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March-ing with thrilling commitments

Hello beautiful people! Where were we at?

February has been a short month, but since my last update I have some other nice stories that I want to share. First, I went to the language school for an interview, and was chosen for the 3rd level module 1 of Danish. The interview was amazing, it was a throwback to my language studies in high school so I kinda “felt at home”. Then, I went to town of Maribo and Marielyst with Alessandro and Emil; Emil showed us around in Lolland, where he was raised, and even brought us to the seaside to check out the scenery – I loved it: the sea in the winter is always something special to me. Actually, I also came back to Marielyst with Alessandro to have lunch with Mette and Thomas in a very cute restaurant. I’m sure that that place is wonderful in the summer, too. I also hoisted my first Danish flag, with Thomas’ help: this goes straight to my CV!

With February ending, March brought many different feelings as well as emotions.

Danish school has now become a routine in my everyday life. I must say I’m happy about it, both because I’m finally learning some nice short sentences to talk to my små venner at the café, and because I’m getting to know new people from all over Europe. As every first day in a new school, when I went there I wasn´t sure where to go so I asked every living person information, until finally a guy told me that he believed I was in the right place. Turns out this guy’s name is Yevhen, he comes from Ukraine, is 23 years old and apparently knows everything about Italian football, so during the breaks I listen to his stories, and I can learn more about my own country too. However, Danish is really tough, and I can’t find relevant similarities with any of the other languages that I know, so I must resign: it’s going to be a long and not-so-easy process. It’s amazing to have people at Kulturfabrikken who want to help me, though – even if sometimes they just make fun of my bad pronunciation… Fair enough! :)

The workshop I led for skaters together with Guna, Susanne and Alessandro was one of the best we have hosted since I have been here. Even if now that I’m writing two weeks has passed, I still can’t get over the feelings that I had during the whole event. The aim was to create some kind of art, highlighting the themes of recycling and democracy. While discussing the concept, me and my colleagues agreed with the idea of a bench made with old and/or broken boards, trucks, wheels, and whatever kind of wooden piece, with everyone’s help (from collecting useful materials and tools, to discussing about the possibilities, until the actual building process). On Thursday 16th, we met in the café with kids and teens to talk all together about ideas and projects, and to create some prototypes with old wooden scraps. Then, on Saturday 18th, we collected people in our fabulous Billedfabrikken to try to put together our different plans and finally bring the bench to life. Our crew was the most perfect ever:

-          there were little and bigger skaters, who helped with the saw and the drill and had crazy ideas for the purposes of the bench,

-          we had professional carpenters, some of the skaters and some skaters’ parents, who were fundamental with their engineering skills – we obviously needed the bench to work, not only be aesthetically wonderful (as it is :)),

-          little helpers were there too, they enjoyed drawing stickers for the bench (let’s do a funny game: there are four penguins and three carrots, are you able to find them all among the colors and writings?).

It’s just impossible for me to talk properly about how was my experience about this workshop without getting emotional. Especially during the actual building, the energy just flowed through everyone’s minds and bodies, like we were just one big brain with lots of limbs. Everybody knew what to do without even asking, we all helped each other, we got passionate by seeing the others doing what they do best and also trying something different to learn new skills from someone else – the mood was so peaceful yet electrifying. There were also people who couldn’t participate but just came by to say “hi” and “god arbejdslyst”! It was just the most amazing experience – and now it’s a core memory. I feel that I bonded a bit more with skaters, too, which is still one of my priorities here.

Another side of my new Danish routine is dancing lessons on Wednesdays. Cille, my “commercial/show” teacher, is a girl that I admire a lot. I love her way of teaching and the kind words she always has for everybody, though still being a tough girl who knows what she wants and how to get it (for example, her students exercising at the barre!). I think I can really learn something from her attitude too, so not only the dancing part itself but also her secrets to work with youngsters.

From March 20th to 23th I went to a cute retreat between green hills and the seaside in Aarhus region for the so called “Arrival Training”. I really felt the energy and the connection with the other guys volunteering in Denmark from the very beginning – like, literally, from the first moment we met at the bus stop. And then it just grew bigger and bigger in the next days, thanks to the activities and games that we did together with our two Danish trainers. I shared a room with the sweet Manal from Morocco, I vibed with Amina’s from Italy good mood, I loved Marta’s from Spain cuteness and pragmaticity, I talked for hours about skate culture with Ania from Poland, I learnt more about the drag queen world from Loïk from France, I loved the stories by Ida from Sweden about hiring people to work in Greenland, I listened to Manu Chao while walking in the middle of a foggy mountain with Luna from Spain, I fell in love with Carla’s from France attitude towards adventures and people, I laughed so much to Felix’s from Germany stories about his broken collar bone (not because it’s fun but because he told it like it was a common everyday matter, I mean… what?!), I was surprised by how much Italian Nora from Germany could speak, I was invited for Easter by Elena from Italy in a cold town near Aalborg, I shared a whole bag of chips before having dinner with Altana from Russia and kinda regretted it, and I spoke about our beloved spritz with Paola from Italy. I really wish I can go and see them all over Denmark! Time and money for these travels are an issue that I’m sure my future me will figure out somehow hahaha. By the way I’m truly grateful for the training, not only because I had this giant opportunity of meeting extraordinary people who are sharing a similar adventure abroad and who I can travel with, but also because I really had the chance to work on myself. This has always been one of my priorities for this ESC project since when I applied for it, and I’m pretty pleased by how this journey is going. I’m aware that it’s long way down, but after 4 months here I realize that progress is actually there and I’m proud of myself for what I achieved by now. (Wow, if last year’s Deb could have read this she would have been in disbelief! Where does all of this self-love come from?!). I really had the best time at the retreat where we were staying, since there were a sauna and a Jacuzzi, and I felt like a happy child when we went hiking in Mols Bjerge and shared good vibes near the water. We also visited an insane museum/library/skate park/art place/old malt factory in Ebeltoft and even took a little trip to Aarhus. There´s a ton of new energy in my heart and mind now :)

Right after the arrival training (with just one full day of school + work in the middle), I flew to Italy for the weekend to celebrate one of my best friends’ graduation. While I was in Italy, as always (or it weren’t me) I also went to a modern/contemporary dance lesson with another friend of mine and to a small funk-hip hop-house-I don’t know concert with some other friends. (I’m sure that by now you know that I love to take every opportunity life presents me, even if it costs less sleep or more stress… maybe I’m just crazy, but so far I don’t regret anything :)). My mom surprised me with my favorite Italian dish and one of my favorite cakes, my dad and I talked a lot while he was driving me to the airport and back, my brother asked me for help with his University thesis and I managed to spend time with my grandparents: I felt soooo loved that I really wish I could have stayed with my family a bit more.

Back to Copenhagen again, I spent one afternoon in Globalhagen Hostel, where my new friends Amina, Carla and Marta are volunteering. Amina showed me all around and also offered me to sleep in her room whenever I’m in Copenhagen, so sweet of her! We played a bit in the snow that started to fall (I just can’t resist the snow if it’s there), talked about climate change and the projects they are working on as a non-profit organization, and played Diloti and Cards Against Humanity with random guests of the Hostel – wow, that was an amazing day.

Then at Kulturfabrikken I found out that Quendrim, a Danish guy with Albanian origins, is doing an internship with us. So far, I only spent one working day with him, but it was one of my best working days ever! We clicked also thanks to Guna who knows him personally, and spent the day talking Danish (in my case, trying to understand what he was telling me and trying to repeat it – he’s very good as a teacher!), playing the card game “Mafia” with some of the skaters (getting so much into the game that we all got angry at some point), dancing to random music and also playing the new piano we now have in the entrance. I hope he comes back to hang out with us also after his internship.

What else? My skateboarding journey has stopped for a while due to my other plans, but let me tell you a secret: I managed to subdue one of the skaters with my charming skills, so now I have an infiltrator in the skaters group who can help me triumph as a skater too… Ok let’s be honest, he read this part and we agreed that I could put online this attempt of trying to be funny, but the truth is Christian is a very good friend and I’m so happy I met him :) he is also the one who beared with me and was so cute to help me in creating my first own skateboard ring (from an old dragonball board) that I’m “truly, madly, deeply, foolishly, completely”* in love with!

And in two days we finally have the metal concert at Kulturfabrikken I’ve been waiting for so long: YAYYY! I’ll tell about it in the following updates, together with the rating of the “movie hunt” experience that Alessandro is working on right now: as always, no spoilers!

Vi ses i April, hej hej!


* only directioners will understand this lol