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May - the odds be ever in your favour

Dear readers!

Last time I left you telling you that my italian friends would have come and visit me: well, now I´m here to tell you we had an amazing time together! In the end of April I spent my time (very quality time) in Copenhagen and Malmö with Marta, Benny, Lorenzo and Frizz, who then also came to Kulturfabrikken and met some of my collagues. I didn´t doubt it: everybody fell in love with the place I´m working at! They were so happy for me and also jealous of what I´m doing that they said they would love to stay here and finish the project with me, among skaters and music events. Right after them, also Elena came. She stayed at our apartment and got the chance to have a little trip to Lolland, where we went to visit the Døllefjelde-Musse Marked - a big festival that reminded us of the local fair we have every year in Italy. We also went to a skate contest in Næstved and to a cozy birthday party in Roskilde (where two friends of mine are volunteering), and then spent a sunny day in Copenhagen.

On May 9th I took part in a trip to Kolding (in Jutland) with all the art teachers: we went to see some culture houses to understand how other institutions similar to Kulturfabrikken manage their activities, and we took inspiration and gained even more motivation for our own place. Everybody only talked in danish so it was quite a hard day for my brain, but it was the perfect way to check my improvements (I think I´ll book my first exam at the danish school as soon as possible). During the lunch break we also took a tour inside Trapholt, a modern art museum that had a temporary exhibition about human connection that I simply loved.

We then took a professional shooting for the bench we created in the "Byg en bænk" workshop: the photographer Ingrid Riis came to take the best picture, because we will recount what we made in a book about Gulborgsund projects regarding democracy and citizenship for youngsters, which were the main topics of the workshop. The book is going to be published next autumn, and I couldn´t be more proud!

On May 13th we hosted a youth exchange event at Kulturfabrikken: there were teenagers from Denmark, Lithuania and Latvia who prepared a little show about climate change through theater, dance and music, and it was heartwarming. There I had the chance to meet again Pako, a portuguese choreographer and workshop coordinator who I first met the first time I was in Denmark last October, indeed for a dance workshop. I got a bit emotional because we talked a bit about how things have changed in just few months, and he seemed proud of seeing that I'm doing so good here and now.

The following week I finally welcomed Soumia, my new italian roommate and co-volunteer, who didn´t really have time to relax after the travel: she was just thrown into the everyday activities, from the cafe shifts where she met lots of the guys and co-workers, to the meetings to plan the future events, to the graffiti workshop that she found amazingly fun. I'm glad that she's here, because we have the same energy level and we are already sharing the ideas and projects we would like to plan and do! Also, we want to visit and experience as much as possible in our free time :)

About the graffiti workshop: it was a success! We had lots of fun with the youngsters throwing balloons filled with paint at wooden plates, cutting silhouttes from each others bodies, making drawings and writings with posca markers and using spray paint to create some planets and galaxies. It will be such a pride for the teenagers to spot their creation in the streets where they will run on May 29th.

Another event we hosted this month was the Jam Session of the Musikskolen: what a nice night! The youngsters I had already seen playing and singing last February at the theater improved a lot, and it was fun to have their help after the show with the cleaning (because for once it was the fastest process ever). Soumia took pictures this time, and she´s amazing at it! Maybe I´ll leave this job to her now.

Meanwhile, I also participated in the dance show I mentioned you last month: it was a cozy morning in which we had the chance to show the little kids what grown-ups can do at Jules dance school. It felt amazing to dance in front of an audience again, and I missed the feelings I have before a competition.

During the whole month I also had the priviledge to work with Susanne in her weekly "Natur Krea" creative workshop, with kids from 7 to 12. I fell in love with her idea of using only things from nature to make art, and by now I feel that the relationship with the little ones is growing stronger despite the only language we can speak together is the body language.

About my private life: lately I´m hanging out with new people, and with Soumia is even easier because she´s more outgoing than me. One of them is Jin, a nice skater from Japan who is doing a workaway here in Denmark: I discovered that he can cook a better pasta than me, which is kind of a cheap shot for an italian (but I prefer doing the dishes after the meal, so it´s a win-win!). Soumia also convinced me to finally taste the danish coffee, something that made Guna drop her jaw since she expected it for months but never happened before - I just think Soumia caught me in a period in which I really lack in energy. I still have to add tons of sugar and milk to accept the taste though, cause I´ve never drunk it in my entire life and I´m not used to it... but now I finally feel I´m a grown-up. Guna instead made me taste Ronni's lasagna, and I fell in love with it! We promised to cook it all together in the future. Also, I finally watched "The Lord of the Rings" with Emil, or better: he tried to watch it and I kept asking him questions because there were too many details that I couldn´t understand (he was very kind to answer to all of them though, but only after pausing the movie).

By the way, know you haven´t had big updates about my skate progress, but I swear I'm working on it: I really want to come back to you with better news!

So: it looks like my danish summer is going to be the coolest. Let time tell if I'm right!

- Deb