Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lørdags Avis ... Saturday´s Newspaper

Vi åbnedede vores Herning Folkeblad i morges, kender min artikel var på avisen i dag, men vi var MEGET OVERRASKELSET med hvor STOR mit billede var! Kigge!
We opened our Herning Folkeblad this morning, knowing my article was in the paper today, but we were VERY SURPRISED with how BIG my picture was! Look!

Jeg glæder mig at have lejligheden at fortælle min historie om bliver en udlænding bor i Herning. Jeg tror journalist Marianne Eskildsen skrev en rigtig god artikel og den skal hjælpe mig at få forbindelser til firmar omkring Herning. Jeg elsker at undervise engelsk til mennesker, men den er kun 3 eller 4 timer om ugen, ikke en fuldtid job. Jeg har brug for et job hvor jeg kan bruge min dygtighed at lave et bidrag i Danmark. Måske denne skal hjælpe.... fordi, jeg tror enhver omkring Herning Kommune har set mit ansigt nu!

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to tell my story about being a foreigner living in Herning. I believe that reporter Marianne Eskildsen wrote a great artikel and it will help me to get connections to companies around Herning. I love teaching English to people, but it is only 3 or 4 hours a week, not a full time job. I need a job where I can use my skills to make a contribution in Denmark. Maybe this will help....because I think everyone around Herning county has seen my face now!
Here is my translation of the article into English:
Headline: From Texas to Herning Denmark

Photo caption: American Kelli Nørgaard is very glad to be living in Denmark, but there is only one problem. She misses a job. "This long extended vacation time is driving me crazy. In Dallas I worked 60-70 hours every week. And it is not unusual for a person to only have two weeks of vacation," grins Kelli Nørgaard.

Abstract:Love brought Kelli Nørgaard from Dallas, Texas, USA, to Herning Denmark and she cannot wait to become fully integrated into Danish society, get a job, friends and learn Danish better.


Of all the towns in the country of Denmark, what in the world made Kelli Nørgaard, an American from a big place like Dallas, choose to settle in the town of Herning?! This question has been asked of her many times. The answer is simple...Love. But in fact, Kelli Nørgaard and Dane Mads Thellufsen Nørgaard could have just as easily chosen to settle in the US.
"We looked at both options, but for one thing, at that time of making the decision, Mads´ dad was not in good health. Also, I believe that it is important for me, now that I am married to a Dane, to understand what that really means. And the best place to about Denmark and the Danish people is here," says 38 year old Kelli Nørgaard, in English, with a distinct Texas accent.

One trip becomes many
Kelli Nørgaard and Mads Thellufsen Nørgaard met each other through friends in the US, who invited both of them to the same dinner in Dallas a couple of years ago. When it was time for Mads´ trip to Texas to end, the two exchanged email addresses and began corresponding across the Atlantic ocean. One day Kelli Nørgaard made the decision to meet meet Mads in Copenhagen. This one trip turned into many and last November, the two were married--after Mads, using the old fashioned way, asked Kelli´s dad for her hand in marriage, via SKYPE on the webcam.

Kelli and her 17 year old daughter, Jessica, made the decision that they would both move to Denmark, but it must be said that after Jessica experienced her first Danish winter, she began to change her mind, but understood that her mom would go forward with the plan to move. It is difficult for them to be apart, but it is helping to prepare them as Jessica will be leaving for the university in the near future. Of course, the two have daily contact on Skype and with the webcam.

Job search
At the first of June Kelli Nørgaard permanently moved to Herning, after she had completed her contract as a high school principal at a school with 1200 students in the Dallas area.
As soon as she knew that Mads "was the one" she immediately began learning the Danish language. She installed the Berlingske newspaper in Danish as the homepage on her computer so that she could follow the events happening in Denmark and practice the language. This means that she was moving ahead toward being able to read and write in Danish.
And now she plows through the job announcements on the internet and in the newspaper because her biggest wish is to get a full time job as soon as possible.

16 Rejections
Kelli Nørgaard has university degrees in Education and in English and she is in the final phase of her PhD in Education, but she can easily handle her work on her PhD alongside a full time job. She has already applied for sixteen positions, but only one company, Oxford University Press, has actually invited her for an interview for a sales position in Denmark. At the start of the interview, the first question they asked her was about why in the world she was applying for a job that she was so overqualified for, and this was actually the reason they gave her for not offering her the job.
But Kelli Nørgaard will just keep looking to find a job. It is not important that the position meet 100% of her specifications. She knows there must be a place for her in a company in Denmark.
"As a high school principal I was responsible for 100 staff members made up of both teachers and administrative support positions. I recruited, hired, trained and evaluated and all other things associated with human resources. I believe people are people and that there must be a place in Denmark that understands that there is not a great deal of difference between people and their needs in the work place in Denmark and in the US.

Open and friendly Danes
But aside from the job, Kelli Nørgaard is doing great in Herning Denmark.
"I could not imagine myself living in Copenhagen--it is too big and overwhelming of a place right now--Herning is perfect. Mads´ family lives in Lind, and I can ride my bike to all the places I need to go." "And the Danes are so sweet," she says and she believes they have all been very welcoming toward her.
"Even in the smallest of shops, they immediately switch to English after I open my mouth. I was in Matas the other day and the clerk waited so patiently on me to count my Danish money out. Everyone has been so accommodating. I have been to Copenhagen, Århus, Horsens and all along the west coast and have found the same and friendly people. The only frustration I have is not having a job," she says impatiently. "But there must be a place for me, even though I don´t know Danish perfectly yet."

Real Peanut Butter
Above and beyond the missing job, there are only a few things that Kelli Nørgaard really misses. For example the long opening hours of the shops and peanut butter. But we have peanut butter in the grocery stores in Denmark....
"But not the right kind of peanut butter" sighs Kelli, who has tasted the kinds in our stores. "I need the creamy soft kind that I used to eat every day in the US." So she uses every opportunity to stock up each time she goes to the US and each time someone from home comes to visit her.
She has even found most of the Cajun spices she uses to make her Cajun food, or at least something comparable. So there is no problem, as long as she remembers how early the stores close!
"I cannot even imagine how you do it when you work full time and have to get groceries bought before the stores close at 5:30, but I do like the concept of everyone going home to their families where they eat together. In the US, after about 20 minutes, dinner time is over. But here, you have long conversation time at the meal, and usually, the kids and teens even sit with you at the table the entire time. I like that part," says Kelli Nørgaard.

Good contact "person"
All in all, Kelli Nørgaard has had a very positive integration experience and she says she wants to be the textbook example of a foreigner living in Denmark.
"I know well enough, that this is not the same for everyone, but it has been a really positive experience for me. But I believe it is because I want to become integrated. I did not move to Denmark to create a smaller version of Texas. And I do not understand how people move here, not committed to learn the language. But I can tell you that the Danish language is quite difficult to master", she says as she grins.
It is good then, that she has her Bichon, Albert who cam with her from the US along with her cat, Emmitt, who was hiding under the bed upstairs at the time.
"Albert is my connection to other people. When he and I are out walking each day, children stop with their parents to talk. They have no idea, though, that he is an American dog!" she says with a smile.


Anonymous said...

OMG kelli that's so awesome. Now I know a famous person in DK hehe

NotQuiteDanish said...

OMG you are now head Expat in DK ! :) Well done. The article is great. I had no idea your daughter had tried life out here - that must have been hard to see her go back but i think it would be especially hard for a 17yo in a strange land. Is herning far from Kolding? There was a job as a copywriter there...

Unknown said...

Wow... How cool is that... All it takes is ONE person seeing the article... Getting a job where you are happy will make all of the difference in the world...
Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Suzanne said...

That's terrific Kelli. WOW. You're famous in Denmark. Hopefully it will spark some interest by an employer.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

HOLMES said...

Well, it's good to see Emmitt hasn't changed.

Great article! And even though I know the story of you and Mads from start to present, it is really overwhelming to see it all in print, summed up in a newspaper article! That is amazing!

Rachel said...

Congrats on a great article, Kelli! You are a great inspiration and encouragement for ppl moving to Denmark. Thanks for being open to sharing your story w. others so we can learn and adjust to Denmark.
Herning is so lucky to have you as a member of their community... plus I like how even Albert and Emmitt even got coverage in the article. Only thing missing was a picture of Albert in the article lol
I'm so happy for you & Mads! :-)

Rachel said...

oops! Albert does have a picture! lol :-)

Paula said...

I am so happy to see how resourceful and proactive you are being about landing a job. Never say quit- thats the attitude.

journeyinfinite said...

An article can't quite sum up all of your mad skills regarding leadership in regard to employment, but it's a good start :-)

Dave has some commentary which is funny...but I think I'll have to tell you in person ;-)

DreaminginDanish said...

If someone doesn't offer you an interview based on that they are crazy. Congrats!

Mrs2003 said...

Loved the article but most of all the pic of you and Albert - I bet your phone will be ringing with job opportunities - much better than a billboard!

Nichole said...

They did a really nice job on the article. I'm sure it as fun for so many people from Herning to learn about their newest American resident.

Anonymous said...

My gosh, what with that article in the newspaper and your blog following, I think you should get a job doing commercial endorsements! YOu are quite the celebrity I'd say!

Kevin said...

Congratulations! What a great article. Next thing you now, the Danish paparazzi will be dogging your every step!