Thursday, February 11, 2016

Starting month 7

Wow, how is it that we are starting our seventh month here already! Time really does go by so quickly. We have a fairly established routine now, which for me lately means more reading and leisure time and less writing about our not-quite-as-frequent adventures. I think when the weather gets better, and spring comes, the adventures will pick up again. Already the flowers are starting to poke through the wet ground; though we're supposed to get snow again sometime in the next few days. Mostly it is grey and sort of damp. It smells like spring, though, so that is a very good sign! And it's lighter out, both in the morning and in the evening. This morning on the way to school, the kids noticed that the streetlights turned off. It wasn't quite 8:00 and a few weeks ago, they were automatically turning off at 8:30, when it was bright enough to not need them anymore. So that is nice. Last night dinner was at 5:30 instead of 6:00, and it was actually still light when we went! So there is progress. The time changes in a couple of weeks, so that will change it a bit again, but, there is a definite progression toward more light now, which is helpful. Mostly I am excited about not waking up in the dark. It's been a long time of waking up in the dark, it seems.

Jeff has had several opportunities lately to participate in history discussions about the area, which has been fun for him. On February 10, 1920, the residents of northernmost Schleswig got to vote on whether to remain part of Germany, or to return to Denmark. In some places, the pro-Danish vote was over 90%, and the other places were a great majority as well. So after 56 years of German rule, this part of the world was again returned to Danish rule. It is still celebrated each year on this day as Plebiscite Day here in North Schleswig. There are large stones commemorating the vote as well; it is an important part of the local history.

Anders and Torben are really enjoying school still. And it still amazes me to hear them carry on conversations fully in Danish with whomever they need to talk to; sometimes each other. Svea knows a few words in Danish, (kartoffler (potato) and nej (no) are her favourites) but primarily speaks in English. Depending on the context, I can figure out what people are saying if they are talking slowly. But still have quite a hard time following a regular conversation when people are speaking quickly. I will catch words here and there, but miss the whole overarching themes a lot of the time. Even if I catch most of it, often I find I miss one little thing which turns out to be the linchpin of understanding. So. The language still eludes me except for on a very basic level. The numbers especially are very difficult for me, as they include math as well as memorization of words! Once you get past 40, everything is counted in the number of times you multiply 20 to get to the next one. So to say 53, you end up with 3 and half-three (naturally, this is 2.5) times twenty. My brain gets tired, but I usually figure them out eventually.

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