experience.

Monday (which would’ve been Thanksgiving for all of you back at home) was spent in the southern part of Denmark and Germany. We visited the city of Ribe, which has one of the biggest and oldest churches in Denmark, and has also switched between German and Danish rule many times because it is so close to the border. In the church we got to climb up the bell tower (the square on in the pictures) and look out over all the city! We drove on a road to an island in the ‘West Sea’. It was a road that you could only drive on when tide was out, because when the tide came in, the road was covered in water! They have these poles in the ground that somehow catch the sand when the tide goes out and makes more land? It didn’t really make sense to me, but it was cool because it takes a couple of years and then they have land perfect for animals to graze on! They have to constantly move the dikes further out to sea when they build new land so it doesn’t flood, because that part of Denmark is below sea level. We also stopped at another very big beach on the western sea that you could drive on. Lots of people were flying kits because the western part is so windy. I absolutely loved the beaches and could’ve easily spent all day there.  Then we drove to the Danish-German border, which happens to be in the middle of the road, right up and down the center line. I stood with one foot in Germany and one in Denmark, it was an exhilarating experience and it makes me want to travel so much more. Afterwards we stopped to watch all the birds come to a special field where they all go at night during what the Danish call ‘Det Sort Sol’ or the Black Sun. There where thousands and thousands of birds! It was getting cold, but we had a lot of fun and it was worth the wait to see all of them. Before going home we stopped at a border shop. It was neat because even though it was in Germany, they had all Danish stuff and all the prices were in Danish Crowns. Then we drove home. It is still mind boggling for me that in less than the time it takes to drive to Edmonton from G.P. you can be in a whole other country.

On Wednesday, Georgia helped me make Thanksgiving dinner even though she doesn’t celebrate it in Australia and it was a new experience for her too. We had to improvise on some things, but everything turned out really well. And I am so proud of my turkey! (: For dinner it was Georgia and I, our host parents, my Host sister Laura and her half sister Tine, Jack from the USA, his host brother Jacob and Alex, a rebound who went to Colombia. It was a first Thanksgiving for most of them and they really enjoyed it. It was a very hyggeligt (‘Cozy’ -no actual translation) day!

Thursday, Georgia and her family went home and I was sick, so I spent most of the day in bed…

Friday, one of my closest friends, Mariana, and exchange student from Colombia who lives on the island of Fyn, came to visit me for the weekend. We spent a lot of time talking and catching up and just being with each other. Saturday we went to the rainforest zoo and met with Will (USA), Alex (Rebound) and Jonathon (Outbound). We went to McDonalds for lunch and spent the afternoon together in town. Then in the evening Will and Joao (Brazil) came to my house and we watched a movie. When Mariana had to go home the next day, we were both so tired!

This was an amazing week, I got to see a lot of Denmark and a lot of my friends! It was a well needed brak from school and I absolutely loved it. After this vacation, I think the week long school vacation we have in February is going to be epic!

P.S. 3 Months yesterday! How the time is flying!

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ch. 5: October 26

So, I tried posting this yesterday, but I was on my phone and it didn’t let me… Anyways:

Today is a day that may not mean a lot to most of you, just another day in the year; but in my eyes, it’s as good as Christmas. Practically celebrated as a holiday in my family: parties, cakes, hockey, family and friends, it’s very important to me, and I’m going to tell you why. This day belongs to two of the most important people in my life. (I’m sorry if this ends up kinda mushy-gushy…)

First of all, today is my uncle Jack’s birthday. My uncle Jack is one of those people who have always been there in my life, but it has been more in the past few years that we have gotten closer. We could sit and talk for hours together about anything and everything. We talk about cooking and the next recipe to try, about Portugal and what it’s like and about growing up there, about my school and our plans for the future. He is not just my uncle and my godfather, but he is also somebody I look up to in my life. Recently, times have been tough, and it kills me not being there, but I know he supports me right where I am, and I know that we’ll make it through this. Obrigado, eu te amo muito e feliz aniversário!

DSC_0359

If you haven’t already guessed it, (or you already know…) there is ANOTHER birthday today that is super important to me! it’s… my Dad’s! (: Happy Birthday Dad! I know you’ve probably signed up for the e-mails, so when you get up at 7 in the morning you’ll be checking your e-mail and read this. (And Dad, I promise you a real blog post about what I’ve been up to is coming soon! (; ) So, since I can’t be at home this year to butter your nose, I’m just gonna have to leave that job to Nic and hope that this picture will make up for it! Yup, I’m not letting you get off easy! Haha

DSC00946

My Dad has always been there for me and my brother. When we we’re scared, he’d protect us. He would wrap us in his arms, and we would feel safe.

stanley cuppeewee year one

Dad taught us to follow our dreams, whatever they may be and wherever they may take us, and that if we really want something, we have to work hard for it. He might not always agree, but it was your job to show him that this is what is best for you.

DSC00693

Having fun didn’t always have to be having playdates with friends and going to movies, really having fun was when you were with your family and people you loved, doing what you loved. Dad always had time to do something with us, whether it was collecting stamps or catching balls, and we would wait and wait for him to come home just so we could play with him.

DSC03350

Dad would take us on adventures, far away or near, and showed us that the little things can be the ones that mean the most. That our favourite memory from Mexico would not just be swimming with the dolphin, but Dad and I on a bus in the middle of Cancun with no Spanish and an American 20$ bill trying to find a WalMart looking for some sunscreen for my burnt to a crisp little brother.

DSC02734

Dad helped to bring us up with this wonderful combination of heritage, nature and so many other things, leading us to be cultured and diverse in all the best ways. He helped to shaped who we are and constantly continues to do so.

DSC20100906_148

Above all things, Dad taught us to be independent, to stand on our own and to stand tall. But no matter what, he will always be there for us to lean on if we need it.

DSC00656

It’s probably pretty obvious, but I’m a Daddy’s Girl. I love you to death Dad. You’ve done so much for me and you mean so much, I just want to make sure you know that. These past almost 3 months I’ve grown up so much, obviously, being on the other side of the world and all, but I’m still your little girl. I’m looking forward to the nights in the garage with the Chevelle in pieces when I come home again. I love you, Happy Birthday. I hope you have such an amazing day. -Your Princess Morgan

P.S.- I know I said I didn’t want to be a princess, I just wanted to be Morgan, I was 7 and not thinking straight, so I hope it’s  okay if I wanna be both. (;

P.P.S- Don’t miss me too much, I’ll be home before you know it.

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | 3 Comments

Ch. 4: 2 Months.

Wow. Yesterday was 2 whole months… That’s a really scary thought. In ways it feels like it’s flown by, and it makes me realize how fast the rest of the year is going to go. But also, when I look at all I have done already, 2 months seems like a really long time. Its a contradictory oxymoron kinda relationship, that’s awesome but really sucks at the same time. And I know there have not been enough posts for it to seem like two months, so I hope to make up for that in the future, I am sorry to all you lovely people. So, to give you an insight and whats been happening, I’m gonna have some writing and some pictures and you can all look at it if ya feel like. But, the first thing I am going to do is apologize for the slowly degrading quality of my English….

For Month 1: August, I believe I actually fulfilled my commitment of writing on my blog, so I will skip that. Except for the last week of August-September 1st. That was Introcamp, and it was awesome. But I have been in the process of writing about that since it ended and I am now almost finished, so we will just stop going in chronological order because that post is coming. Soon. I pinky promise.

I started school on the 15th of August, and its super different than home. I also don’t understand a lot because it is all in Danish, so some of the classes I am allowed to be studying Danish instead of the classwork. Will have an actual update on this at some other point.

Besides school, I have done a lot of interesting things! I have one ‘extra-curricular’ activity, but it’s not school related at all… I have been accepted onto the ‘Talent Team’ at Kastili’as, one of the local theatre schools. I had to audition for this part and I am very proud of myself because I ended up preforming my audition in English, Danish and French. The Talent Team is like the most advanced class. It is for youth ages 16-20 I think. Every second Sunday we meet for 4hrs with our amazing teacher and do exercises to become better actors. We have been doing a lot of things with our emotions, being able to express them through movement and shake them off just as easy again. Of course we have also been doing a lot of fun (multi-language) improv. (: I really enjoy going to this class, and I have made so many friends because of it. They are all really crazy random theatre kids like me, so we all get along really well and have a lot of fun. Already I know I have become a better actress and I am really excited to add this to my portfolio. I think it will also just help me very much in general, with being able to better control my emotions, shaking the negative ones off and changing my energy to a more positive one.

1235228_10151837553819137_921199789_n

A little Harry Potter themed planned-improv. Can you tell who I am? (Apparently I have the hair (; )

1379692_10151868443794137_941229637_n

Emotion Freeze Frames- JOY! (:

I have also done a lot of other theatre related activities with my family and friends. I got to participate in some workshops at the MyWay Festival a few weeks ago. I had Friday off of school, so I spent all day rehearsing for a part in the final performance that evening, we even made it into the newspaper! I have also gotten to go to two different dinner theatre shows with my family. It is a lot of fun to go because I understand a lot more than I think because of the acting along with it. And the food is really good (;

Every Monday night I have Rotary meeting with my host club. They are all so kind and I am blessed to have two such amazing clubs (my one at home also) supporting me! My club is mostly old and middle aged men, but it is okay because we still try to make an effort to communicate and get to know each other. I think this also helps me to lean Danish, because a lot of them don’t speak good english or speak english at all. I try to speak Danish at my meetings even though I am not very confident in it yet. Last week some of the other exchange students in Randers came to watch me make my presentation about myself, Canada and my Denmark Bucket List. I am very proud to tell you that the part about me, I presented in Danish. And it was even comprehendable through all the nerves I had!

DSC_0058

Banner Exchange with the President of Randers Vestre (My club)

DSC_0064

Some of the Randers Exchange Students

Will (USA), Jakob (My Club’s Outbound for next year), Ashleigh (South Africa), Me, Joao (Brazil), Alex (My Clubs Rebound, went to Colombia)

So I am trying my best to learn Danish, but it is also really hard to learn because the pronunciation is super complicated… I have Danish Lessons every Tuesday morning for an hour with the exchange students at my school (some are with Rotary and some are not.) In these classes we do a lot simpler things, just trying to become comfortable with the language and with Denmark in general. These classes are nice because we end with talking about culture shock things, what is different or similar from home and how we feel about everything.

image

After class having a little fun (:

I have different Danish lessons every Thursday after school, which are taught by a Language teacher from my school so we learn more difficult things. We have to do writing assignments, reading out loud and grammar worksheets. The material itself isn’t always enjoyable but we make it through. It makes you feel so good when you realize how much you actually know and how much you’re learning. I am actually at the point where I am starting to forget English words, and I feel bad for my French teacher at school because for all the French I remember right now, I could have never taken a lesson in my life… Some days its better and I can actually switch between the three different languages easily, but most times… Let’s just say communication can be a real battle…

I think that is most of the activities I have been doing, so now I will talk about some of the trips I have gotten to do!

I got to go with my family to Naskov, Lolland (a city on a southern island in Denmark) where my host mom grew up, because it was Christoffer’s 18th birthday and his family was having a party.  It was a lot of fun to get to drive by the ocean and go on what I thought was a big ferry, but is actually quite a small one, for the first time. It was cool to meet Christoffer’s family and the exchange student Georgia who is staying with them, because my family is really good friends with them. I think we will even be spending Christmas together.

DSC_0082

 The big ferry!

DSC_0088

Christoffer, Me and Laura (Host Sister) enjoying ourselves on the hour long ferry ride.

DSC_0106

The tiny city of Naskov!

DSC_0111

Laura and I all dressed up for the party!

DSC_0167

Chris on the way home a little tired… (And hungover) On your 18th Birthday in Denmark, there is a tradition that you have to take 18 shots… My apologies to your livers.

I got the opportunity to go with my family to visit my hostdads eldest daughter and her lovely family, in a town close to Aarhus. Her name is Mette and she is married and just had her second child. Her first child is a girl named Maja, (Pronounced: Maya) and she just had a son named Mads (Pronounced: Mas).

DSC_0183

Little Mads was only 4 days old when we visited him! He is so cute! I get to go see him again tonight (:

The last weekend in September was the Rotary District Conference for my host district (1440), and this meant another exchange student get together, so as you probably know, the excitement level went through the roof! We got to take the train to Thisted on Friday afternoon, where they had a bus to take us to Hanstholm, where the conference was. The first night the exchange students all got to stay in cabins at this lovely campground right near the beach! Friday night was chilling and some activities and Saturday morning we had to prepare our performance for at the conference. We ended up doing the cups from the cup song, which ended as a really big mess because the table was too big and we couldn’t pass them properly, but it was really funny. We also sang a  Danish folk song, and Leaving on a Jet Plane, which along with being a song that all exchangers must know, is one of my all time favourites. I remember dancing around the living room on Dad’s feet and singing along when I think of it. How true the words are though….

DSC_0301

The place we were staying had a giant playground, so you can imagine where all our freetime was spent. (This is a giant hamster wheel… Cool right? I’m pretty sure Holly and I where in here for an hour. Also, because you know, we just had to see how many people we could fit in here. THAT was fun. Actually. haha )

DSC_0350

On Friday night, we got to go geocaching in the dark on the beach. It was really pretty because the moon was so bright and reflecting on the ocean! I tried to take pictures, but I haven’t had a lot of experience with the dark yet, so they didn’t really turn out. :/

575304_704900879537555_1074575800_n

Holly (USA) and I geocaching together. (Geocaching is when you have to use a GPS to find a little box that has papers and ‘treasures’ in it. You right your name and country on the paper and can leave or take a little gift. They are all over the world and some are harder than others to find. It’s a lot o fun because it is all about the journey to find them.

DSC_0370

And of course when we get together there’s gonna be a little silliness. (; (Abby (USA))

1235076_480204738760685_2011158659_n

The Exchange Students of D.1440 and District Governor Jan!

On the way home form the District Conference, I was honored enough to drive with one of the Rotary members from my club, Christian. He is a past inbound counsellor and is still very active in the exchange program. He was more than happy to offer to take the scenic route home so I could see a bit of the west coast. The part of Denmark we were at is really cool because it is one of the places the Nazis landed when they invaded, so up and down the beach there are dozens of concrete army bunkers spread out around the Hanstholm port. They are such a part of life now that the Danes don’t even pay attention to them. A lot of them are beginning to fall down and become weathered from the elements, so they are being demolished because they are no longer safe. I didn’t get the chance to look at one more than driving by, but they seem extremely cool to me. Along with having a nice chat, we stopped for a little while at the beach in the little town of Klit Møller. This town is World famous as it is the second best place in the World for windsurfing and kitesurfing! We got to stay and Watch the surfers for a little while and it was seriously the coolest thing ever. I would love to try it. (Sorry if there is a lot of pictures for this one, but I really really enjoyed it!)

DSC_0552

Klitmøller, Denmark a.k.a. Cold Hawaii!

DSC_0501

The view of the town from the beach.

DSC_0438

This could be my kind of paradise.

DSC_0476

Windsurfer! They go so fast, it’s crazy!

DSC_0507

Just a kite ready to go, got to watch the surfer set it up and take off.

DSC_0523

The kitesurfer in the middle of some sick air! (This is one of many times I wish I had a lens with a larger zoom… Hint hint, wink wink)

DSC_0470

ITS SO WINDY. I understand now why people come here to do these things!

DSC_0546

(One of my favourite photos so far!) I really like this jeep. Not because its a cool colour, or its a top of the line model, but because it’s been places. It’s weathered. The mud on the tires and scratches in the bumper, the surfboards laying next to it and the sleeping bags tossed on top, they show signs of an adventure. They will always have stories to tell. This is what I want my future jeep to be like.

So, I have one more kinda important thing to tell you about before I end off this update, and that would be my trip to Tunø! The Monday after the district conference my host dad, Lars, was invited to go to Tunø, a small Island where he used to live, to help celebrate the 25 anniversary of the Seniors Center that he helped to initiate the building of. This was a great trip, not just because Laura and I got to take off school and go with, but because it is an experience that I never would have had and most Danish people have not even had!

DSC_0050

As you can see, Tunø is very very small. There are only about a hundred people living on the island and most of them are seniors. There is a school that has 14 students up to the age of 13, then they go to boarding schools on the mainland.

DSC_0002

We had to get up very early so we could drive to the ferry, because we had to be on it at 7. The sunrise was so beautiful and I tried taking some pictures of which this is one of my favourite.

DSC_0031

This is what you see when you walk off of the ferry and towards the town.

DSC_0036

The white church in the back is very unique, as there is only one other like it in the world, and it is located somewhere on the coast of B.C. It is really cool because it is also the lighthouse for the island.

DSC_0038

Where you go to get your internet fix! Walking around town, only takes about 10 minutes to do the loop… Really small town!

DSC_0039

Because the island is so small, no vehicles are allowed, only ones used for working. So, instead of it saying ‘Taxa’ (for Taxi) it says ‘Traxa’.. Because it’s a tractor and also the towns ‘taxi’… I found it amusing.

So that’s all for now. I’m sorry for the wait and I’m sorry it was so long, these are two things that I don’t plan on continuing, so keep your fingers crossed! To sum it all up, I’m alive, well and loving it! Hej hej fra Danmark! -Morgan xx.

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Leave a comment

Ch. 2: The Best Explorers get Lost.

I have been here in Randers, Denmark for almost a week now, although it feels like much longer.This has been a crazy week, one filled with new family, new food, new launguage, and new places. At times it can be a bit overwhelming, so don’t blame me if I haven’t remembered everything. And yes my forgetting has gotten me lost… More than once. But getting lost is really not that bad, maybe you’ll panic at first, but it’s okay (and now I’ve got my handy dandy map!). Getting lost is actually really easy. Give yourself half an hour to walk somewhere, look at the map before you leave and think: ‘Oh! I know where that is!’ Then if you are pretty sure that this is the road where you turn, do it, even if there is a small percentage that you might be wrong (fact: this percentage is always much greater in real life than in your head.). If you follow these simple instructions (Unlike the ‘simple’ directions..) I guarantee you will be backtracking your steps in no time! Just remember, throw caution to the wind, because you my friend, you are always right!

While you might be embarrassed trying to ask for directions in a foreign language, or the walk you make past all of the patrons sitting in the outdoor restaurant that you had just determinedly walked past in the other direction might be a walk of shame, you have learned a lesson of humility that you will probably need to learn multiple times (it’s okay, it happens to us all…) You will also have seen more shops and crazy, unpronounceable street names than if you had done it right in the first place! So your welcome for introducing you to the easiest way to not get lost in a foreign city! (;

Here are some of my ‘LOST’ pictures (No, not the T.V. show…):

DSC_0039

Even though our brain tells them things, our feet are what gets us into all this shinanagence anyways…

Image

Let’s just say that getting lost in Randers is a killer workout because there is not a flat piece of ground in sight…

DSC_0027

Hills, hills hills! Every street is a hill!

Image

Getting lost in Randers can also be dangerous, because you think it is a walking street only and then… BAM! Cars drive on it too. I mean it doesn’t even look like a road! So just remember to look both ways before crossing the street, or the sidewalk, whatever is applicable. (And yes, they do drive on the right side of the road too…)

DSC_0022

Yes, there may be chairs to sit on but your pride does not let you rest! (More like your arrogance…) If the locals don’t need to sit, neither do you!

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ch. 1: The Flights…

Classic Exchange Studen Picture

I am so thankful to have shared the first part of my journey with these amazing friends! Knowing that they were going through the same experience I was, with the same feelings made it all a little easier. It was also nice to know that you weren’t the only one who stuck out like a sore thumb in your red blazer! If you guys are reading this, thank you for making sure I was at the right gate, got through security, didn’t die of boredom on the eight hour flight and for the support knowing that we were going through the same experience.

“I’m  on this extraordinary adventure, and if I have no one to talk to at the end of  the night, I feel lonely.” -Katy Perry

Thank you for being the people I can talk to at the end of the night. Love love xx.

Categories: The Adventure (Denmark 13-14) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: