Hi Everyone! 

I've been doing really really well here for the past few months! I can't really remember the last time I wrote, so I'll just fill you in on everything. December was probably the busiest month of my exchange so far, I couldn't believe how much there was going on! The first weekend, I had my gymnasium Årsbal - the school's birthday party. We all got dressed to the nines, had a fantastic themed dinner with our class (my class' theme was bollywood, mmmm Indian food!), and danced all night. However, before any fun could be had, we had to dance a traditional Danish dance, Les Lanciers (yes, it is french). The night was fantastic, and everyone was ridiculous. I swear, they have the coolest teachers (aside from BCI's Mr Utting) in Denmark. 



About 5 days after årsbal, I turned 18. For my birthday I went to see The Nutcracker with the Royal Copenhagen Ballet in the city. It was beautiful. My host parents took me out to dinner the next night, requested a flag for the table (on your birthday in Denmark you get a flag!), and just had a grand old time announcing my birthday to the entire restaurant. The friday after I had a truly Danish birthday party, such a good time, I'm really happy that I've made so many Danish friends already, I really wasn't told to anticipate that!

The rest of December I was on vacation from school, but still busier than ever. Between various family events, making sure I could take all the pictures of Copenhagen I needed before the Christmas lights went out, and Christmas shopping, I was barely ever home. Also, here in Denmark, they have a custom called "Julefrokost" a traditional Danish Christmas lunch. Imagine 12-20 people sitting around a table, eating more food than humanly possible, and drinking a dozen "Julebryg" or Christmas beers each. I've never seen anything like it.

Another thing I got to do in December was provide "entertainment" at my host club's Christmas meeting. Before the meeting we went to church for the Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia Day, I had some fun playing some hymns on the piano, and at the end of the service I was told to play exit music. I played the exit music, no one exited. After a really awkward 15-minute concert, I was allowed to leave, and we had our Dinner. Now, the average age of my club is 64.8 (I got bored and calculated it), their English ability is quite good (with the exception of a few men pushing 90 years old), and they're Danish so they can of course hold their liquor. My club was very drunk at the dinner (once again, quite a spectacle for the unassuming exchange student). I had to make a 10-minute speech IN DANISH about my time here so far, and me, being really organized and on top of everything I do, forgot my cue cards at home. So I had to wing it. Now Danish is very very very very very hard, and I really haven't had any quality training, so I'm not really fluent, but in the speech I was getting along quite well, until I realized that I couldn't actually say "I didn't learn any Danish" when telling them about my Danish lessons! So I said it in English, I got quite a laugh, and now I'm the club's pianist and stand-up comedian.

Danish Christmas, or Jul was way too much fun! We celebrated at night on the 24th, and after the BEST dinner ever, we danced around the Christmas tree, singing Danish Christmas songs (except Silent Night, which I sang loudly in English, because the Danish version is just "Merry Christmas" over and over... no meaning), we ate candy, drank tea/coffee, and opened gifts! I was super spoiled, I got socks, and coffee mugs (I was actually overjoyed with the socks and coffee mugs)! Then the cool-down from the Christmas excitement was lovely. I made my host family Christmas stockings, and filled them with gifts for each of them, and made Christmas morning brunch (a custom not practiced here, on the 25th you just recover from the 24th), and just relaxed for a few days. Then came nytår...

New Years in Denmark is quite the affair, everyone gets very dressed up and it's virtually a sin to go to sleep before 3am. Since my host family's children are grown up, we all went our own ways to celebrate new years. I had a lovely dinner with 13 girls from my class, and then after midnight we went to a party with dancing, and lots of merriment. I've never seen so many people in one house, and since I was sharing a cab with a friend that lives near me, I had to leave when she was ready (and the party still wasn't over at this point). I've never gotten home at 6:30am before, it was a new experience.

Now, I'm finally back at school, and it's been a lot of fun. I've started to speak only Danish with my counsellor, host family, and friends from school, and I'm reading Harry Potter in Danish (so funny). I'm having such a fantastic time here, my father is totally just in saying that he's worried I won't come home.. but I am. July 14! It's too soon.

I think that's enough for this extraordinarily long letter though..

Thank you again for sending me here!