Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Many Faces of Friendship

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! 
Going to my first U21 World Cup Match with our
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! 
At Bon Jovi with "Mads' best friends" and "my best friends"..
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 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 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. 


Tina M Cella said...

What a great blog! I'm glad you were able to put your mum at ease :-)
And I am very glad to have you guys in my (our) lives!

Anonymous said...

You are indeed blessed to have so many real friends!

PiNG aka Patti said...

We are so blessed. I have to say that I think the friendships I have here are probably the first real friendships I have formed that didn't begin in childhood and aren't just people that I work with, and that is so cool! I truly love our group of friends and am proud to be one of your friends :)

dee_rogers said...

I guess I can relax now and not worry about you. Hope to meet these wonderful people when we come to Denmark next summer. Have a great day - love you! Mom

May said...

Seriously Kelli, I think we could drop you anywhere on the planet and trust you to make friends. :)

Pam said...

I am so blessed an happy to have got the pleasure of meeting my dear friends daughter when she was in Texas!! Glad you got to come over and meet all of us crazy "ole people Kelli, I wish we could have gotten to hang out longer. We must do it again when you come back. Don't worry, we are all taking good care of your mom and dad!!

Jesper said...

Kelli, you are like the sister I never had! I often think of how much fun we could have and all the stuff we could learn each other if we could be together more than one time a year! Oh well, maybe one day...

Jim and I loved seeing you both and can't wait to the next visit. Also, we look forward to throwing a huge Happy Hour in honor of you and Mads when you guys have a chance to drop by Florida!

Big hugs :-)

tina said...

Kelli you are such an inspiration to me, I am so happy you are my pen pal, love Tina & Pippin !

Unknown said...

Friends, true, legit, real, intimate friends, are so importnat, and crucial to ones happiness. I was missing that for the majority of my first 8 months in DK, but am slowly, and surely, developing a couple of solid relationships. Finally! Thankfully!

Annemette Kuhlmann said...

I think May is right! You'd probably make good, close friends anywhere!
IT's such a privilege and joy to have met make the sun shine on any rainy day!
Again thank you so much for your hospitality this summer!!!
Lots of thoughts from all of us in the brutal heat in Houston;o)