Når det er Januar i Minnesota, det er typisk for mig til at ski meget, laver meget varmchokolade, og har an interessent gang når jeg kører. Denne Januar var et lidt anderledes for mig, fordi jeg kun ikke ski. I stedet, jeg lærte mere dansk, havde nogen hygge, skrev meget, og være udsat for ny ting. Jeg også græd over politik i mit egne land, men denne er ikke den blog post at skrive om det.

So, what a ski-crazed Minnesotan do when there is no chance to ski? Well, it turns out there is a lot of things to despite there being more rain than snow.

The best thing to do, of course, is hygge a lot. I’m not talking about buying natural fabrics and colors for your home, that doesn’t matter to Danes. The hygge movement in the US, though mostly correct with the newspapers, does not correctly portray hygge I have heard on television. To sum it up; hygge is the warm feeling you get from having a cozy time with others. It’s the best cure to to rainy weather, and essential when it rains almost half the time during winter.

I have realized that my most common hygge spot is with my Sarah (Canada), as have met up at the local bakery’s coffee shop that is located in a grocery store many times. It’s really convenient, because I can just go there after school and write while she works out, and then she can come there. There is amazing hot chocolate there, and a pretty view. Sarah and I have now made many memories and had lots of rejuvenating hygge; and have formed an attachment to this certain spot.

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(That’s actually snow, not dirt on the window, and this picture can’t capture how pretty it was.)

Of course, this isn’t the only place I can have hygge, and I have experienced a lot of it recently. I still meet up with friends at other cafes as well. I have started going to monthly KFS (local Lutheran youth groups) meet ups, despite the fact that my Danish is not quite where it needs to be to understand everything. I got to have hygge and see Benedikt’s dogs at the same time, which provided a good distraction from Trump’s first week, with some great people and overly-pettable dogs.  I got to go to the local Svømmehal (swimming hall)  with some friends last Saturday, and had more hygge and inner tube battles. That day ended with a walk around Haderslev with my friend Yuna from Japan, and her Japanese friend, which was a tiny bit cold but still very cozy.

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Another thing that kept me busy was seeing my first ice hockey game in Vojens with my host mom! Hockey is one of the few sports that I thoroughly understand, and that’s probably only because I played it when I was in elementary school. Though I come from a wrestling town, Minnesota is a hockey state, and so I find it a bit of a coincidence that I was sent to the town with the biggest ice hockey stadium in Denmark. It also is a bit funny that my first professional hockey game has now been seen in Denmark, not Minnesota.

Watching professional sports is basically the same in every country – viewers like to drink beer and be loud. Vojens is no exception, except for they probably like their beer even better than Americans. There was lots of fights between the players, loud chants and drumming, and spinning scarfs around (which I soon joined in on). I haven’t seen a hockey game in a while, so this was quite the treat.

Time has been going by fast, and I do actually have to think about moving to my last host family now. That’s still over a month away, but I finally got to eat dinner with my third host family! I heard about my third host family about four months ago, but it’s been only now that I have gotten to know them. I now know where I will live for the last part of my exchange, which happens to be very close to where I lived for the first part. Marie (værtsmor), Torben (værtsfar), Simon (værtsbror), og Johanne (lille værtsøster) are all very kind, and I am looking forward to getting to know them better and attempting to not get beaten by Johanne in chess. I also will have another host sister, Emilie, who is currently at Efterskole and will be an exchange student next year, and I am excited to pass on my exchange student knowledge to her.

I may technically have less than my exchange left, but I believe that my second half will be even better than my first half. I already can understand most Danish conversations, and I am speaking more and more Danish. The tougher – but thankfully for me, it was still fun – patch that all exchange students go over is finished, and I know that unlike my country’s political situation, my exchange is only getting better.

Jeg er så heldig at være her, til at have fantastisk værtsfamilier, til at have så mange muligheder. Det er snart jeg skal finde ud noget vigtig for min fremtiden, noget jar har tænkt på meget. Jeg skal se hvad jeg skal lave i mit næste flere år. Jeg også har meget mere sjovt ting til at komme, og glæder mig til at skrive om dem. Indtil den, jeg har nogen smukke billede af Haderslev –

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