Just thought this was super cool and wanted to share. (: From The Huffington Post.
Just thought this was super cool and wanted to share. (: From The Huffington Post.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A little Harry Potter themed planned-improv. Can you tell who I am? (Apparently I have the hair (; )
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!
Banner Exchange with the President of Randers Vestre (My club)
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.
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.
The big ferry!
Christoffer, Me and Laura (Host Sister) enjoying ourselves on the hour long ferry ride.
The tiny city of Naskov!
Laura and I all dressed up for the party!
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).
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….
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 )
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. :/
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.
And of course when we get together there’s gonna be a little silliness. (; (Abby (USA))
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!)
Klitmøller, Denmark a.k.a. Cold Hawaii!
The view of the town from the beach.
This could be my kind of paradise.
Windsurfer! They go so fast, it’s crazy!
Just a kite ready to go, got to watch the surfer set it up and take off.
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)
ITS SO WINDY. I understand now why people come here to do these things!
(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!
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.
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.
This is what you see when you walk off of the ferry and towards the town.
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.
Where you go to get your internet fix! Walking around town, only takes about 10 minutes to do the loop… Really small town!
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.
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…):
Even though our brain tells them things, our feet are what gets us into all this shinanagence anyways…
Let’s just say that getting lost in Randers is a killer workout because there is not a flat piece of ground in sight…
Hills, hills hills! Every street is a hill!
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…)
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!
If I am going to write about an adventure, I have to start with the beginning. An adventure does not start when you have picture of amazing places and far away lands, although that is what it feels like. An adventure starts with a pencil scratching letters on a crumpled piece of paper. An idea slowly revealing itself in the back of ones mind. The flutter in your chest that happens when you dream a dream you were too afraid to make come true. An adventure happens when you hit this realization that exactly what you are afraid to do, is exactly what you want to accomplish. An adventure begins with the choice to make it so.
My adventure started long before I thought it did. It might have been when I was ten years old sitting in the pilots seat of the plane dreaming of all the places I could go. Maybe sitting on a train in Scotland thinking this is the life. I could have been sitting in Social Studies learning about this vast world we call home, even with there being so much left to see. All I know, is that somewhere along the way, my heart decided it wanted to be an exchange student, and it forgot to tell my head. I jumped into exchange headfirst and with my eyes closed And it scared me. It still kind of does. But you cant let a little fear stop you from accomplishing your dreams. So I told myself,
“If you want to fly, first you have to let yourself fall.”
The fall may be the scariest thing in the world, but if you can spread your wings and fly, it will be worth it. So I tell you, its okay to be a little afraid, just take a deep breath and jump. xx.
Some people don’t travel. Can’t travel. It’s not in them to get up and cross that little black line on a map that creates the end of the world as they know it. But some of us are not content with not knowing, a traveller is filled with adventure. Every time we stop somewhere, make new friends, learn another language, step outside of our comfort zone, we change and we grow. We become open-minded and we become diverse, we leave a little of ourselves everywhere we go and in everybody we meet in exchange for a little piece of them to hold on to. We constantly sacrifice ourselves for the world. And we would do it all over again.