Tuesday, December 15, 2009

shortest summary possible on the past three months

Okay, so its december 15th, bout three months since my last blog, no biggie. Guess I should really be updating this more, but ey. Denmark has so far been amazing :D much harder than I thought it would be, but nonetheless amazing. Ive met people here that I know I'll be friends with for years. The language is coming along...a lot slower than I thought it would, but I can understand more than I can say, so Im still talking majority english. Since the last post, Ive been to Italy, Sweden, visited a bunch of castles, had some gymfests, rotary get togeathers, traveled a bit around dk and experienced danish life. Each day I see little differences that I would have never expected to see, thats what I love about Denmark.

Monday, September 14, 2009

danish life

Sorry about the lack of updating, I tend to forget and get lazy about things, and this is one of them. Ive been here for about a month and a half…wow, but back to a while ago, I started school on august 17th, I found out Danish gymnasiums are quite different from American high schools. First off, you don’t change class rooms, or classmates, you stay with the same kids all 3 years, after picking a certain string of classes you want. You only have three classes a day each an hour and a half long, on Wednesday I have four and the gymnasium in general is much more relaxed, there is a lot less teacher and adult influence in the school atmosphere. The first day I rode my bike to school, and had no clue where to go, so I asked a girl, and she actually ended up to be in my class, so that worked out nicely :) we had an assembly, another exchange student from Italy and I were introduced in front of the whole school, so that was nice, oh and the kids were told not to speak English to us…that didn’t help the language barrier. The kids are a lot more shy than I’m used to, they will rarely come up to me and say hi, I’ll have to start most of the conversations, so it’s hard. The first week of school was pretty hard, but I had intro camp the next week so I had something to look forward to, the downside, I missed my school sports day and my first gymnasium party, which are totally different from school dances back home. Intro camp was amazing, that’s all I can say, from the moment I walked into the train compartment, and there were kids blasting music and dancing, I knew it would be crazy :) There were 160 kids from all over, living at an efterschool for a week, in bjerringbro, on jutland. The first night we were just able to hang out, meet everyone, go in the pool, funtimes. The next morning we got up early, breakfast by 8, class by 9, we had 6 hours of classes most days, and some days we had only 3 hours, and went to Viborg, and another we had none and went to Århus. I learned a lot the first couple of days, with the help of coffee, now, its more I need to memorize and repeat in order to improve my Danish skills. Oh my roommate was maddy from Canada, pretty sweeeet. But yea, classes were fun but long, and after awhile I couldn’t concentrate so I ended up drawing flags, but I learned plenty. During breaks and free time we just hung out, kids brought their gutairs and I swear I have never been with so many kids with musical talent, I wish I could sing or play and instrument well, but yea, we’d just hang out, jam, lay around, and they set up activities for us, one night I did theatre stuff, next I went to choir with Kayla. They also had a “surprise entertainment” which turned out to be bowling…I just wowed people with my talent, other than the organized activities, each night someone blasted music and had a party. I loved it. Viborg was really pretty and so was Århus, I hung around with Morgan and Kayla, in Århus we went to a modern art museum which was really cool and odd, we walked around, got food, fast food which like everything else in denmark was relatively expensive. Oh on the way back from Viborg, we went to see a lake, which was gorgeus, and surrounded by an electric fence which was quite shocking ;) The whole week was so much fun, meeting amazing people, some that I know I’ll stay close with long after I return home; I wish I could live with exchange students. The week finished up with a small talent show, I did a song with Franco hahaha, and a dance, which was alright. We went home the next morning, not cool, but I had a get together the next week in Vordingborg, so I wasn’t that sad. School went by fast, I was sick for two days, everyone got sick after intro camp, I had language school on wednesday, just me and a kid from Ringsted, Sebastain, then friday I left for Vordingborg, met a couple austrailian oldies on the train there, and got to see the Goose Tower, then just went back to the building where we were staying and hung out. I stayed mainly with Kayla and Alex, oh and Karla too. The next day was to windy, so we couldn’t go sailing, so instead we decided to walk up and down over 1000 stairs *no exaggeration* to see Møns Klint, which wa actually gorgeous, it was chalk cliffs, from the stone age, absolutely beautiful. On the way down, the guide say to pick any flowers or take a leaf off a tree was against the law…oh danes. After an exhausting walk up from the beach, we headed back, I fell asleep with Kayla in the back of the car. We stopped at pretty church on the way back, and were told the seats were made uncomfortable to make sure no one fell asleep during mass. We had a nice dinner when we got back, then a Danish lady who went to Ecuador for a year came to teach us salsa dancing, the south americans were so much better, but I have never seen a dane dance like that, I tried and failed to salsa, so I ended up going outside and singing RENT with Kayla, Alex and Karla. After, a couple Brits came with a piano and guitar and we had a nice sing-along, where of course I made a fool of myself, but hey, I’m an exchange student. We had to go home the next morning, wouldn’t see them all until Halloween get together in Holbæk…cant wait for that. School was boring, but I talk to more people each day, I just wish I knew more Danish, had language class with Barbara and Sebastian. On Tuesday I went with my counselor out to dinner, with some Americans who came through another rotary program, but for adult and its for about 5 weeks I think. It was held at a small cottage, there was a store that was set up like an old general store, and there were only two rooms for dinning, it seemed so European, I had herring for the first time in Denmark, and eggs and bacon for dinner? Now knowing the Danes and their long dinners, I wasnt surprised when we started at 6 and got home around 10.45 due to the presence of a piano in the room, and a book full of Danish songs and drinking songs, it was a lot of fun to be able to speak to other Americans, and see what their view of the danes were, they all thought it was very brave of me to be here for a year, but hey, who wouldn’t want to do something like this. It so happened that my host parents friend’s had a party on Saturday in Holbæk, so on the weekend I went up to see Kayla who lives about 20 minutes outside, it was so cool to see her, and it turned out it was her host sister, Camilla’s 18th birthday party too, so it was a lot of fun :) yeap, that’s my life up to this point in a nut shell.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


for letter and stuff
my address:

Lily Vail
c\o René Jørgensen
Floraparken 30
4690 Haslev

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First week

after a long while of traveling,

jfk to detroit to amsterdam to copenhagen then to haslev. I finally arrived!

Due to lack of sleep, I was also quite tired, so the first thing I did once I got to my counselor´s house was sleep. The next day, I learned more about Haslev, one thing, Hans Christain Anderson stayed in one of the estates, and the lake near that is the setting for the tale the ugly duckling. I saw the gymnasium ill be attending, the estates, and the many feilds. I also was able to meet my second host family, which one of the daughters is in rotary and is going to NY for a year. Throughout the week I met my other host familys, went on many walks around the town, had a cherry pit spitting contest with my host brother, which he now envies my spitting skills...also I learned how to "build a burger" in dansk. One of the days i went to copenhagen, saw all the sights, went on a boat tour, in the square, once a man learned I was American he started singing to me..it was rather odd yet, funny. We went to Tivoli, which was really cool, i got to see the park, walk around but not go on the rides, atleast not yet. There was a show, at first ballet, then soilders, and it ended with large puppets walking around the park and gymnists, they dont really have anything like it in the states, it was amazing. I also celebrated my 16 birthday here, they put up a danish flag in my honor, and my host mum threw me a party where all my host familys came so it was really nice. They sang the traditional danish birthday song which is quite halarious, and made a cake the shape of a girl..its was really cool. The next day, I was off to my counselors beach house in south west sealand, it was nice to see the sea, and refreashing, yet at the same time it reminded me of home, and the thought of a year abroad finally hit me. We were able to travel around and see the viking museum adn the bridge to Fyn, but otherwise we hung out, and I ate my first huge danish ice cream =). I moved in with my fist host family, which I enjoy very much. They are so nice, two kids, a boy 9 and girl 12, so it is nice to be around kids, even if theyre younger. They are speaking Danish to me, so I am starting to learn...slowly. I also accompanied my host mum to her school, which I found out is rather different from ny schools, the kids have much more freedom, and spoke less english than I thought they could. I also signed up for my Gymnasium in the 2nd year, so ill be with kids a year or two older, but the school is really nice, its brick, a couple stories high with ivy growing up the walls, a school Ive always wanted to go to.

I start school monday, and then intro camp the next week and then a rotary weekend the next weekend...funtimes?

(sorry, this is a packed jumbled up mess of my life this past week)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

first post

the pictures are of my school and the town that ill be going to.
I have wanted to be an exchange student for a while, I was actually going to do it this year, but I figured I wasnt ready. Anywho, Im going to Denmark, Haslev to be exact on a year long exchange trip through Rotary. I absolutly cannot wait! I have been waiting for this, and started my count down at 112 days, and now there are 32 days left, one month and one day. I have talked to two of my host families and they seem amazing, I cannot wait, theyre really nice too, however i dont think i can pronounce their names, so thats not too good. I have a couple of younger siblings in the families and a dog, which i never had and sisters! Its going to be a lot of fun.

Haslev is a town of about 11,000 and is inbetween Koge and Naestved, on Zealand. It's kinda far from the capital Copenhagen, but not too bad, about an hour and a half train ride, fourty five minute drive. I got all my papers in and every thing of that sort the other day, but i really should start learning danish..atleast sometime soon...