Sønderjysk kaffebord

Yesterday, Sunday, all the AFS students of Sonderjylland (South of Jylland) met up in Cranking Mill, Hammlev. Hammlev is like a 15 minutes drive away from Haderslev.

I looked so much foward to this day. I wasn’t only going to eat a lot cake but I was going to see my friends back. The whole school week I was talking with my friends, who I knew that would come Sunday, about Sønderjysk kaffebord. We were even discussing which cakes we should make for the other students. I wanted to represent my own country so I made selfmade Belgian Waffles with Danish ice cream. I think they liked the Belgian waffles since everything was gone when I cleaned it up.

Earlier this week, Tuesday, we had an AFS meeting to see this special birds at the border between Denmark and Germany. In the winter, yhese birds come back to Danmark from the southern parts of the world. They come back in groups of thousand birds and they fly as little acrobats through the air which makes it seems like they are dancing. We met up in Tønder with the AFS students who were invited by their community. . Of course I wanted to see what this event was. At the event I saw some of my friends back for the first time after six weeks. Anna, my friend from Germany, and I hugged for like two minutes. We talked all the way to the border between Germany and Danmark. When we arrived at the place where the event would take place, we sat with the other exchange students. I made a new Italian friend, Niccolò. He really is a funny guy. To lure the birds we had to held up a stick or some sort of plant where the birds would sleep in. When you saw them, you had to held it very high so they would come dance in front of you. We talked and laughed for a long time until it was time to go back home.

School was not really that special. Everyday we have the same scedule we got in the beginning of the year. The only thing that has got better is my Danish. I begin to understand more and sometimes I try to pick up words and make a sentence with it. I try to answer people who ask me a question as much as I can in Danish. It will always be a difficult language but if you try everyday my goal of speaking Danish before Christmas will come true. Also something special about school is my class. I really really really like my class. I made some wonderful friends through this six weeks I have been here. When I leave in June, I know that I am coming back to see them. I have already planned that.

Friday evening I went dancing with Elena, my Italian friend. I am so happy we can do this together since we both share a love for dancing and for the same genre of dancing. After three-four years of not dancing, it feels good to be back. It might be something I would love to continue again if I come back to Belgium.

But now back to Sunday!

After we ate a lot of cake (I am suprised that I even lost weight with all the cake I have eaten this past weeks here) and believe me when I say a lot, we sang together a song ‘Brother Jacob’. They made a translation in all the languages (Italian, Dansk, Chinese, Japanese, German, English, Portugees and Spanish) but not Dutch. So at some point after everyone was finished singing their version I stood up and sang alone in Dutch. I realized at that moment what a bad singer I am. My younger host sister, Eva, confirmed that after I sat down again. I talked with my friends that I hadn’t seen for six weeks but I met new people. I really am happy that I made the decision to go away with AFS because I see the world now through a different point of view. You get in touch with some much different cultures. You make friends all of the world which gives you more reasons to travel in the future to see all of those people back to look back old memories and to make new memories.

In the AFS Haderslev community we are with three AFS exchange students:

Elena from Italy. She is a really funny girl, a great listener and loves to have fun. She is in the same class as me. In the beginning we really only had each other. But now we made friendships with a lot people of our class. It is funny because when my father went on his exchange year to the United States of America, one of his best friends was from Italy and now it is the same with me. Also my mother her exchange year was to Italy. I really hope Elena and I will stay in touch after this year.

Kate from China. She is a very sweet girl. I don’t her that well yet because I only have extra English and extra Danish classes with her but I hope I will get to know her better during the year we are here.

And then you have me from Belgium.

I think we make a good team. This Thursday we are going bowling with the volunteers and the exchange students so that is fun.

In our school we can’t forget the two other exchange students from Rotary:

Liza from Mexico. She is a sweet girl and we have talked quite a lot. She is for sure a good friend of me.

Alex from USA. I thought he was shy in the beginning but now that I know him more, he isn’t shy at all. We both like to make fun of each other but he really is a great and funny guy. He and I will for sure stay in touch.

After six weeks I can really tell you that I feel that I am part of the Madsen-Lind family here in Danmark. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions. For example a two weeks ago Iben and I were having our birthday party for the family. I remember my parents gave me a present that got me very emotional. I start tearing up in front of the whole family and Iben immediatley hugged me. When I entered the kitchen where my mother was with some of my aunts I told her that I was emotional because I realized that there was already one month that had passed and that it was going so fast. The only emotion I haven’t felt yet is ‘getting angry’ and I hope we can let it stay that way.

As you can see everything is going great in Danmark. Honestly, I feel happy. Happy that I got the chance to experience an adventure as this.

Soon I will be back with another update. Next weekend I am meeting up with different AFS students in Odense and I am going to see my Belgian, Ellen en Marie, AFS friends back who are here for three months. The weekend after that I have an AFS weekend with Sonderjylland so there will be two updates in the next two weeks. So stay tuned.


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