Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tønder Festival!

Hej Guys!!

I've had a very exciting and busy weekend! My host parents, Maria and Anders took me to a music festival in Tønder (near the border to Germany)! Tønder is about a 2 hour drive from Ringe. And it's really funny because in Denmark people think that's a really long time in the car. I just laugh because up in Alaska, we know that 2 hours is NOTHING! haha.. These pics are from when we crossed the bridge from Fyn to Jutland (my very first time!) and I was pretty excited! It was SO pretty!

But the festival was the coolest thing! We had so much fun! And there were tons of bands and singers from USA, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark (of course), Germany, England, etc.. My newest favorite group is called Madison Violet from Canada. We heard them in concert on Saturday night and I LOVED them! We bought the cd! We also heard Eddi Reader from Scotland, who was fabulous! and Altan from Ireland who was also REALLY REALLY good! (we bought their cd too.. hehe) I loved the festival!

We also got to go to Germany! It's about 7 kilometers from where we were staying in Tønder, so we went to a supermarket to buy some stuff in Germany. It is MUCH MUCH cheaper to buy stuff in Germany than in Denmark because of taxes.. so a lot of people wait and buy stuff in Germany, like Nutella and candy and soda and beer..

AND we also visited Møgeltønder, a really old and really beautiful town close to Tønder. The church is just SOO pretty and the graveyard they have is probably the most beautiful one I have ever seen... it's just so nice with lots of flowers and trees.. So the picture on the left is one of the church and part of the graveyard. The picture on the right is the main street in Møgeltønder. There is also a Prince that lives in Møgeltønder in a really beautiful palace/mansion. You can only walk up to the gate entrance, but it pretty cool! On the left is a picture of me and the gate.. Me and Maria in Møgeltønder :)

Well that was my weekend! Tomorrow I start language school after normal school! So that's REALLY exciting! I've been wanting to start language school since I got here because I know it will help A LOT when it comes to learning Dansk. But now I'm going to sleep! Godtnat! love, francine :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008



There's not too much to blog about! I've been going to school (skole) and talking to friends and trying to learn danish.. haha.. I'm VERY excited because I start language skole in Odense on monday! whoo hooo!! And tomorrow my host parents, Maria og Anders are taking me to a music festival in Tønder (I think...) near the German boarder. So I can't wait!

Today in skole I got an ordbog (dictionary) that goes from spansk (spanish) to engelsk (english) because it's just TOO hard going from spansk to dansk (danish)! haha.. you can't even imagine.. And the I went to the library and the librarian gave me a book called "Citizen in Denmark" which is pretty much about renting apartments and everything you need to know about the doctors and well.. being a citizen in DK! self-explanatory.. but then I was reading it in class and I found out that it's illegal to hit children in Denmark! I never knew that! I have been talking to classmates and my host parents and Bjarke about it all day.. listening to their views and talking about mine and what's accepted in the United States. It's really interesting! Just so different that it took me by surprise! You won't see a parent hitting their kid in Denmark.. Anyway! I thought it was interesting and I wanted to share it with you!

Oh! Something else I just remembered! In the United States, if you need help you call 911. I found out that in Denmark you call 112.. isn't that funny? haha.. I thought it was..

Welll.. I can't think of anything else right now that I wanted to share.. hmmm.. nope! ok! i'm headed to bed!

godtnat! love francine :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

School and interesting tid bits :)


I've had a few people asking questions about school and basic facts about Denmark.. so here we go! Let me know if you have more questions!

The weather over here is pretty crazy! It rains a lot and the weather can change from raining like it was the end of the world 1 minute to being BEAUTIFUL 5 minutes later.. it's insane..
The food is actually very similar to what we eat at home.. They eat A LOT of bread here though (not that i'm complaing.. i LOVE bread but it's my weakness..). They also have really dark bread that tastes pretty weird but once you start eating it after a week or two you start to like it.. some people at least. It's very common in Denmark. My family eats a lot of potatoes and pasta and fish and meat, which is about average in most families, I think. They have something, almost a dressing that you can eat with french fries or on bread (pretty much with anything), called Remolade pronounced Remoolell. I pretty much LOVE it! It's the best stuff ever.. haha..

School is 5 days a week. We usually start at 8 and go until 13:30. But about twice a week you stay until 15:10. We have gym once a week and most people shower after gym class. And I think I already mentioned that in Denmark they shower communally at school: no stalls, no curtains. Not a biggie for me but it's a problem for a lot of exchange students. Oh! And if a teacher can't make a class and can't find a substitute, the class is just cancelled!! It's the best thing EVER! For example: tomorrow my spanish (spansk) class is cancelled so I have and hour and a half of free time between 2 classes.. I think it's one of the coolest things ever..

That's about it for now! Keep reading and messaging me!
love francine :)

Camp on Saturday/Sunday and shopping today..

Hey guys!

Ok! A lot to fill you in on! I've been PRETTY busy.. (which is of course, good)! Alrighty.. I'll start with Saturday!
left: (shannon, gonzalo from Chile and kyla)

Saturday: Woke up.. went over to Bjarke and Solvej's at about 14:00 (they use military time here) and met Kyla there.. we planned on using Bjarke's Wii but that didn't happen.. and then we went and picked up Chiara at her temporary home near Årslev and headed to camp (which was at a kind of boyscout cabin.. very cool!). We met all the kids with AFS on Fyn (about 15 or 16 kids) and we played games and talked and made food and ate and had a sleepover... Bende is the person in charge of AFS on Fyn and she stayed with us at the scout cabin.. Nikolai came along via my invitation and he kept us up ALLLLLL night.. i got like 4 hours of sleep so I was VERY VERY tired all day Sunday.. (tak nikolai!) And Nikolai hooked up with Chiara.. greattt.. so here's a picture..

Sunday: We woke up at like 6.. me and shannon.. and then we made food at like 9 and then we went tromping through the woods for fun and took some sweeeet pictures.. We came back to the cabin, cleaned up and made food because all of our host families came and had lunch with us! There were like 50 people.. All the AFS students had to introduce themselves, tell where they were from and where they live now and introduce their host families! It was super fun! Of course, we have all learned how to say all this in danish. left: (me and Rebeca from Venezuela) right: (my south american pals, Pablo from Colombia, Adriana from Peru (left), Rebeca from Venezuela (middle), and Veronica from Chile (right))

OK OK.. that was this weekend! Today I went shopping with 2 of my friends from school that are in my class, Bolette (left) and Nicka (middle). We took the train to Odense and then walked downtown and I bought a few things (including an awesome dress.. ) So we had a lot of fun! And then I stopped at Bjarke's to pick up a couple things, came home and had some soup and now i'm blogging!

Ok! You're all caught up! Gotta SLEEP (i'm always so tired here! ahhhhhhh!)
loveee from DK, francine

Saturday, August 23, 2008

camp tomorrow!

Hej everyone!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while.. I've been going to school all week and haven't had too much to write about. Tonight I met Donato, a guy from Italy who was an exchange student in Denmark living with Solvej and Bjarke a few years ago. I went to Solvej and Bjarke's house for dinner to meet him, his girlfriend Lisa and Donato's sister Chiara (oh i hope that's how you spell it...) and I had a great time! Sorry no pictures.. my camera died a couple days ago and I just replaced the batteries tonight.. haha.. But anyway.. We have an AFS camp for all the exchange students on Fyn tomorrow night. It's like a sleepover on Saturday night and then our host families come pick us up on Sunday morning. So I'm very excited to see all the other kids on Fyn! I know a few of them (kyla, shannon, and Daiki who is in Ringe and goes to my school and is from Japan). But I'll write Sunday night when I get back from camp!
(left) Map of Danmark remember that my town is called Ringe! About in the middle of Fyn, furthur south from Odense..

english: Denmark & danish: Danmark

Got to head to bed.. Godtnat! love francine :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Keeping Busy

Hej Everyone!

I know it's been a while since I last blogged but I've been pretty busy! haha.. Parties and such.. you know.. Nahhh. I went to a party for school on Friday but I went to a friend's house before and then we all drove to the party together. Just so you know: Danish teenagers drink more than any other nation's teenagers. It was insane. Kids smoking and drinking outside.. with teachers.. buying beer and alcohol.. it was crazy! I drank some but not very much.. there was dancing and that was fun! My host mom picked me up at 1 but the party was going until 4 am! And this is normal.... Ok so that was friday.. (this pic is from saturday.. i just couldn't fit it in the saturday section)

Saturday: I woke up and Bjarke called me and invited me to go to this "Harbor Party" in Ringe (my town) with him and Solvej. The funny thing about the harbor party is that I live in the middle of an island.. where there is no harbor.. Haha.. It was at our lake but it was so much fun! So I went over to his house, had some breakfast and killed some bees.. haha.. And then we went to the party walked around listened to a big band and took pictures. Then we went and picked up Kyla in Ulbolle and went to dinner the four of us. And then had ice cream! yuuuummmm.. Annnd then we went home, had some girlie drinks (me and kyla) called Kiss Me Quick! which was very good! Went back to the harbor party where we had some beers and Kyla and I danced with the locals.. hehe.. Kyla came back to my house and slept over.. Ok!

Sunday: Bjarke called us, came over for breakfast and then we went to Odense. We went to this market where you can buy stuff CHEAP. I got a scarf (finally!! I've been wanting one and I really like it!) and a cheap watch that I love :) And then we went to the Blomsterfestival (Flower festival) and listened to some good music, enjoyed the sun, took pictures, and bought some candy.. haha Bjarke's treat. And now I walked a kilometer home from Bjarke's and am writing this.

School's going good! I'm kind of excited to go back tomorrow! I like everyone in my class! They're all so nice! I don't understand anything in class and I can't read my text books. .haha.. but Bjarke reminded me that going to school is so that I can make friends and immerse myself in the culture. Not so much learning in class. So I got some good markers and have been spending a good amount of time drawing in class :) My friends help translate some but I just chill in class. I'm really happy that everyone is so nice and treats me like they already know me! It helps make me feel at home and keeping busy. I like it! OH! Someone blogged asking how to say "hej!" It's pronounced hi. Super easy!

OK: A few things I have discovered since I got here.

1. When the light at the intersection changes from red to green it goes red, yellow, green.
2. If you sneeze in Denmark people don't say ANYTHING. I have a funny story about that.
3. Clothes and pretty much everything is 4x as much as you pay at home so don't complain to me..
4. Danes like beer.
5. The most helpful phrase is "Hvad?" (what? in danish)

That's all for now.. But now I'm going to go take a nap!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First Day of School!!

Hej guys!
Today was my first day of school! I have this HUGE headache right now from hearing ONLY danish ALL day at school.. haha. It wasn't too bad, actually. I'm taking dansk (danish), historie (history), engelsk (english), indræt (gym), fremmedsprog (a foreign language which I haven't chosen yet), fysik (physics), oltidskundskab (like old greek history), kemi (chemistry), religon psykologi (psycology if that's how you spell it), and samfundstag (which is like danish culture and sociology almost). Today I only had 4 classes: religon, psykologi, dansk, and kemi. Apparently you check your schedule online every day because the schedule is different every day and every week. It's crazy, really. But I don't have my log in yet so I can't check online until I get the log in at school tomorrow. But these are the classes that every one in 2nd year takes. Period. I'm in class 2.a. but there are many year 2 classes. The kids in my class were SO nice and helpful! I made a few friends and one girl I met named Nicka invited me to the school party at somebuilding about 5 kilos away on Friday. I'm really excited! But for those of you that don't already know, the drinking age in Denmark is 16 and although the kids here are very responsible they still drink and have TONS of parties for school and private parties. It's just what teenagers do here. But anyway.. I actually went with Shannon to school on Tuesday which was fun! Seeing a different school.. Then we went back to Bjarke's house where she's staying and made PASTA.. mmmmmm.. That's Bjarke and Shannon in Bjarke's kitchen. But yeah, we had fun making pasta.. and it was soooo good so I ate way to much. OH!! And I took a picture of that church where there was a wedding! except it was almost dark, but I think it's just gorgeous.. too pretty to be real.. haha. But here's a picture for you! Okay, I'm gonna go! I'm so glad that you are all reading my blog! I hope you like it! And let me know if you have any suggestions about how to make it better!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Seeing A Boarding School

Hey guys! (that's for you mom because I know you don't like the Hej!)
Today my host parents, Maria and Anders, and I brought Nikolai my host brother to his boarding school about 17 kilos away. Boarding school is very common for kids going into 9th or 10th grade here in Denmark. So I was really excited about seeing a boarding school. The school Nikolai is going to has 3 lines. A line is like a group of classes and topics that you choose. So at this school the lines are adventure (sports and stuff), Musik (self explanatory), and Creative arts (like designing clothes and other arts). You still have to take math and sciences but the line you choose is kind of like your elective classes- the ones you get to choose for fun. So anyway.. after we said goodbye to Nikolai (who is going to come home every other weekend or so) Maria and Anders took me on a scenic tour of southern Fyn. The first picture is just one of the beautiful houses here. I feel bad showing you these pictures because they don't do the real thing any justice. It's hard to capture what your eyes see in a photo....... but i'm working on it!haha.. We also saw this castle that a rich family lives in, but again.. the real thing is MUCH prettier! But I think one day after school this week I will ride my bike down the road and just take good pictures of the gorgeous houses I see. I keep thinking about the other day when I was riding from my host mom's brother, Bjarke's house back home and I saw someone getting married at the church in town. It was the prettiest thing I have ever seen.. I don't know why. It was just sunny and everyone looked so happy and I thought "Stop and take a picture!" but I didn't and I regret it so much! Maria says there will be a thousand more opportunities like that but I'm not sure.. It was too perfect.
Oh! I don't know if I told you that I start school on Tuesday! Ah!! I'm kind of nervous, but I know I'll be okay. Bjarke, who is SUPER nice is going to come to school with me and help me figure out what classes I'm going to take.. so I feel better about the whole school thing already! But now I think I will sleep because I can't keep my eyelids open any more! I've had a long day!
So... Godtnat!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Visiting Ulbolle :)


So I'm actually in Ulbolle right now which is on the southern tip of Fyn (pronounced foon) near Svendborg. My friend Kyla (from Australia) who has been living in DK for 6 months lives in Ulbolle and invited me and another girl, Shannon from New Zealand, to sleep over tonight. And GOD is Danmark beautiful! I LOVE it! And when you take the train, which you can take from the northern most tip of Jutland (pronounced uland) to Sweden (!!!) you see such amazing views.. it kills me how surreal it all is. I mean - I'M IN DK! Tomorrow I go back to Ringe, Sunday I'm going with my host family to bring my brother, Nikolai to boarding school 17 kilometers away or so, and Tuesday I start school!

So I'm going to go! Please blog back! Vi ses (we'll see you in dansk)!
Oh! And my mailing address, if you care to send me anything is
Svenborgvej 85, 5750 Ringe, Denmark

Hej Hej :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Finally in Ringe!

Hej Everyone!

I just arrived to my host family in Ringe (pronounced Rhiina like Rhinocerous) today after a stressfull and exciting week of traveling! I was in New York for 2 days and Copenhagen (pronounced Cupenhow in danish or dansk) for 4 days. In New York I met up with kids from all over the U.S. going to Norway and Denmark (30 kids). On Thursday we all flew together to Copenhagen where the kids going to Norway took another flight to Oslo and the kids going to Denmark went to orientation camp. At Orientation camp we met kids from ALL over the world! I made friends from Italy, Hungary, France, Thailand, Japan, Peru, Brasil, etc. So much fun! AH! It was craziness playing charades with people who could speak little to no English, but so much fun! Oh! New Zealand and Australia too! Anyway.. at camp we learned about Danish culture, food, language, habits, beliefs, etc. We played games and sports and talked and ate weird food that made me feel as if I was going to starve for a year.. haha. It was SO bad at first, but then I learned to like it. Then today, a group of kids (maybe 25) took a train to be dropped off an to meet their families. I got off in Fyn or Funen (the danish call it Fun like Foon). And my host mom, Maria found me and took me and my friend Shannon (from New Zealand) and Kyla (Australia - she's already been here for 6 months) to Shannon's temporary house which is like 1 kilometer away, not too far. Then we bought dinner and came to my house (which is SOOOO cute and I love my room so much!) and I met my family! They are so nice! Nikolai has been helping me because he speaks good english like my host mom and dad, Maria and Anders. The 2 younger boys, Jonathan and Frederik don't speak much english, but I am able to guess what they are trying to say most of the time. haha........ So now I'm going to go to bed, So Goodnat! Write back!