Det er ikke så lang tid til, før jeg bliver tager afsted, desværre. Imidlertid har jeg den bedste del af min udveksling tilbage, fordi jeg nu kan sige det meste af, hvad jeg har lyst at sige på dansk.

Soon, it will only be three months I have left in Denmark. That means I have spent eight months here. I guess you could say that my Danish has gotten a lot better.

I now have a much greater ability to understand Danish, and can almost always understand what’s going on. Sometimes I need a bit of help with some words, but there isn’t a language barrier. My work that I put into learning Danish before I came here is paying off.

I now speak nearly all Danish with my Danish friends. Unless it is something that I have trouble even explaining in English, it is all Danish with my host family. I have surprised myself and found out that I can actually talk about politics with Simon (host brother), though the credit should really go to Simon for being very patient and helping me out a lot. Johanne and I don’t have a problem communicating in Danish, though it is quite fun for all of us when she demonstrates to us the English that she does know.

One of the things I have been doing is reading books. I started with books that were a bit easier, but I surprised myself when I checked out a book for 10-13 year old girls and could understand almost everything, and going pages without having to use the dictionary. Of course it does help to use the dictionary, but it is truly amazing thinking about how far I have come since I first came here. Going from two year old reading level to ten year old level within a time period of seven months is a really special experience.

Of course, my Danish is still far from perfect, and that does lead to some entertaining moments. My second day with the Skødts, I asked Simon if he was feeling better, but it sounded a lot like I was asking him to pass me the beets, which were in equal distance of both of us. This is the difference of “Følger du bedre?” (Are you feeling better?) and “Må jeg beder dig for rødbede?” (Can you please pass the red beets?). When we were cleaning up after dinner in the summer house, I asked Torben (host dad) if I should take the rug off the table, when I meant to say tablecloth. There have also been times when I have started speaking Danish or English without thinking which language I am speaking.

Other than speaking a lot of Danish and reading, I have been up to some other stuff.

On Saturday, I got to take my first vinterbåd (winter bath). I’ve already done the Polar Plunge in the United States under extremely cold conditions, so I guess you could say that I have already become a isbjørn (polar bear). However, I hadn’t become a viking yet, so it was time to strip down to the ridiculous swimsuit I used for the polar plunge again and take my vinterbåd.

I had been looking for a chance to take the vinterbåd, and it ended up working out really well when Sarah (Canadian best friend) raised enough money to send a girl in need to school, and was obligated to fulfill her promise of taking a vinterbåd if she raised enough money. Most of her host family and I headed down to the beach together after a dejlig morning brunch.

I confess that I wasn’t too scared after having survived the Polar Plunge. I can’t say the same for Sarah, but that didn’t stop her when we arrived at the beach. She went right in, and soon was joined by her little host brother Emil and her host father Allan.

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I knew that I had to go in not long after. I got the towels set up for afterwards, and ran into the chilly Danish lake.

It was quite cold, but did not really have anything on the Polar Plunge. It took a minute to wipe off, and then I was perfectly content to stand around the beach and laugh a lot with Sarah.

The vinterbåd may not have much of a reason to be feared, but it was still an experience to be had. We concluded that it is actually pretty hyggeligt to do together, and though it’s said to make you healthier, it also just might make you happier.

Besides taking a vinterbåd, I’ve been up to some other stuff as well. I have a fair amount of energy that I am starting to take out at the gym. It feels really good to be going to fitness again, despite getting to bike five kilometers to get home afterwards (it’s not hard to bike, it’s just not the most enjoyable after doing a leg workout and have used up all of your energy).

I’ve also seen a lot of Emilie and Johanne’s gymnastic/dance performances. This weekend was the final performance, and it is safe to say that I am a proud exchange student sister. Here, the performances have many parts, and I am sure that they must put a lot of work into them.

There has been a fair amount of hygge as well, with plenty of tea and sometimes, as I experienced last week, really delicious Minnesota shaped scones. This is how I will finish my blog, but there should be more coming soon.

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Nu tænker jeg på, når jeg skal flyve tilbage, som jeg ikke glæder mig til. Indtil det tidspunkt skal jeg forsætte med at spise en masse mad, løbe udenfor, når det ikke er dårligt vejr, og få mere hjælp med dansk. Glæder mig til tid med min værtsfamilie, mine venner og Europatur. De gode ting er lige om hjørnet.

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