Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Nearing the End

Since coming back from Eurotour my life has been go go go. I know it’s a good thing though, because I don’t want to spend my last three and a half weeks after eurotour at home, bored.

The week after Eurotour I met up with two friends from Canada and Australia who was in Copenhagen for the day on their Eurotour. I only had a few hours with them, but it was really nice to catch up.

I also went to Bakken, the oldest amusement park in the world. For real, you can google it! I went with Emily, Claude, Janhavi and the Danish girl who just returned from her year in India. It was really interested to talk to a rebound, and to hear what the first few days home are like. I hadn’t been to Bakken yet this year, so it was really cool to finally get to go.

Last Friday my newbie Bec and I went out during the day to this foot spa where fish eat at your dead skin. The idea is gross, but it felt really cool. I got really close to Bec on Eurotour, so it was really nice to spend the day with her. And then we went and got hot dogs and chocolate milk and just sat at Nyhavn and talked.

In the evening Nova met up with us, and the three of us had a hygge night at my house. We just chilled and talked and it was a really cozy night. With so little time left, I love spending time with my friends.

Saturday morning was Janhavi’s going away brunch. All of her families and friends were there, and I think it was a really nice way to say goodbye.

Sunday evening Nova and I decided to meet up at a café and work on our Rotary speeches, but we ended up running into some other exchange students, so needless to say no work got done.

On Monday, Emily, Maria (the girl who was in India), Janhavi and I met up at a park near Nørreport and we smoked water pipe and lay out in the sun and of course did some more talking. It was so interesting to hear what India was like. It sounds so amazing. Monday was also the last time I would get to see Janhavi. She left back to India today, which is so sad. So far I’ve had 5 friends go home, and every few days that number goes up.

Yesterday I sat myself down and wrote out my farewell speech for Rotary. I never imagined it would be so hard to write. Not because it’s in Danish, although that did add to it, but simply because it involved looking back over my whole year, and at everything I have done and seen and all of the amazing people I have met. Thinking about my first few days in Denmark, and how excited by every little thing I was, and then thinking that now I’m sitting here, 11 months later, on the other end of all the newness and excitement, is…weird

Last night I went over to my first family’s house and spent the night with Simone and Therese. Simone went over my speech and made all of the necessary corrections. I know I’ve said it a hundred times over, but I love being at their house so much. It just feels so normal.

Today Simone and I spent the day together in Copenhagen. It was so nice to have a day just the two of us and she was nice enough to let me ramble on about the silly thoughts running through my head. She is also nearing her departure date for her exchange, so we have so much to talk about. I think today was the last one on one time I’ll really get to spend with her, and it was so perfect. We shopped and got cupcakes and it was just a really cozy day.

And then tonight was the dreaded speech. My third host mom and host sister were there, as well as my current host mom, and Chelsea. My first host parents are in Berlin, and Candice was sick, so I was sad that they couldn’t be there.

I think it went really well. I was nervous speaking Danish, but once I got going I feel like I did pretty well. At least well enough that they understood what I was saying, which if you’ve ever tried speaking Danish you’ll know is an accomplishment. I’m not going to post my whole speech, since it was in Danish, but I did do the end part, the thank you’s in English, just because to me it felt more honest. I felt like if I did it in Danish it wouldn’t have as much emotion. So here is the ending of the speech:

Throughout my year I have kept a blog for my family and friends back home, and while preparing this presentation I looked back over some of my earliest posts, and on the night before I left to Denmark I wrote an entry about all the emotions that came with leaving Canada, and one of the sentences I wrote just reminded me how far I’ve come this year.

“At this moment, it’s impossible for me to know what my life will be like 48 hours from now. I don’t really know my host family besides a few emails; I don’t know who my friends will be. In this moment, the next year is a big question mark; a bunch of unknowns.”

And now here I stand, at the other end of all of the unknowns. That host family I didn’t know, it now breaks my heart to have to leave them. Those friends that weren’t in my life yet, are now like a big family to me.

There are no more question marks. Everything has come together, and having made it through all of the ups and the downs and the tears and the laughter, now it’s time to say goodbye.

I can’t even express how grateful I am to everyone who made my year so amazing. To all of my host families, for opening their homes and hearts to me, to Candice for being an amazing support and a really great friend to me, to Susanne for everything she has done. I could not have asked for a more amazing counsellor, and I am so grateful to her for taking such good care of me, and always just, being there. And of course, to all of you. I feel so lucky to have been placed in such a great Rotary club. You have treated me so amazing, and I am so grateful for everything you have done for me. Thank you so much for everything, This has truly been the best year of my life.

I did pretty well on the crying front. I made it up until, ‘There are no more questions,’ which was when my voice got shaky. I didn’t start crying until after, when Susanne hugged me and I sat down at my table and realized that I just made my farewell speech. Maybe I still have two weeks, but I just made the speech about my year, which means that if I summed up my whole year, it must be over. At least all of the big things. I still have two more weeks, but all of the big things that made up this year, host families, school, friends, trips; those are over. All that remains are last times and sad goodbyes.

It’s really hard to put into words how I’m feeling right now. I feel like I’m caught in a heavy current and I can’t get my footing.

I’m so scared I’ve disappointed people, especially Susanne. I think she thought I was going to be really good at Danish, and I’m scared that she’s disappointed that I’m not better than I am. Or all the problems that I’ve had with school this year. Sometimes it’s easy to forget all of the stuff I’ve accomplished this year when thinking about what I haven’t, but I just don’t want to let anyone down.

There’s so much hard stuff that comes with accepting that the year is over. I feel like I don’t have a lot of people to talk to at the moment who totally get it. Even my parents, who throughout the year I’ve talked on a weekly basis, I don't want to call them. I’ve exchanged a few notes with my mom on facebook, but to be honest I have no intention of calling them again before I go home. They don’t understand, and I don’t want to listen to them pretend to understand or to try to be sympathetic. They don’t know what to say at the moment. (I really hope you guys don't take this the wrong way mom and dad, I still love you and can't wait to see you!)

I have two weeks left in Denmark. I have lots of amazing plans between now and then, and I know I will spend a lot of the next two weeks being happy, but mixed in with all of the fun, are some hard goodbyes. I’m saying goodbye to Candice on Monday, to my third family Tuesday, to my class on Wednesday, and then the week after I say goodbye to Nova and Chelsea, to my second family, and then my last night I have to say goodbye to my first family.

So thrown into all the happiness is some major sadness. And I’m so scared. I’m scared to say goodbye and I’m scared to go home. I don’t know how Denmark is going to fit into my life once I’m back.

So there’s just so much going on right now. I’m so glad I have the other exchange students who totally understand and who know that nothing can be said to make it okay. Because it’s not okay. I’m not okay. I know that one day I will be, but at the moment I’m not. It’s not fair, it took me seven months to find my place here and be truly happy, and now it’s being ripped away from me. How can it possibly be okay when in just over two weeks, this life will be gone?

Tomorrow I will start going through my stuff to see what needs to be given away, and what I will keep. I know once I start packing then it really truly is the end, so I refuse to pull out my suitcases. I will stick to sorting for as long as humanly possible.

I promise I will make some happier posts between now and then. But please bare with me, this emotional rambling is more for my sake than anyone else’s.

I’m all out of words and energy, so here is where I leave you.



  1. I get it that I don't get it. This is a very personal and difficult time for you - and I know that only those in the same place as you (now or in the past) will truly understand what you are feeling. I'm not in the least mad, just sad that there is nothing I can say or do. I love you.

  2. I know what you mean.. it's hard to talk to people at home about my exhange, because they don't understand the importance of it to me and they don't share the enthusiasm I have for all the new things and places I experienced. My mom is pretty good to talk to it about it actually, but no one else gets it better than other exchange students! I'm really looking forward to hanging out this saturday :) Love you ex-wifey <3