So things are getting better here. My extreme moments of homesickness are fading a little bit… but I’ve still been busy. Now I at least know I’ll be okay and that I can make it through the next four months… before I was a little scared. But I guess it’s only day 3 and these feelings are to be expected. Last night we went to a bar with a ton of kids from DIS. It was nice to hang out with everyone, my floor is becoming close and I hope that continues! It was also really nice to have girls to go home with and not have to worry about walking alone. It was a really fun place and I was glad I went. I lost my voice but I keep doing things anyways because I feel like making friends and keeping form getting sad is more important. Last night was the first night I slept ALMOST through the night and the first night I fell asleep quickly. The girls on my floor and I are starting to think about weekend travel plans and want to make some soon. I’m really excited for that.
Yesterday we went on an orientation where we were paired into groups of 5 and we had to navigate our way around the city. It helped me understand where I live and where DIS is, though I have a lot more to learn but I was able to get home from school by myself yesterday. It is also nice because I live near a famous canal called Nyhaven. It is the only word I know how to pronounce (New Houn.. like the dog wtihout a d) so every Dane can get me back home. if I ask I also learned a lot of cool facts about Copenhagen history and how the Danes think and live today which I’ll share in a moment. Afterwards, I had my public health orientation. It seems like the class will be interesting, but maybe a little demanding. There are 34 kids in the class and only 2 boys, hopefully I will bond with some of the girls because I will be away with them for a total of two weeks over the course of the semester. It was too soon to tell because everyone was exhausted from such a long day of orientation.
Okay so if you guys aren’t interested in history there are some pictures of places when it was snowing on Monday night if you want to look at them quickly but feel free to skim if you don’t care about history. This is mainly for mom. I plan to go back to these places and have more information. Our time was really limited so my pictures were snapped hastily. I also didn’t wanna carry my nice camera around during orientation so I just used my iphone, I so desperately wanted my camera that it is worth it to go back just to get good pictures.
Me and My Friend Lucy:The Square 2 blocks near my street, we can’t figure out who the statue is of:
The Royal Library:
The Royal Library is something that Danish architects brag about constantly. It used to be an old red brick building. In 1999, they added on a glass black diamond modern section. The architecture of it is really cool but impossible to take a picture of because it is so big. I think you should try to google search it so you get an idea of what I’m talking about. Danes are constantly studying there. It is made up of glass so that Danes can get as much sun as possible during months like these (yesterday and today are the only times since I really saw the sun since I got here). The library is build right on the water, about 10 blocks from where I live.
When we got inside, a Danish architect was there to tell us about the building. What stuck out the most was how libraries are free to use in Denmark… because of taxes. He was talking about how the starting point for taxes is 50% of your income and it increases from there. He asked us why they didn’t complain. When no one else answered he said how proud the Danes were because they got all of this stuff back. Their tax dollars paid for this 7 story building that they can seek knowledge in so they all own a part of it and as long as that continues they are content. I had some more pretty pictures than I posted but I by accidentally ook them in video from and can’t post them here.
The view from the side of the library:The Church of our Savior
This was surprisingly my favorite place. It was the first time I walked into a historical session on a church ever… and I was in awe. The church is beautiful on the outside, but once again it is very hard to take a picture. You should look it up. It has a spiraled top that you can climb up when it is warm enough. I’m really hoping they have it open when Dad comes.
So at this church they talked to us a lot about what happens when church and state are not separate entities. Most Danes only come to church on Christmas Eve these days and are not very religious. So, gays have been legally allowed to marry in Denmark since 1989. Originally they could get married in the town hall and the priests would go bless their marriage in a church. This summer, Denmarks parliament overturned the ban on same sex marriages in churches. So now, as government employees, priests are being forced to go against their beliefs and preform same sex marriages in church ceremonies. Priests who refuse once are fined and warned, then they are fired. Some priests are quitting as well.
Speaking of government, the church’s entire makeup says all too much about the government. The church is made in the shape of a Greek cross, where all 4 sides are equal and symmetrical. This was the governments choice to show stability, order and power. In every corner of the ceiling amongst gold stars are the most detailed white porcelain statues of Angles.
Elephants, the highest order that you can receive from the Danish monarchy stand holding up the organ as a sign to remind people of the governments presence and involvement.
At the exact center of the church and layout of a cross between the pews, there are carvings of elephants (they are what forms the circles on the left and right) around the chandelier because the government is at the center of it all.
Christian the third decided that on every building he made while he reined, there must be a C3 to show his involvement. Every consecutive king after copied his idea. So this Church was made by Christian the fifth.
The baptismal fountain:
The Home of the Royal Family
So when I heard we were going to a castle, I thought I was going to be in my first huge royal castle, but the Danish royal family’s castle is nothing like that. It is four buildings around a circle and reminds me of a college quad. On one side there is a church, on the other there is a harbor and then another Copenhagen village. When the “castle” was created, there was nothing near the village so it symbolized a line of God & the divinity, Royals and eternity.
It is interesting that the Danes still have a monarchy considering they are so liberal. Everyone says that it is okay because parliament is in charge, but the Queen has complete veto power over decisions of parliament. At any time, the royal family can ignore the people’s wishes and overrule, but they do not. The last time a king vetoed parliament was in the 1970s. Danes often get into debates over whether they should still have a ruling family, but they choose to keep it, putting all there trust into the royal family not taking over.
Queen Margaret, born without any brothers took over the thrown. The rule was changed from the eldest son should rule, to “the eldest daughter if no sons are born” but recently parliament even changed the rule to the oldest child, which is pretty cool and shows Denmark’s respect for equality.If I’m not mistaken, this is the house that the queen sleeps in. But definitely where the queen waves to her people on her birthday in April.I hope you can tell how cold it is from my face!!
I LOVE YOU GUYS AND MISS YOU SO SO MUCH!!!!!