Our first weekend here was lovely. On Friday night we had invitations to two separate BBQ parties, and of course we attended both. The first was for all of the staff of the folk school and their families. It was a bit hot outside, and perfect weather for playing outdoor games. All the children played soccer and a version of soccer-volleyball-badminton (i.e.: used volleyball techniques to hit a soccer ball back and forth to each other over a badminton net), Frisbee, and a different rendition of musical chairs wherein the chairs are scattered all over the lawn and the person who is "it" walks slowly to the empty one, and the others get up and run to it (once you stand up from your chair, you must find a new one and cannot sit back down). Whoever was last in a chair that the "it" person finally sits in is the next person who is "it." Torben was not a fan of being "it" since it meant he could not run to the empty chairs. It was a splendid game, though, and good for all ages to play together. Svea tried, but she might still be a bit too young for this one.
Dinner at the first BBQ party was delicious -pork chops and sausage that was very similar to kielbasa, along with various salads brought by people. Then many types of ice cream and gelato with various toppings. Svea and I were particularly fond of the mango flavor with chocolate sauce! The boys loved the strawberry ice cream -the strawberry gelato being a bit too intense for them, After dinner we played a bit more outside, before heading to the second party.
The second party we attended was a block party for anyone living on the street where we are staying. What a fun way to meet the neighbors! It was in the yard at the church, which is gorgeous. There were lawn games -something similar to bocce- and a trampoline. The boys had a great time playing with their new friend Thøger who is just a few months older and seems to be a kindred spirit. Even though the three of them do not speak the same language, they were able to design and communicate "rules" to the games they were playing. It was so fun to see! Svea and I did not stay at this party very long, as it was two hours past her bedtime by the time we arrived, so we went home and Jeff and the boys stayed for a while longer. When they finally arrived back home at about 10:30, they told me they'd seen a fire-breather! They took a video on Jeff's phone of the person who was doing all sorts of tricks with flames, and had breathed flames out of his mouth as well. They were amazed! It is such fun to see all of the new experiences they are having, and how they are embracing the new opportunities in front of them.
Saturday we had pastries from the local bakery. Raspberry, chocolate, and vanilla ones as well as rolls heated and topped with havarti. I could get used to this!
We spent much of Saturday and Sunday at home, relaxing and playing. On Sunday the students arrived at the Højskole (folk school) in the afternoon so Jeff was there with them doing many activities one associates with team building. He again played the musical-chairs game, though this time pulled a muscle in his hamstring while jumping up quickly to run to a new chair. Oops! Thankfully all the walking we do here is helping to stretch it out a bit and he's not hobbling too much.
Sunday evening we went to dinner at the Højskole with all of the students and the families of the teachers -about 60 people in all. There was chicken and vegetables over spaghetti noodles (Anders loved this!), vegetarian lasagna with squash and chickpeas and some sort of amazing cheese (Svea loved this!), tomato and cheese salad (again with the amazing cheese!), and salad with peppers and tomatoes, as well as fresh-from-the-oven light rye bread (Torben loved this!), with strawberry mousse for dessert. We will get spoiled showing up for meals like this! What fun, to eat together with everyone and have delicious foods with new friends.
The boys have already gotten into the routine of making their sandwiches (Anders apparently LOVES sandwiches now! This is truly miraculous) and packing up their lunches for the next morning each evening before bed. They were excited to see that there were two Cars lunch boxes in the cupboard that they could take with them to school.
Another routine they are getting used to is taking their shoes off in the little entryway as soon as we come into the house. Even Svea has taken to stopping, leaning with one hand against the doorway, and taking off her shoes upon entering! It is fun to see how quickly they understand and adapt to new traditions and routines. They have picked up on some Danish words and phrases, and I am doing my best to follow what is going on and pick up the words and phrases as well. I know they kids will learn much before I do, so maybe they can help me as well. I have been able to follow some of the conversations when I know the context -and at the supermarket I was able to use my knowledge of French, and the bits of German I picked up from singing in choir to figure out what the labels said on some of the packaging -and it helps that there are pictures on many things as well.
Our first week has been splendid, and I look forward to many more!