Saturday, February 28, 2009

Danish Depression.

I'm actually really surprised.. Denmark is called "the Happiest country", yet people here are getting really depressed from the winter! Not what I expected of vikings. We've had 3 months of "winter" if you want to call it that. It's snowed like 3 times and all of it has melted. In Alaska we have up to 8 months of winter with -45 (C & F) temperatures. And ok so people in Alaska do get depressed.. but not like here. Everyone's spirits are down. They look like zombies.. and Solvej says it's because there's no sun. Bjarke and Solvej were even telling me that some people buy SUN MACHINES.. not with UV rays but just lots of light. So you sit in front of them and they make you happy. This one costs about 800kr ($160) hahaa.. WOW.. I have to say I'm disappointed in the vikings!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

dwindling time in the back of my mind.

SO many things have been on my mind lately! As my days here are dwindling... I'm starting to realize I have to make the most of every day! But the thought of going home is scary.. not because I don't want to go home and see everyone, but it feels like home here and my exchange has gone by in the blink of an eye. I'm enforcing a "no talking about going home" policy. But it's hard, and it's not as if I'm going home tomorrow. Pablo is even having nightmares 3 times a week about going home! We're all nervous and scared about the end of June.
And aside from that looming in the back of my mind.. I'm in a rut when it comes to school. I swear I end up talking about it once a day and I think if I write about it on my blog then I will release some of the stress. I'm in what I term a "school blues".. I don't like going to school. I love my friends there and I basically go to see them, but I end up sitting there with my laptop or attempting to listen and falling asleep. It's that bad. I used to love school! back when I had an actual goal and I could follow the classes.. And as Bjarke says, it IS my responsibility to make school fun and productive. But I'm just stuck in a rut and I need to push myself and make school something I WANT to do.
I also found out that I am going to live in a boarding school for a week! Remember when I first came and I mentioned that Nikolai was going on an efter skole (after school or boarding school) and now I get to try one! It's very common in Denmark to go to an efter skole when you're 14 or 15 (10th grade here) I decided I wanted to go to an art school and I get to go to a really good one in Faaborg where Francesca lives and the same efter skole my best friend Bolette went to!
And the week after that I am going to Milano with my class! In one month!! I'm unbelievably excited! It will be so much fun to travel with my friends and get to see Italy! I'll keep you updated on our Milano trip..
That's all for now.. I just needed to vent a little bit! And keep you updated of course!
knus francine

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Awfulness That Was

more from my winter holiday..
Tuesday Rebeca and I met up in Odense to have some girl time and bum around town. We actually met up with some Rotary kids (Felipe and Julie from Brazil, Kate, Josh and Cookie who are some new kids from Australia and USA, Zea from Hungary, and some others) we haven't seen them in forever and it was great to catch up! I haven't seen some of them in 3 or 4 months.. which is just insane.. (rebeca and me below getting lunch)me and rebeca getting lunch..
Wednesday I took the train from Ringe to Næstved to visit my ministay family! They seemed really happy to see me again! And it was nice to talk more and hang out.. Rie and I made Lasagna and we watched Cassanova and relaxed. I feel so comfortable with them.. my 3rd host family! Rie (above).. when we walked from the train station in Næstved (below)
Thursday morning I caught the train to Nykøbing, Falster to see Ingrid! hence "The Awfulness That Was".. we had SUCH an awesome time! We talked so much that by the 1 in the morning every night I had NO voice left! We made this awesome check list of things we wanted to do while I was there. We made a calendar countdown until we go home.. we made a robot costume for Ingrid's Fastelavn fest in language school.. we watched HEAPS of movies.. I am now in the process of learning to knit believe it or not! I went to language school with her on Thursday.. where we made crafts and we found cardboard boxes which we proceed to tie together and carry home on our bikes to make the robot costume! THAT was hilarious! We went to the library and picked up MORE movies and music.. we bought postcards and picked up freebies at the movie theater.. we ate breakfast 3 times a day and attempted to make dinner one night (the worst mac-n-cheese you've ever tasted! and stirfry that was really really soy-saucy) It was fantasic! I can't wait to go back! And I can't wait til Ingrid comes to visit me!
And then yesterday afternoon (Sunday) I took a bus from Nykøbing onto Lolland.. which drove onto a ferry.. an hour on the ferry.. then an hour drive from Langeland to Ringe. It was SO much easier than taking the train! and cheaper than the train too! only $40! And just to prove how small Denmark is.. I met one of my friends, Kamilla, who was an exchangie in Panama last year and goes to my school and her family on the boat! Ahhh how truly small Denmark is...
And now I'm back at school. I think I'm getting sick from Bjarke and Solvej.. they have been sick for 6 days now.. the poor souls. Having to miss work.. who would want that? But anyway.. it's good to be home.. it always is.

Valentine's Weekend..

WOW! What a week! We were lucky enough to have a week of winter holiday! Thank god.. I needed a break from boring old school.. GAH! It was kind of hard figuring out what to do. Bjarke began kicking my butt a month ago to figure out what I was going to do for holiday. I had some ideas but I never decided or made plans. So the last day of school I was very panicky. I was 2 seconds away from buying a ticket to Norway to go visit Doug but it was too late to get permission from AFS Copenhagen.. and either way.. my wallet could use the break. I ended up hanging out with exchangies all week! what better way to spend my time? Friday Bjarke and Solvej had a really nice Valentine's dinner for me! It was such a cool surprise! They even gave me a really pretty necklace which I've loved for quite some time.. I made a big deal out of Valentine's this year. Being on exchange has really brought out the American in me.. I love to make a big deal out of our American holidays like Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day so my friends here will remember their American exchange student. I made Valentine's for all the kids in my class and my mom sent me American candy which was just perfect! I back cookies too and everyone was so surprised! I love that feeling!

Saturday I had a little movie night at my house.. most of the exchangies (unlike me) had made plans and were on ski tours but Pablo and two of the newbies on Fyn (Evelyn from Guatemala and Sara from Colombia) came and we had so much fun! We had pizza that Bjarke made! yummm... and watched movies! Pablo slept over and Sunday morning we walked down the street for bread.. I love that I can walk down the street and buy bread from the bakery whenever I want (and no matter what Bjarke tells you I volunteered that morning to buy bread). I am going to miss that.. Later on Sunday I went to my friend Casper's house where we had another movie night with Nicka, Maria and Stephanie! (I know.. so healthy right?) It's so nice hanging out with friends.. and just relaxing!

Monday, February 16, 2009

the clue to reduce CO2..

Over here in Denmark the government is just so smart. They have figured out the problem to excess CO2 emissions.. it's not the cars.. it's the cows.
"The Denmark Tax Commission estimates that each cow produces around 4 tons of greenhouse gases per year. Cows release methane from their stomach gases through burps and farts - a gas that is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere." -
But Danish farmers aren't impressed. This tax would raise their costs around 1 million danish kroner a year ($200,000). So basically, either people start eating other meats like chicken and pigs (pigs are already heavily taxed for their farts), or people have to pay ridiculously high prices for cows. Farmers would also be forced to cut down their number of cows.
“Cows burp and emit gas from the other end irrespective of whether there is a tax or not,” says Steen Nørgaard, a danish farmer in Jutland. The cows aren't going to stop farting.. their farts will just be worth more money now!
Bjarke told me and Solvej the news when we were eating dinner tonight.. (luckily it was chicken).. which got me thinking : when are they going to start charging US to fart? soon it will be "You can only fart 30 times a month! So choose your farts carefully! You must think: do I really need to fart? or can I hold it?"
I appologize for this partially disgusting blog.. but I felt it was a topic worth discussing. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

but will the snow stick?

Hello again my avid readers!
As usual I have been keeping busy! and I have a few things to report:
Saturday I went to a concert! It was going to be me, Solvej, Bjarke and our friend Jens. But Solvej was feeling pretty sick Saturday afternoon so Bjarke let me take a friend! And I called Katja! We went to this place called Posten in Odense and heard Smukke Møller (which played like old danish songs that everyone knew.. except me!) and Den Danske Mafia (the Danish Mob) which were some friends of Bjarke! aand it was SO good! Blasting loud! but sooo soo good! When Katja and I finally hit the sack at 2 am we were screaming goodnight to each other, if you catch my drift! Be sure to check out the youtube video on my sidebar!
Sunday afternoon Bjarke, Solvej, our friend Rene, Rie and Lea and I went to see Twilight! I can't tell you enough how excited I was.. after waiting 4 months since it came out in the US. And I can't explain to you the depths of my sorrow and disappointment.. I had such high hopes. The books are my ultime favorite so nothing can compare. At least it was fun to do something together! (Rie, Lea & me before the movie started) Nothing else HUGE happening.. except I feel I must report to you that it snowed yesterday! Whooo snow! right? Except it was a "snow storm"! hahaha.. I really think it's so funny! It snowed a foot and it's actually staying this time! And they call it a snow storm! It's beautiful and everyone (but me) is running outside and throwing snowballs and making snowmen. I find it hard to be happy about snow.. but it is actually really pretty. In small doses! but will the snow stick this time? (our house below)Saturday is Valentines! I have a surprise for my class.. which you will also have to wait to hear about.. as a lot of kids in my class are reading this! hehe.. but I have a plan! I will write soon!
that's it for now! looking forward to winter holiday next week! keep reading!
love francine

Saturday, February 7, 2009


ahhh! I'm going crazy trying to figure out what I want to do for winter holiday (vinter ferie)! There are so many options! And they all cost money.. darn it! So my main task as of now is to figure out what I want to do for my nine-day school-free holiday.. oh the possibilities!
Yesterday was Fastelavn (pronounced fest ill oww en)! Fastelavn is like a carnival.. just a big party where everyone dresses up! Wikipedia describes it as "a Nordic Halloween" where kids dress up and gather for treats. ( It was so much fun! I went shopping with my pals Bolette and Katja on tuesday to buy costumes at the second hand stores. We had a lot of fun, and I ended up stealing one of Katja's ideas and dressing up as an ice cream cone (is vaffel)! However I was a little doubtful of my costume as I made the cone on Thursday night but I think it turned out pretty good in the end! Or at least as good as an ice cream cone can get! And everyone could guess what I was which in my opinion constitutes a successful costume!
My class had a party at Nicka's house which was awesome! We ate pizza and danced and talked, which is simply the best! Nicka and Stephanie were gansters.. haha.. Katja was a weather woman, Mette and Sara were pirates, David was a samari, Anders was a mad scientist, Nick was the Joker, and Julie was a character from Star wars! At 21.00 we went to the school where EVERYONE was dressed up! The music was blasting and it was SO much fun! I walked home (a 10 minute walk from the school) at 01.00 and crashed in my bed I was so tired!
me and Katja
bolette and me
mette and me
mads and mette
mette and Marie
This morning I woke up, showered and rode my bike down the bakery to see my friend Stinna who had to work there early this morning, and buy some fastelavns boller (bread.. or pasteries) which were SO good!I've also rediscovered how much I love my bike. My bikes (yes I have 2) both broke back in November so I've been walking everywhere. It's like one of those things where you say "yes we have to fix that!" and then never get around to it, you know? Bjarke fixed my bike a couple days ago being the wonderful person he is! and now I can cut my traveling time in half by riding my wonderfully fabulous bike! thank god!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Vinterlejr - Winter Camp in Nykøbing

Hej guys!
First of all I want to say thank you for all the support and all the readers! It's been amazing lately how many people are reading and writing to me about doing an exchange! Så tak!!
(me and Snaper)
This weekend we had our Winter Camp in Nykøbing Falster! Which is kind of a long trip, considering we took the train. We should have taken the ferry, which goes from Svendborg straight to Nykøbing.. but at least now I know for next time! (when I go visit Ingrid from New Zealand.. below) It was a really good weekend being with exchange students and catching up with everyone! I love camps! Really I do.. but for me it was also a stressful and exhausting camp. It took us 3 hours to get to Nykøbing! (all the kids from Fyn went together and met up with others as they got on the train in other towns) AFS had sent all the exchangies tickets to Nykøbing, except they sent ME a ticket to Århus instead. So I had to buy my own ticket (300 kr or $60 which AFS will refund). Oh and yeah I kind of LOST this ticket sometime between Friday and Sunday and then had to buy ANOTHER ticket to get home (200 kr or $40) and almost missed the train home by 2 minutes! that was close! But aside from that it was really a good camp! The AFSers on Fyn and South Sjælland have been spending a lot of time together for the past month which makes me feel even closer to everyone.. which I love! (Gonzalo and Daiki and part of Francesca)
(Erika from Italy and Sara from Hong Kong)
(my gang on a walk.. it's funny when you scream "I HAVE A CAMERA!" a group emerges within seconds for a fabulous picture!)
Saturday night we had a big party where everyone had to dress up! I was feeling pretty sick though, just my luck, and I had to lie down for a lot of the night. But we still danced a lot! And didn't got to bed until 3! :) so much fun!
(Me and Vero)
(Erika from Italy, Daiki and Francesca)
(Erika, Pablo and Francesca)
(Lui from Hong Kong, Quentin from France and Pablo from Colombia)
Sunday we did something really cool! At the last camp we had to write letters to ourselves, about our goals and how we felt at the time. AFS kept the letters. And on Sunday we got them back! It was so funny to read it! I wrote a pretty good letter and it made me laugh to read what I thought I would want to hear in January. And then we got to write letters to ourselves again that AFS Denmark will send us in a year after we are home! I can't wait to get it next year! I put my first letter in the envelope too! And put little messages from me in my friends' envelopes that they will get next year! What a cool idea! I'm definitely bringing that idea home with me to AFS Alaska!
All in all a really good weekend. I'm just extremely tired as I haven't slept very long for the past few weeks and I could do with a long sleep! Keep in touch everyone! thinking of you at home..
love francine