Photo by Kyle Vines:
Oh, and tipping is not a think here. Yep, you read that right! Waiters get paid a decent wage, and the tip is technically included in the price of the food. My Danish teacher told us that especially as students, we are not expected to tip. This is a little perk of the culture here compared to the states!
On Saturday I spent the day cleaning and fixing one of the Rosendal’s neighbor’s bikes that they were so kind to let me borrow for the semester. Per and Katja taught me how to clean the chain and how to find punctures in the tires by removing the tubes, holding them in a bucket of water, and searching for air bubbles that show evidence of a hole. I had never repaired a bike before, so I’m so thankful for my great teachers.
Together, we all biked over to the Rosendal’s family’s home to attend their “cousin party” (family reunion). Little did I know we were going to bike through the forest! Before I knew it I was on the gravel path in the woods, going up and down hills and over little bridges. This sure snapped my biker legs back into shape!
The family party was spectacular. We played soccer in the yard together and swung on their swing set, talked about some of the differences between American and Danish culture, and then enjoyed one of the best meals ever. The entire family gathered around a huge bonfire with a metal slatted plate on top to grill different kinds of meat over the flames, and dishes upon dishes of homemade sides were laid in the kitchen to choose from. Katja made me homemade veggie burgers from rice and beets from the garden, and she also made the buns! YUM. She is the sweetest chef and I’m so thankful I have her to show me some awesome vegetarian recipes.
We sat around the dinner table for hours and hours with blankets and fires to keep us warm. This is one of my favorite aspects of Danish culture, how people simply sit and enjoy one another’s company around a long meal.
Soon it was after midnight and it was time to go home…on our bikes…through the forest…in the dark.
In short, I was petrified. For those of you that know me, it’s a known fact that I’m not the most coordinated individual and steer towards caution rather than risk! Well, out the window with that! I stuck close behind Per and made it out alive. I’m so thankful for their guidance and encouragement, and I had some serious bonding time with my two-wheeled new best friend.
On Sunday we had the network event where DIS students and host families in the area met up for an afternoon of fun. Each family brought a dish and a big lunch was enjoyed by all. Katja made a beautiful platter of shrimp, cucumbers and tomatoes.
We then divided up into teams and completed a series of six challenges, and after each challenge completed, we were given an ingredient to make a traditional Danish layer cake. We all laughed and laughed as we completed the tasks, and then created a yummy layer cake.