Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard
97 days, 00 hours, 13 minutes and 48 seconds.
That’s how long I’ve been in Denmark.
Three months and five days.
I feel like I just passed a huge checkpoint in my exchange. Like you know in video games there are all the checkpoints on the way to the finish line? Well exchange is like that too. The first month. The first holiday away from home. And then the 1/4 mark.
This blog post will mostly be like a reflection on the past three months, because I feel like there’s so much I want to say about them, and I don’t know who to say it to.
I think it’s safe to say that I had no clue what I was getting my self into when I got on that plane. Yeah, I went to all of the orientations and talked to other students, both inbound and rebound. Yeah, I read the handouts and did my research, but looking back, I didn’t really know anything. I didn’t know what it was like to be away from your family. I didn’t know what it was like to see your friends going on with their lives without you. I didn’t know what it was like to feel alone. I didn’t know what it was like to sit there and not understand a single thing.
But I also didn’t know that you could become apart of another family in only three months. I didn’t know how amazing something as simple as understanding a simple sentence can feel. I didn’t know know how you could become best friends with someone in a mere few hours. I didn’t know how independent I could be.
I feel like in three months I’ve grown up so much. I feel like I’m a lot more mature, and when problems arise I don’t freak out like I would have at home. I know how to work things out. I know that things will not always go my way, but sometimes you just need to go with the flow. I know how to make responsible decisions, and I know what’s best for me. And even things like getting around on my own. I know how to read maps, and I know how to ask for help and directions, and I know that if I make a mistake and get on the wrong bus or whatever, that’s it’s not the end of the world.
I remember last spring I would literally refresh my email every like five minutes, until finally, finally I got an email from my counsellor. I remember freaking out and telling my friends like, ‘I got my host family! I’m gonna have two sisters!’ And then they asked about the family and what their names were, and I was just like, I don’t know! And they didn’t really get how I was so excited over people I didn’t even know. And then I got the first email from my host dad and I was sooo excited, and kept thinking, only three months till I’m in Denmark.
And then those three months past, and then the next three months past and then all of a sudden it was my last night with them. And even as I write this, I’m almost crying, because I just like loved them so much.
The past three months have been hard. (But still amazing!) Thats undeniable. Not understanding anything, school wasn’t really working out very well, and I missed home a lot. But my host family made it a lot better. They made Denmark feel like home and I’m so grateful and lucky for that, because I really don’t know what I would have done without them.
Thanksgiving weekend was kind of hard, just cause like, it’s Thanksgiving. And there was one night where I was really homesick, and Simone came into my room and it made me feel a lot better just to like have someone there, and we ate pop tarts and then that night we went to see a movie and I just like felt so at home. And it would have been really easy for her to just like stay in her room and not have done anything, but she didn’t, and it’s nights like those that mean so much to me, and that I’ll remember.
And my host mom was amazing too. She was always like there to talk to, and really helped me feel so at home with them, and I’m pretty sure that every exchange student will agree that sometimes you just need mom hugs, and she was really good for that, and I just like loved her a lot. And my host dad was really awesome too, and was a really cool person to talk to, and I'm gonna miss him a lot too. Pretty much just like the whole family was awesome. : )
I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from this family too, and I think they had a big impact on what I’m going to be like when I go back home. They’ve traveled like, everywhere, and it’s so cool. They’ve been to places that I’d never even thought would be someone you’d go a trip, but now I’ve totally caught the travel bug from them, and there’s so many places in the world I want to see. Like they’ve been to almost every continent in the world. I mean most people don’t get to see as much in their whole lives that Simone and Therese have gotten to see, and they’re still only teenagers.
And seeing Simone and Therese together has made me think a lot about me and Jackson, and how much we didn’t get along before I left. Simone and Therese are really close, and it’s kind of like “inspired” (how cheesy is that? But I can’t think of a better word...) to be nicer to Jackson once I get home. Obviously it’s different between brothers and sister than it is with sisters, but maybe it wouldn’t kill me to be bit nicer to him, and we could actually do stuff together instead of pretending that the other doesn’t exist. I do love having sisters though. Making kraft dinner and going for runs (even though I didn’t do it that many times) with Simone and watching movies with them. And even though I don’t live there anymore, I still hope I can just like come and hang out with them.
I’m gonna really miss being apart of their family. And like all the little things like watching TV with my host parents and having dinner together and talking and just like everything. And saying goodbye was really...I don’t even know the word. When I said goodbye to my parents in Canada it was a legit goodbye. As in a “see you in 11 months” goodbye. Saying goodbye to my host family was weird, cause it was like, “See you next week, but I’ll never get to be apart of your family again.” And my host mom dropped me off at my new family, so it was a little bit awkward, because I was excited to be with my second family, but I was really sad to say goodbye, because even though I was only with them for three months, she felt like my mom, so it was really sad. And I was kind of like weirdly standing there almost crying and it was just like really awkward. And I’m sure that in three months it will be this family I’ll be crying for, and then three months after that my third family. I guess that’s a good thing about having more than one host family, is that by the end of the this year I’ll have five families who I’ll love, and I’ll get to see how different Danish families live.
But now I’m all settled with my second family, and everything seems really good. I have one sister, Maria, who is 18 and was in Canada last year, which is really fun. And my host parents are really nice. It’ll just take some time to adjust to a new family, but it was the same way when I got here three months ago. And I'm gonna visit and keep in touch with my first family a lot, so I won't let them forget about me ; )
And also, I started with my new class this week, and it’s going really great. I think it’s going to be a really good fit. They are so friendly and open and interested in talking to me, and I also feels like I’m starting to understand a lot more. I did my entire math assignment all by my self, and only needed help with a few words. (Homework takes double as long here, cause first I have to translate the questions, and then I can do the homework). But it felt sooo good to understand it. I still can’t really talk much, but I know it’ll come.
Tomorrow I leave for Stockholm, Sweden because I think Maria has a karate competition there, and then on Wednesday Emma is coming to stay with me for the weekend. So I’m really excited :)
So yeah, this has been the busiest week, changing classes and families, and it’ll take a little bit of getting used to, but everything seems like it’s gonna work out really well. And winter is starting to reach Denmark, which doesn’t mean snow, but it does mean dark and cold. It’s dark here by like 4:30, 5ish, but it makes the evenings really cozy. And apperantly December is a really beautiful month with like christmas and everything, so I’m excited.
So yeah, I’ll update again after Sweden hopefully, or another day next week.
Kærlighed fra Danmark