Saturday, June 27, 2009

3 hours..

3 hours until we drive (Evelyn, Bjarke and Solvej and me) to Nyborg stationen to catch the train to Copenhagen, where I have a 2 day goodbye camp. I'm packed. Completely. It's so weird seeing my room so clean! hahah..

Yesterday was such a great day! and so extremely hard. I said goodbye to SO MANY people.. but surprisingly I don't feel like crying. I didn't cry. I feel like.. obviously it hurts very much to say goodbye.. but I think it's easier because I KNOW that the people I love, the people who mean so much to me, I will never say goodbye to. I will see them again. That gives me a little peace of mind. The only time I cried yesterday was when Evelyn gave me a letter she wrote. It is probably one the best letters I've ever gotten.. and it means so much to me.. I'm carrying it onto the plane with me! hah..

Today I have to say goodbye to Bjarke, Solvej and Evelyn. And I can say I'm DEFINITELY not looking forward to it. I almost keep pretending it isn't real. I'm going on holiday.. and then I'm coming home. All the exchangies have been talking for MONTHS, saying the same things.. over and OVER about how we feel, and if we're ready to go home, and how is everything going with our families. But I don't think it's quite hit me that after today, I won't see Bjarke and Solvej.. and Evelyn and Vero for a long time. I'm trying to let it sink in.. but I'm almost positive that that moment the train rolls away I'll actually get it.

It's so scary thinking.. maybe this is the last time I use the bathroom here.. or go to the laundry room.. or drink a cup of water. Yeah.. lame I know. But in the end, it's the little things that mean a lot.. the little things you do everyday that make it your home. I really feel like this house, Ringe, Bjarke and Solvej, Evelyn, Vero, the exchangies, my class, our family friends, this is my home. And no matter how many miles I am about to fly over the ocean, across the country, my Fyn Family will always be here for me. There is no goodbye. Only, Vi Ses!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2 days to København

My bags are packed, AMAZINGLY! and.. shockingly... under the weight limit! I don't know how it happened! I was over the limit just last week! I will not question it.. just take it as a good sign!

I can't believe I am going to Copenhagen in 2 days. Saturday at exactly kl. 13.01 I will leave from Nyborg with Peep and Pablo to go to the goodbye camp in Copenhagen. I feel like I have butterflies in my stomach. I can't sleep... which is SO annoying because i'm so damn tired! Evelyn helped me pack quite a bit yesterday too and during my "break time" I fell asleep on top of her. For 2 hours. HAH! My poor little friend... that's the sign of a good pal. When she helps you pack all your shit and then lets you fall asleep on top of her. hahaha...

I've been throwing things out.. making a "Francine Box" for Bjarke and Solvej to save. And I have a trash bag FULL of clothes from me and Vero to the newbies. My Calendar has 4 days left until I leave for the US. It's really nerve racking crossing off the days now. I still don't feel like it's real. As I sit on my bed surrounded by blank walls and full bags. It hasn't QUITE sunk in yet. I'm pretty sure it will all come pouring out Saturday morning. I just wish I could hop into a machine and it would pop me out in Alaska with all my stuff. And I wouldn't have to deal with all this stuff about packing.. and paper work .. and trains and planes. I really hate it.

I'm hoping I'll get ONE more blog in before I leave! And if NOT I will write as soon as I have computer access in the US... my idea is to keep this blog going even after I get home to share what a POST-exchange is like. You never hear very much about that.. and I think it's just as important as the exchange itself!

I just sent an email to all the newbies that will come in August (2009-2010) welcoming them to Fyn and sharing the email addresses of all the oldies and newbies! And my in-betweens: Evelyn and Sara. It's weird to think there will be new AFSers on my beloved Fyn next year. I almost hate sharing.. but I'm excited for them to experience what I have.. to share a part of my wonderful life here. And I know Evelyn and Sara will do me justice by taking care of them.. and showing them what AFS Fyn is all about.

thanks for reading guys. It means.. it has meant.. so much to me. keep it up!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

1 week til Doom Day

Last Thursday was our last stipper (exchangie) dinner on Fyn.. and it was a wonderful day! We were all together ALL day.. we watched the Jyllands Tur movie Evelyn, Vero and I made (which.. I have to say is pretty darn great) We played games, signed everyone's danish flags and gave each other letters and little gifts. It was soo cozy.. but depressing in a way. The last time we're ALL together. And I had to say goodbye to Benthe who's in charge of AFS Fyn over here.. and that was hard. I am really going to miss her. After the dinner, where by the way all the exchangies' families came too, me and Francesca went home with Vero and .. well we were supposed to go to a concert but we showed up and the place was closed. hmmmmm.. not sure. But we bummed around and got a pizza and were just goofy together and came home at 2 in the morning... and woke up at 11 am. HAH.. that was awesome!
Friday we bummed around some more.. spent a lot of time deciding what to eat for lunch. And a lot of time staring in the bakery windows. We ended up buying us a yummy strawberry marzipan cake (i know.. i'm disgusting.. how can i POSSIBLY eat more sweet things? honestly I don't know..) and had some Alaskan coffee! Go North Pole! and Francesca took the bus home. Vero and I were goofy all afternoon too.. we quite enjoyed it! And then we went to a concert at Hardy's called Jakadaba and WOW I love them!! It's like African.. jazz.. reggae.. and it was so cool! We danced for like 4 hours! And I bought the CD!

Saturday Vero and I came back to my house and just.. packed a bit.. cleaned a bit.. did some laundry. Fun stuff. And caught up on our disney movies! I love Mulan! Sunday Evelyn and Vero and I were lucky enough that Bjarke drove us (after a yummy breakfast!!) to Den Fynske Landsby (the Funen Village).. which is a town built from very old houses from all over Fyn.. kind of like Den Gamle By (the Old Town) and that was really fun! We just hung out around the house for the rest of the day.. and it was really cozy!
So now you're updated! I've been so busy! Having heaps of fun of course.. but busy. And I'm really confused. I don't know if I want to go home? Or if I want to stay? Or what it will be like to go home.. and how I feel about it.. and school and friends and the same here. It's like I'm a time bomb! So many thoughts.. they're bound to combust in my head very very soon! I'm pretty nervous. I go to Copenhagen for the goodbye camp on Saturday and then go to New York on Monday where my Aunt, Uncle and cousin will pick me up for the day.. before heading back to Alaska. So many thoughts!
Thanks for reading.. I can only imagine how insane I must sound to you all.. hang in there.. I might be normal in a few weeks! hah!
love gahhhhhhhh francine :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The most AMAZING thing happened to me Friday night. Bjarke and Solvej announced we had a VERY important family dinner.. and it was so important that I wear nice clothes. Our family dinner, Bjarke explained, was at a friend's house.. because our friends are our family. We arrived at some house.. and Bjarke and Solvej anxiously pushed me through some door and I opened it... and ...... SURPRISE!!!!!!! My WHOLE class was there and they put together a surprise party for me!! IT was amazing!! I've never had one before.. and the best part is I had NO IDEA they were planning it! They gave me a t-shirt that said "I heart 2. a" (my class) and lots of little gifts.. and it was SUCH a great party! I love my class! Thank you guys so much...... I am going to miss them so much... and honestly I've kept so busy lately that I haven't realized HOW much I will miss them. They promised to buy me a graduate hat if I come back next year to graduate with them. Which is a BIG DEAL! My mom and I talked and I AM COMING BACK next June to graduate with my super wonderful class!! can I get any luckier?

Saturday Evelyn, Vero and I went with Bjarke and Solvej to this big Plant and Animal store in Odense to buy some flower pots and dirt for Solvej's orchids. And we made Chilean food for dinner! It took us 2 hours but DAMN was it good! My little Chiliean friend Vero taught us how to make it! Vero... I swear I will make it hundreds of times when I get home.. it was SO GOOD! Vero and Evelyn slept over and we watched movies until really late.. hehe..

Sunday we woke up.. had my favorite super duper Solvej & Bjarke breakfast with funky tea and everything! And then we met up with 7 other of our exchangie pals for a wonderful grill picnic on the beach in Faaborg! We grilled hot dogs and it was so yummy! I love when we're all together... we always have fun! rain or sun..

I'm doing ok about going home. Not great.. definitely not great. But I've been feeling pretty good lately being with all my pals.. not being alone. It's when I'm alone that I start realizing I have 11 days before I go to Copenhagen. That's just unbelievable. I remember when I had BEEN HERE 11 days. Time flies faster than the speed of sound.. I swear. And on one hand I'm excited to see my mom and dad again.. and my friends! God I miss my friends. But on the other hand I will miss my family.. my wonderfully amazing friends here.. the life I've made for myself here. And sure I will come back to Denmark. No doubt about it. But I can't ever have THIS life again.. and that is scary.
keeping positive though! happy thoughts happy thoughts!
keep reading, love francine

Egeskov Wednesday!

I DEFINITELY don't write enough! It feels like i've done a million trillion things since the last time I wrote! Last Wednesday Bjarke drove Evelyn, Vero and me to Egeskov and we spent a great day walking around the castle gardens and playing in the awesome playground! We even played Harry Potter.. yes i AM a dork.. but at Egeskov you really feel like you're in the maze from the movie.. i couldn't resist! HAH... plus we had so much fun taking pictures! Solvej made us a yummy quiche pie for dinner too... ah it was so good!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I have officially lost my mind..

WOW I feel like my brain is exploding! A TRILLION thoughts per second.. and I am running off over-tired energy. I've been going going going non-stop.. and as WONDERFUL as it is and as much fun as i'm having (I assure you.. I'm having a blast each and every day which is fabulous!).. it's also very tiring! Today is my first alone night in almost 3 weeks.. and i'm trying to catch up on my blogging and relax.
What I've Been Up To:
I will keep it short and sweet so as not to bore you with the details! I had a goodbye party the Sunday after we got back from Jyllands tur which was AWESOME! SO much fun, and the first time ALL the Fyn AFS kids have been together ALL YEAR (how sad is that?) We relaxed in the garden, played music, barbecued and just had a really cozy night! And we all slept in a big tent behind my house (that took evelyn, bjarke, solvej and me 2 hours to build on Saturday!) and just... basically it was a GREAT party! Monday everyone went home and it ended up Daiki, Snaper, Sara, Evelyn, Vero and me hanging out all day in the garden in the WONDERFUL sunny weather talking and listening to music and going through my WHOLE closet and hanging out.. note: I sun-burned my back SO bad i'm still in pain today.. You can see pictures from the party at
Tuesday: The Queen, Dronning Magrathe, is sailing in her boat around Denmark this week and stopped in Nyborg to say hello to the Kommune and greet the people. SO Vero, Evelyn and I dragged our asses out of bed at 7 am to take the bus to Nyborg and greet the Queen at 10. And I am SO happy we did! I was just feet away from her and she LOOKED at us! It was amazing.. seriously it felt like a fairy tale. If any of you have seen "The Prince and Me" I can tell you it felt JUST like that parade. Everyone waving danish flags, and little kids with paper crowns on their heads... it was magical. Afterwards we bought some fruit (yes fruit! can you believe i bought FRUIT instead of chocolate?) and snacks and headed to the beach! Where we got soaked! And talked and played and... yes I sunburned the back of my legs SO bad that there is a very dramatic RED line above the back of my knee. GAH I couldn't walk all Wednesday! Guys: just use sunscreen.. it will save you a LOT of pain!
Thursday and Friday: Vero and I made a GIANT bike trip to Langeland where Benthe lives! I will remember this trip FOREVER! I was so amazing.. and so horrific (we got really lost at one point).. and just the best adventure! Two girls, two bikes, two bars of chocolate, and a map. I love Veronica :) We went swimming in the ocean with Benthe, who was SO happy to see us! and ate strawberries from her garden with her turtle, Prince Albert! We biked to the southernmost tip of Langeland where you can see Germany in the distance! We visited Langelandsfort, an old World War II fort. I feel so PROUD that we made it there and back.. with a few bumps along the way.. I feel we learned SO much about geography, flowers and plants, Denmark in general, and about how tough we are! And I recommend to all you newbies coming in August to make at least ONE bike trip in Denmark... grab a friend, a bike and bar of chocolate and hit the road! See all pictures at ee
After getting home completely exhausted Saturday night, getting a delicious burger at the best burger place in the world- Jette's Diner, sleeping 9 hours and eating more chocolate, Vero and I woke up Sunday and met up with almost all the AFSers down in Svendborg and had a great day hanging out watching boats and jellyfish go by.. just a really wonderful day with my pals. See all pictures at
Today Vero, Evelyn, Sara and I met took a ferry from Svendborg down to Valdemars Slot (Castle) on Tåsinge and a bunch of little islands and just had a great time singing and dancing on the almost-empty boat! So much fun! We walked a bit on Tåsinge and jumped back on the boat in Troense.. and then went to Veros and relaxed! See the pictures at
So I THINK i've caught you up! I will try to write more frequently, but you know how THAT goes. Tomorrow my mission is to work on the Jyllands Tur movie I'm making and try packing my bags to see how much room I have. YIKES.
I'm feeling like I'm going crazy.... I'm so stressed and I can go from being ridiculously happy one moment.. to crying the next. Someone just says something to me and I just start bawling. I can imagine for you guys at home to wonder why I'm so sad.. and it's not that I'm sad about coming home! It's that I'm leaving SO MUCH here.. so many people I love and so much I care about. I've made a life for myself here, and to leave it feels like leaving a part of my heart.. and it is. I'm hanging in there.. but with only 2 weeks left, only just. So hang in there guys at home. I love you. And to my avid readers thank you THANK YOU for reading! It really keeps me going some days..

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jyllands Tur!

Jyllands tur! I just got back from a huge week-long trip through Jylland (Jutland in English)with 40 other AFS exchangies, and it was a week I will never forget! Basically a week-long party on a bus, sleeping in different schools every night, seeing such AMAZING sights, swimming in the ocean, having a blast! And I am so sad it’s over… I think it will be easier to tell you a little about the places we saw. Here is a map of our 6-day trip.. Monday we started catching the bus down in Svendborg. We drove to the famous Egeskov Castle (which is only 7 kilometers from my house…) You should DEFINITELY check it out and read more about Egeskov at the official site . We slept somewhere near Silkeborg that night. Tuesday morning we drove to the bottom of Himmelbjerget, the second tallest point in Denmark (I used to think it was the tallest but actually.. it’s not) and “hiked” to the top from the beautiful lake. It was so pretty as the sun was coming up! Afterwards we drove, stopped and had lunch and then visited Århus Den Gamle By (the Old Town) which is a collection of houses from all over Denmark all dating around the time of Hans Christian Andersen. It was VERY cool! People were dressed from that time period and making food as they used to. A really great place to visit! We got a tour around and met the baker, and other towns folk! Read more about Den Gamle By at .
We slept somewhere on the coast and Wednesday morning we drove up to Skagen and Grenen, which was absolutely AMAZING! It’s where the two oceans meet. SO the waves are not coming onto the shore, but crashing into each other! And it’s so unbelievable! We ran out into the water and got SOAKED! And the wind was incredible! Then we visited Skagens Museum which is famous for painters in the 1870s and the many paintings like Summer Evening and the Fisherman. Read more at . We slept at a boy scout house on the beach and Vero, Francesca, Sara, and Benthe (who is in charge of AFS Fyn and who organized this trip) went swimming in the frozen ocean! It was SO wonderful!
Thursday morning we went to Rubjerg Knude where a huge sand dune, that is being moved across the country by powerful winds is covering a lighthouse. And we saw Mårup Church which used to be over a kilometer from the ocean, and because of the eroding cliff is now only meters from dropping into the sea. The wind there was SO powerful and it was just an incredible sight… Then we drove down to Esbjerg and saw the Fishery and Marine where we saw a seal show and got to touch a stingray (it was really icky but super cool!) Check it out at . And we saw the big art statues, the white men as I call them, looking out to sea…
Friday we visited Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark and went up in the big church for an amazing view all the way to Esbjerg! You can read more about Ribe at . And then we hit the famous LEGOLAND. All I can say is… “I LOVE LEGOLAND!!!!” I’ve never seen so many legos in my whole life! Everything was legos… everywhere and there were such cool rides and shows and sites.. it was fabulous in every way! So click HERE to read about Legoland!
Saturday we drove back to Odense.. and visited the Hans Christian Andersen Museum and house which was really interesting! I was surprised at how many stories I know that were written by him, the little mermaid, the princess and the pea, the Emperor’s new clothes, Thumbelina, etc. I learned so much about him.. and his life.. it was a really great museum! Check it out at .

God I had an AMAZING time on Jyllands tur and I feel bad for all the exchangies that missed out on it… for those kids coming to Denmark next year, you do NOT want to miss this! You can see ALL my pictures at , all Vero’s at and soon there will be more on another site. Thanks for reading! Francine