Friday, the 5th of October, until Sunday, the 7th of October, I had my second AFS weekend. My first AFS camp was when I arrived in Copenhagen the 10th of August. The day this fantastic adventure began.
Friday after school I got picked up by Elena’s host father who was bringing us to Vojens to take the train to Odense, our first stop. We arrived an half an hour before our train was supposed to be there. Well you see I wrote supposed to be there because our train was late. It reminds me of the Belgian trains. We met up with Laetitia (Brazil), Nisha (Thailand), Tinkerbell (Japan) and Kate (China) in Vojens to take our train. During the train ride we had to sit on the ground until Kolding. Many people got off in Kolding and we raced our way to a place. Our train did it’s best to not wait that long at every stop between Vojens and Kolding because otherwise we would have missed our train in Odense. What means that we would have been late for our camp.
In Odense Anna, my friend from Germany, waited for us on the track. Luckily our train from Vojens arrived 5 minutes later in Odense than the time we were supossed to be there. We got on our train to Stenstrup where we would get picked up by cars to drive us to the place we were spending the weekend. On the train we met Marisol and Caetano from Brazil. Many memories came back alive from our arrival camp in August. The train ride to half an hour until we were in Stenstrup Syd. When we arrived we were welcomed by host families from exchange students who lived on Fyn or close to the Egebjerghytten. Anna, Elena and I got in the car with a Turkish girl who lived on Fyn. The car ride took 10 minutes and then there was the moment I was about the see all my friends back and people who I was going to get to know better this weekend.
As first we dropped our lugage in one of the two rooms and said ‘hello’ to everyone. After everyone arrived and was settled down we had time to eat our dinner. After that we were going to devide ourselfs in the rooms. I slept together in the room with people from Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Germany, Turkey, Japan and the United States of America.
Friday night we played games to get to know each other better. First we played games where we had to go around the circle and you had to say your name with a word that started with the beginning letter of your name. The person behind you had to repeat your name and then say his name. The last person in the circle had to say everyone’s name and word. Of course I was the last person but I remembered them all. I was repeating all the names everytime else was about too. Second game we had to sit in a circle on chairs and someone was standing in the middle of the circle and asking a specific person in the circle if they liked their neighbours. If you did then your neighbours had to switch places. The person in the middle had to try to seat on one of the chairs. If you said that you didn’t like them you had to say for example ‘I only like people with black shoes.’ and then everyone with black shoes had to find another seat. We went to bed at midnight and the next morning we would be woken up by half past 8 or 7.30 if you wanted to shower.
Saturday was a day full of sessions. We got devided in three groups with each a volunteer in who was in charge of the sessions. The first session was about our school life in Denmark and if we had noticed differences between the school system here in Denmark and our home country. I told them that my schooldays in Belgium were longer and that I was used to write everything down on paper.
After the session about school life was had a little break. Our second session was outside where we learned about greetings and politeness between the Danes. What is respectfull for the Danes? What do Danes find polite? How do they show politeness? These were questions that were asked to us. We started with an icebraker. We all got different greetings and we had to go around in our group to greet everyone. You had to come out of your comfortzone for some greetings. We represented the Danish culture with a iceberg: the top was everything we thought about Denmark before we arrived here and everything under the surface there was everything that we are about to find out.
After this sessions we had lunchbreak where we all met up. After the lunchbreak we had a session about our hostfamily and our relationship with them. I told them that I felt at home with my family. In the beginning there were things I had to get used to and it might took me longer than I thought I would but eventually I found my way around. In the beginning I needed some me-time to get used to different things. I feel like that might slow down now. I still will need to me-time but I feel like I got used to being here and being part of this wonderful family. I am very lucky that they chose me and everyday I am reminded by that thought.
Our last session of the day was about what we do in our freetime. Do we hang out with friends? Do you we join clubs? I recently started dancing in Aabenraa. It is 25 km futher away from Haderslev. Most of the time Elena her host parents drive us there but last week I had to take the bus which takes about 40 minutes. It feels good to start dancing again. All the frustrations of the week and all the stress gets out of you. I do dancing together with Elena and Anna, a girl from our class. I try to do a lot of stuff with my friends here in Denmark. In a short time I made friends for a lifetime. Not only my AFS friends but also my classmates that accepted me the day I walked into the class and welcomed me in the class. There is of course also Elena. She has been by my side since day one. We have been through almost every emotions in those two months. I am very lucky to have a friend like her here in Denmark.
After our last session we played a game before we could make ourself ready for dinner. We got a typical Danish dinner: pork made in a Danish way, potatoes, red carbage and gravy. Every group of the sessions had to entertain the other group. The first group made a game where they said a word and you had to sing a song where that word was part of. It was really funny. Everyone was so competitive. The second game was the chair dance where you have chair in a circle with backs to each other and you dance around on music. When the music stops you need to sit as fast as you can on a chair. If you don’t have one you are out. The last game was from my group. It was a clap game in a circle. We were in an circle and you had to clap each others hand while someone sang a song. When the song ended you needed to sleep the hand of the person left from you but he or she was allowed to take their hand away. If you missed you were out and if you did slap the other person their hand you won and he or she was out.
After the entertainment we went outside to the bonfire to sing songs together and have marshmallows between cookies. It even began to rain a little but nobody cared and just stayed outside around the camp fire. I really felt like we were a close group. Everyone singing, talking and having fun together. It was totally HYGGE. When we got inside we ate cake for Hitomi her birthday. After we all listened to the national anthem of Denmark before we could go to bed. If you are curious about there anthem I will leave the link underneath this post.
Sunday we had our last session about our achievements and goals for the next AFS camp. I had one important one and one funny one:
- I want to speak more Danish so that I can follow in school and hand in more assignments.
- I want to go running at least 2-3 times a week so that I can train to run 5km in 30 minutes.
After the sessions we had to write ourself a letter to our future self. I am wondering how things will be when I read the letter again.
We cleaned up and had lunch together. At some point we had to say goodbye to each other because the first parents were arriving to pick students about. Elena and I had a ride home with Kate to Haderslev. My mom came to pick us up at some parking. And that was the end of AFS camp.
I can’t believe that tomorrow I will be here for two months already. Every day flies by so quick and something I can’t even stand still by everything that is happening. I have been feeling like a real life rollercoaster because of the different emotions that has been going through my body. I feel like tomorrow I am about the cry again since two months have already past but I also know that I am going to be happy because I know that I had already so many memories with my wonderful family and friends.
I might post tomorrow about the two months that have passed already in Denmark.
P.S. Here is the link to the Danish national anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSwV-DJivQU