Saturday, December 15, 2012

I'm leaving on a Jet Plane

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

So, since last updating, I spent the night out in Copenhagen with my closest friends which was an amazing last night together, and I had my last day in Copenhagen.

Getting horizontal to let it digest!

Rebecca and I went to Christiania, which had a really awesome Christmas market, and I couldn't leave Copenhagen without going there at least once, and then we met up at Norreport and went ice skating!  The actual quality of the ice skating wasn't too good because it wasn't Zambonied or anything, but it was still a lot of fun with my friends!

Peace to the World in Christiania!


Ice skating

I then came back and Sigrun and I spent time cooking dinner together, and drinking some wine and eating the cheese I brought back from Amsterdam.  Tomorrow morning Lone and Lasse are coming over for breakfast and to say goodbye, and then Sigrun is taking me to the airport where I will be meeting Kitte, Claus, and Soren so I can say a final goodbye to them!

I am having the hardest time wrapping my head around the fact that I'm leaving this beautiful city I grew to call my home in the last four months.  Regardless of the sometimes questionable weather and very short daylight, this city has made me feel at home and this semester has been the most amazing experience.  Everyone says that you go abroad and you come back different, and I can truly say that has happened to me.  I have a much better appreciation for everything I have, and I have met some of the most amazing people and had the best experiences.  The world seems like such a smaller place to me now, and I hope that this will not be my last experience here.  I have made lasting relationships with friends, and especially with my Danish family.  I can't imagine not seeing them again soon in the future, whether in America or Denmark I could never be sure, but I feel in my heart that it will happen.  They have taken care of me and ensured that I could learn to also call Denmark my home, and I am so ridiculously grateful for this. This semester has truly been a once in a lifetime experience, and I could never be more happy or grateful to my parents to have been able to experience this amazing semester.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hannukah and Hobbitten!

Hi all!

So Wednesday we had our Medical Practice and Policy exam which wasn't altogether terrible, but pretty hard.  To celebrate being done we went out to brunch and then I got to studying my European Storytelling.  Later that night, we all went over Morgans to learn to make Latkes (potatoes pancakes, completely kosher), play Driedel with M&M's (I lost), and celebrate the fifth night of Hannukah!   It was a lot of fun, and just a nice time to relax in the midst of all these finals!

Finished Latkes!

Lighting the Menorah

Alison's first attempt at Latkes

Playing Driedel!

Thursday I had my European storytelling final and then went with that class to see Hobbitten in 3D!  It was awesome because we got free tickets and free popcorn and a soda, and it was in a theatre that sat 1,200 people so it was really cool!  It was definitely a great way to finish off the semester of European storytelling, and it was a realllyyy good movie too, so I was really happy.  It got me in the mood to watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, so I'll have to get that for the plane ride home!

Today I have my last final, have to return my bike, and am then cooking dinner with my friends and we're spending our last night out in Copenhagen.  It's surreal to think this is it, but I have to enjoy every second of my time left here!

Til imorgen!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So. Much. SNOW!

Monday I woke up and did a little bit of studying, but got antsy and decided to do get my Christmas spirit up a little. So I obviously listened to Hanson Christmas music on repeat and baked cookies and homemade boller (rolls)!  Definitely a fun way to relax a little but maybe not the most conducive to good grades on finals.

My Boller!

In the late afternoon, Lone and Anders picked me up and we started down to Nykobing where Soren and Gitte had us over along with Claus and Kitte for a final goodbye dinner for me.  It was such a wonderful night, being with my amazing Danish family who I have grown to know and love so much.  I started to get too sentimental too soon, however and can't figure out how I'm going to make it through saying goodbye to them at the airport.  Yes- they're making an hour and a half drive just to see me off. They're that awesome.  Anyway, after dinner, dessert, and coffee with cookies after that (they are newly obsessed with peanut butter cookies and chocolate crinkles thanks to me!), we looked outside and decided the weather was definitely way to terrible for driving so we made a spur of the moment decision to spend the night with Soren and Gitte.

Peanut butter cookies!

My amazing family

When we woke up today, we realized the roads were still really icy, but I had to get back to study for my exam, so I was put on a train home.  When the train got into Copenhagen I decided to get a bag to carry on some breakable things that I don't trust in my luggage, so I stopped at a store on the walking street, got a carry-on suitcase, and experienced for the first time, in the four months that I have been here (yes- they do it every day), the parade of the Danish Royal Guard accompanied by a marching band and approximately 40 soldiers which were marching to Amalienborg to participate in the "changing of the guard."

All the SNOW from the train

Changing of the Guards parade



After that, I headed home and proceeded to study my butt off for my exam tomorrow, cooked dinner for Sigrun and am now hoping that I'll be ready for this exam!  Tomorrow after the exam, I'm going over Morgans with Alison and Rebecca and I'm learning how to make latkes because its Hannukah!

Til imorgen!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Home away from home

So Thursday I had classes and got on an early afternoon train to Skanderborg to spend the weekend with Jesper, Helle, Emma, and Tobias.  I could write pages and pages about all the great things we did, but here's a rundown:

Thursday night we relaxed, had dinner, and watched the Danish Women's National Handball team beat France in the World Cup!

Friday morning I helped Helle around her shop and set up to have 20 older women visit the shop and then enjoy Aebleskiver and Glogg after!  My favorite part is the absolute lack of communication, but have discovered how you can really learn to communicate a lot through gestures and smiling!

If you combine the rest of Friday and Saturday, we trained Oktan and Rubin (Helle's horses) in the snow, made snowmen, went for tractor rides, had snowball fights, set up the Christmas Villages, made homemade aebleskiver and glogg, learned how to bake peanut butter cookies, and much more!

Tobias

Setting up the Village pieces

Oktan!

Snowman!

Rubin

"Faster, faster!"

Snowball fight!


Family!


This whole weekend was such a special experience for me, just getting closer with my Danish family and relaxing in the hyggelight atmosphere!  They made me feel like I was really part of the family and I wish they didn't live so far away.  Saying bye to them for an indefinite amount of time was such a hard thing to do, and I know it's only going to get worse as times goes on.

After taking an early afternoon train back to Copenhagen, I met Morgan, Alison, and Rebecca to go see the Royal Danish Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty, which was fantastic!  After the ballet we went back to Morgans and made chicken parmesean.  Now that I've had my past few great days, it'd definitely time to buckle down and start studying for finals.

Til imorgen!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Danish hygge!

Hi all!!

Really weird and somewhat disturbing thought before I begin with the past few events of my week - I have an (extremely) limited number of entries left.   It's going to be so weird not being able to write in here all the time and tell my family and friend all of my exciting stories!


But...


Tivoli on Monday with my friends was so much fun.  For all the drink tickets that I have acquired, we went to Studenterhuset first and got some free Gl├╝hwein (Glogg) which is mulled red wine, and pretty amazing.  I must say, before coming to Copenhagen I really didn't like red wine, but this kind is very good, and it's perfect on a freezing cold day!  Morgan, Alison, Rebecca and I basically walked around and looked in the different shops and lights in Tivoli.  We even got to see the lights and laser show over 

the lake which was awesome and reminded me of Disney World's lights and laser shows!


Ice sculpting on the way to Tivoli :)


Christmas tree infront of the City Hall!


Inside Tivoli


Merry Christmas!


China and the roller coaster!


Christmas shopping in Tivoli




Santa's Reindeer in Tivoli!


Tuesday was a very nice day.  I spent the morning scoping out some stores and prices for certain Christmas items and then I met Lone at a place called Conditori La Glace.  It's basically this absolutely amazing bakery/cafe with the best layer cakes and pastries ever.  We had a nice long chat and then headed back to her house where we started working on dinner.  While we were waiting for Anders to get back and actually start cooking dinner, Lone took me to a cute little antique store which had the pattern that I want to start collecting from the Royal Copenhagen, my Bestamor's pattern!  I was so excited because I got the best deal ever on them!  The hard part now will be getting all the china home without breaking it!



La Glace!


After having spent the whole day with Lone and part of the day with Lasse and Anders, I got so sad that I won't be spending more time with them (except they did say they will be coming to the US around Easter)!  I am so lucky for the amazing Danish family that I have. 


Wednesday I went back to all the different stores I had previously scoped out and finished the rest of my Christmas shopping!  I did some studying for my exam that I had today, and then went to my "Goodbye Dinner" for my Medical Practice and Policy core class.  It was such a great time: we went to my professors' house (because they're married doctors with two little munchkins running around), and had dinner and sat around eating and drinking and being merry! We went around the circle and said our most embarrassing/funny moment and then our most memorable moment in Copenhagen, which was a great time of reliving all the fun times we had, and of course made me so nostalgic and emotional!  

It was so hard saying goodbye at the end of the night to my two professors and Andrea, our TA.  They taught me so much and really allowed me to see and do so many awesome things that I never would have the opportunity to do in the US before being in medical school for a few years, in addition to just being great professors and people in general.  I haven't yet been able to wrap my head around the fact that I will now never see these people again who have made such an impact on my life here at DIS and in Copenhagen.  After my exam today in my Partner's and Rivals class, I had to say bye to Jacob too, and that was another hard experience.  I don't think it's quite hit me yet, but I feel bad for whoever is sitting next to me on the plane!

After class today I'm going to Jesper and Helle's for the weekend and will have an early Christmas celebration!! 

Til imorgen!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Amsterdam!

Hi everyone!

Sorry for taking so long to write but...
Since I last wrote in here a few things have happened:
1) I had my last (planned) shift for Studenterhuset - a very upsetting time for me!

Studenterhuset has become an absolutely amazing experience for me and I have made some amazing friends in the hours I spend volunteering.  It is one choice that I made at the beginning of my semester that I never thought would have had such a great impact on my experience here.  This is the beginning of me saying goodbye to Copenhagen and my experiences here and it makes me so upset! I can't believe this semester is coming to an end.  If I actually had free time at Muhlenberg, I would try so hard to work at Java Joes - working in a cafe/coffeeshop is such a fun interactive experience!

2) I spent my last weekend in a foreign (aka not Copenhagen) European city - Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is a great city, but not one of my all-time favorites.  It is actually very similar to Copenhagen, but it has a very questionable Red Light district.  If you avoided this place, it's a charming, beautiful city.  It's ringed by canals and cute bustling shops.  There's a cheese store on every corner and huge historic buildings all over the city.  Unfortunately, it was rainy all weekend, so we didn't get to experience it as beautiful as we know it could have been.

While we were there, we visited the Anne Frank House, the Amsterdam Museum, went to the I Amsterdam letters, walked around the Nine Streets, the Jewish Ghetto and Old/New Synagogue, and many other things.

I have a lot of fun with all of my friends, and it was a great final experience with my core group of friends!  We even ran into a lot of DIS people there also!

So many canals and house boats like Copenhagen!

Inside the Great Old Synagogue 

"Traditional Dutch Pancakes"

I Amsterdam Letters!

Finally some clear skies!

3) I experienced my first Copenhagen snowfall!

While we were gone, the temperature dropped to -3 degrees Celsius!  That meant that the normal wet precipitation of Copenhagen turned to snow!  The city it absolutely beautiful in white, especially with all the Christmas decorations too!

4) I discovered one of my close friends here, Morgan, and I are on the same flight home!

Pretty self explanatory - hopefully we can figure out how to get on close seats!

5) Tonight I get to see Tivoli in the snow with my friends!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How many days left??

Yesterday I was thinking about everything I need to do before I go back home and I realized just how soon that's going to be happening.  It's two weeks and four days (aka 18 days) until I step on that plane back to America and won't be coming back for an indeterminate amount of time.  It's such a hard situation to be in:  I have truly fallen in love with this city, the Danes, and especially my Danish family, and it breaks my heart that I'm going to be saying bye to it all so soon.  At the same time, however, I'm so excited to be back in the States and see my family, friends, and of course Ian!  Christmas is my favorite time of the year and being here with all the decorations is enough to make anyone nostalgic.  

Anyway, enough of those crazy emotions and more about my week.

Sunday we were supposed to go to a Danish Christmas party with DIS, but Sigrun wasn't feeling well so I caught up on work and some much needed sleep.  Monday was class again and I presented a group project for my ethics class.  In European Storytelling we discussed the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter so I was basically in my glory and had an awesome class!  In my medicine class at the hospital, we learned CPR and how to use a defibrillator and response to cardiac arrest within a hospital, which was pretty interesting.  We also practiced more sutures (possible Christmas present mom??)!  

Tuesday I spent the first part of the day volunteering and had a great time.  It's amazing that in my down time, the barchief Travis and I discussed NGO's and Human Rights advocacy.  I never thought I would find myself behind a bar in Copenhagen discussing topics so important and serious, but it goes to show you just how awesome some of the people you meet abroad are.  After that I went on a search for the Post Office and worked my way through learning how to mail home packages (aka, souvenirs and Christmas Presents)!  

Today I had a field study this morning where we watched the Princess Bride - a classic.  After that I did some shopping for Christmas and then went to Studenterhuset to study.  When five o'clock finally rolled around I made my way to Lone and Anders' house where I had a great evening: definitely hyggelit!  Anders made Frikkadeller and we had some great Aeblesandkage too!  It was nice to just catch up with Lone and her son Lasse was studying for a math exam and I actually got to help him with it!  I could definitely see him being one of my closer cousins if I were one to actually live in Copenhagen, and I'm sad it's only just now that I got the opportunity to meet him.  Better late than never though!

Anyway, I have class tomorrow morning so I must get to sleep!

Til imorgen!