Almost 2 months of my exchange has flown by, as we all know it tends to do this when you are having fun.  Getting off the tiny 28 seater plane in Billund and being welcomed by the harsh cold temperatures feels like only yesterday.  While I was shivering and trying to practice “Hygge” to stay warm, New Zealand had a heatwave.  I am definitely missing the sunshine but Spring is on the way.

 

Since arriving in Denmark, I have learned more than any class could ever teach me.  For instance, I was taught the rules of soccer and how to dance South American style on Intro Camp.  I can now cook more meals than before I left, including Danish leek and potato soup with flutes (a type of bread) as well as Indian curry.

 

I also learned the hard way that my clothes shrink in the dryer (in NZ I am used to line drying everything).  Or maybe my clothes aren’t shrinking and I’m just growing my puku.  I now know that I can get supermarket vouchers in exchange for empty bottles and cans, so I collect recyclables from my classmates after lunch to help fund my growing addiction for salty liquorice.  I also baked my first “successful” pavlova for Ungdomkulturhuset (Youth Culture House), I learned that cream and berries can fix a broken cake.  Yesterday I went to a museum in Jelling (where Harald Bluetooth, the king who united Denmark, created a fortress).  I learned a lot about Denmark’s Viking history and the continued influence and significance of Norse mythology in the country.

 

My host family were awesome enough to take me along on their ski holiday to the Dolomites in Italy, where I very quickly found out that New Zealand ski fields are miniscule.  I also re-learnt skiing (the last time I skied was at the age of 10), when I discovered the mountain had a lot of flat areas that were designed with skiers (as opposed to snowboarders) in mind.  This trip was without a doubt my favourite part of my exchange so far.

 

Before I left, I thought that apart from my family, the mountains would be what I missed most about Aotearoa.  The other day I looked up at the night sky and saw no Southern cross and very few stars compared to what I am used to back home.  I also discovered that I took the humble feijoa for granted back at home.  Nobody here has even heard about the wonderful fruit.

 

I am looking forward to continuing on this epic adventure, thank you again to Rotary for making this trip a possibility for me.  Or, as they would say på Dansk, tusind tak (a thousand thanks).

 

 
For more photos from Leah, click here.
 
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