The Host Family. This is one of those things that could make or break my experience here in Denmark. After meeting Lauren’s host family when we arrived early I was a little worried. Her family seemed so awesome. She had the older brothers I wanted. Her parents were very nice and seemed very relaxed. She lived close to the city. Everything seemed perfect. How could my family compare? I was definitely not feeling quite as good about it after meeting them, but luckily my feelings were unfounded.
Meet my host dad, Andreas. We instantly hit it off as he is interested in all things Kevin. The first night we discussed religion and politics, two taboos in normal American discussion among new acquaintances. No worries though, they run along the same lines as I and I feel that disagreements will be easy to discuss without tension. He gave me a ton of information about current events and other random things Danish, so I felt so smart during orientation when I knew way more than my peers! His knowledge and interest in worldy things reminds me of Alex and Jon, so I know it will be good. He is good with tech and knows what I am referring to when I talk computers. His taste in music isn’t too bad either. Also, he is into everything sustainable/renewable. We’ve spent many late hours discussing all these things…could it be any more perfect!? This is the best kind of host father I could ask for 🙂
Now for my host mom, Trine (pronounced like Tree-na). A wonderful cook and loving mother, Trine is a great woman to have as a host mom. Every night she prepares lunch for the kids, and makes me something too. I haven’t had lunch packed for me since I was in elementary school! She is very nice, and, although my interests do not align quite as perfectly as with Andreas, I often find myself discussing food and cultural norms while she prepares dinner. In the coming months I am hoping to test my skills in the kitchen, and we may spend some time cooking together! Hopefully I can bring back more than just recipes to the States!
Of course we cannot forget the kids. Villum is turning 7 in September while Marta turned 4 the day after my arrival. Villum is a good-natured boy, quiet and usually happy to just be. Marta is not quite so peaceful as Andreas and Trine will quickly tell you, but she is a cutey for sure! Unfortunately, they speak no English. Even so, I have learned to interact with them in so many other ways.
Villum taught me to play Stratego through Trine’s translating, and even though I had him on the run the whole time he beat me at the very end of this chess-like game. I haven’t played any video games with him yet and I am questioning if it is wise to show him what I have on my computer. He may always want to be playing games on it! His hair is NOT always green, this was just a thing. It’s not like having a little Brandon in the house…
Marta, being quite young still, is easy to play with without words. She shows me her drawings and her stickers and can be kept content for hours playing peek-a-boo around the house. Every night she comes over and says goodnight before she scuffles off to bed in an oddly cute way known only to small children.
If you haven’t figured out yet, I get along with my host family very well. There are some things which are a bit difficult to adjust to (the rye bread is a good example), but as I just said to Andreas a few minutes ago I am here to be a Dane. I don’t want to act like I do every day of my life. I want to belong in Denmark, so I will act as if I do. It’s a lot of fun and I am getting to experience the wonders of a regular family life that were often been absent in my single-mother upbringing.
I don’t think I will have any trouble living here for 4 months. In fact, the hardest part may very well be saying goodbye. No, I don’t want to think about that yet!