When I was in Texas last week my mom and I were talking quite a lot about my life in Denmark; I think she wanted to make sure that things really are as good for me as I say they are. And one of her questions was, "I know you KNOW a lot of people from a lot of places, do you really have FRIENDS over there?" And she is right; I do know a LOT of people from a LOT of different countries, and of course, they are not all my close and intimate friends, but I told her (in all honesty) that YES, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a group of close friends here in Herning that I can count on no matter what. I saw some relief on her face when I said that; it is the same feeling I have when I ask Jess about her friends in College Station because it's hard being a mom 5000 miles away.
So because of my mom's question and because I head back to school tomorrow, I have been thinking a lot about this summer and all the wonderful people that I got to spend time with here in Denmark and who are what make my life so full and so rich in this place I call home. I hope all expats are as fortunate as I am.......
Hanging out in Odense with
Monique & Danielle-- 2 other Texas
girls in DK!
Meeting my friend, Lisa (from MO) for the first time
when she popped over to Herning on her Euro-vacation!
Meeting my friend Annemette and her 3 kiddoes-- who are from Hammerum (just 5 miles from Herning) but currently living in Houston, Texas. They came over for a coffee date when they were in DK this summer! To her her Danish kids talk about their life in Texas was SO cool!
incredible friends from Spain, Nieves & Diego.
In Silkeborg with Tina (from DK) and Camila (from Brazil), 2 of those girls
that I told mom about... the ones I can depend on for anything!
The first time we have mixed the "circles" up and it was SO much fun!! To see the important people in our "2 lives" come together so it is really just one life was so awesome!
I love when I get to meet people through other friends and then we get to form our own friendship.... just like with Sarah, the Aussie with a Danish hubby!
And then this was the first of 2 more MOVING PARTIES this summer!! First, Diego and Nieves moved into their new house this summer... next is Camila and then Monica! By the end of September, 3 of our Expat couples will have bought new homes in Herning!
We went to the Jazz Festival in Silkeborg with about 40
Internationals... talk about a perfect way to spend the
last weekend in June!
And then there is my girlfriend, Anithia, from MARSHALL, TEXAS living in Herning right now! It is so awesome to watch her baby girl, Ania, grow up a little more each time we are together!
Of course spending time with Albert is one of my most favorite things to do, but this was one of the days
we were helping our friends Camila and Claus in their new home remodel. Albert and Jazzy (their dog) wanted so badly to help.... At one point I looked around the house at all of us who were there working and it was so cool to think that 2 years ago, we did not even know each other.... now here we are in the middle of Denmark, sharing each other's lives.....
And then there are Jesper and Jim... (Jesper is taking the pic, as usual!) Jesper moved to Florida about six months after I came to DK.... So we sort of traded lives and now we help console each other as he misses Leverpostej and I miss JIF.... we share so much together as we both try to navigate our new homes with the help of Mads and Jim... The guys were in DK this summer and although it was mainly a trip to see all of Jesper's family, I was so happy that they came to Herning for one night to stay with us. Having them in our home so that we could just hang out together and visit was one of my favorite moments this summer. Jesper and I are, as Jim Casy said in the Grapes of Wrath, part of "one big soul".... we share a love of literature and learning and it is so crazy to think that 4 years ago, I did not even know him...it is like he has always been in my life. Mads and I feel blessed to have Jim and Jesper as a part of us!
So all this to say...Yes, mom, I have lots of friends in Denmark as well as all over the place..... I have acquaintances from all over the world. And I have people on whom I can lean when I need someone and then in turn, I can be the one they get to lean on when they need someone. Being an expat does not take anything away from you....it just ADDS.
Summer 2011 is over for me in just a few hours, but these memories are what will keep me going throughout the days and weeks to come.