Today was another chilled out day with a late start as there was brunch from 8am-12:30pm so we were able to get plenty of food to eat. After having a bit of food to eat, we then had a presentation where we watched some videos regarding the different subjects to choose from. It was very interesting and definitely made the decision making a lot more difficult. After the presentation, I then went and had a bit of a chill before going and watching the Danish women’s soccer whilst having dinner. After a while, I decided to go out and played a card game called “Set” with some of the other students which was a lot of fun as I had never played it before. We played a few games before heading over to watch a movie called “Inside I’m Dancing” which was a very touching and relatable movie. The movie was about a young man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and a young man with Cerebral Palsy who are living in a nursing home and decide to make independent living a reality. After the movie, we then headed back into the foyer to play a game of 500 with one of the other students before heading to bed.
Monday was a very early start due to early breakfast followed by assembly regarding Egmont which was very interesting. Following the assembly we then spent a bit of time writing contracts together with my carers which was a bit tedious. However, after the contract writing, we then went into the sports hall for the presentation of all of the different main subjects there were to choose from. This was very intriguing as I got a much better insight into the subjects than I could have gotten from reading about them. Luckily I was able to get a chance to digest this information together with my lunch before I had to choose which subjects I wanted to do during the semester. After choosing subjects, we had a small amount of free-time before we had to split up into groups to do some preparation for our choir battle. Choir battle was quite intense with one Danish song, “Cecilia” and “Isn’t She Lovely”. We had a bit of free time after choir where I just chilled out before dinner.
Tuesday morning we got to learn all about the buses and what we had to learn before driving lessons so we would be able to use them during the semester. Unfortunately we were quite far down the list so instead of driving, we then had a lesson on how to clean my room which was very boring but necessary. Once we had been through the cleaning course, I played a game of chess with one of my mates who I managed to beat quite easily. After lunch we had another presentation of the modular subjects which was also very interesting and these subjects don’t have quite as many hours as the main subjects. Once we had been through the presentation, we had to choose them after dinner. Once I had chosen my subjects, there was then a bonfire in the forest which we sat around making damper which was a lot of fun. The path was very muddy so my wheels had to be rinsed well afterwards before heading back inside.
Wednesday morning we had a short assembly followed by our weekly table group meeting. At the conclusion of our meeting, we then headed back into the food hall for a presentation on manual handing which was very helpful for all of the carers. Since there weren’t any more activities after lunch we decided to head into town together with some of our friends from the table group. We managed to buy a washing basket, some board shorts and compression socks which was good. We also had a look in the red cross shop where the others bought a few items. Once we had got everything we needed, we then hurried back in time for dinner followed by a story regarding the history of the school told by the principal as it was his father who started the school.
Thursday morning at assembly, two of the teachers who are now married, read out their daily journals they had written when they were in folk school. It was quite a romantic story as they had both written about the other regarding how much they were in love. After hearing an example of how the journals are written, we then proceeded into the sports hall where we had to collect our own journal before sitting down at a table where we had a chance to start writing in them. It was a very fun exercise and we had to be very honest with ourselves. Followed by this exercise was a short break before some presentations of the different study trip destinations which we could choose between. There were a lot of very fun and interesting sounding destinations and luckily we had the whole weekend to think about it before having to choose on Monday. After the presentations, we then had a very quick lunch before finding out that it was my carer’s turn to have their bus driving tests done. They drove very well and I felt very comfortable sitting in the back while they drove us around. On our return we had to hurry into the sports hall for the next activity where we had to sit in constantly changing groups to come up with various ideas of different activities the school could do together on the weekend and after school. After this fun and entertaining activity, I decided to have a swim in the ocean to test out my new board shorts and boy was it freezing. It was however a lot of fun in the end and was a giant leap out of my comfort zone. We then headed back up for dinner and then there was a bit of singing afterwards.
Friday was another early start and was also a very exciting day as it was the first day of our subjects. Followed by assembly I then quickly headed into my room to check if I had forgotten anything before heading down to the water for the subject called “Friluftsliv” which involves a lot of outdoor activities and hikes. Our first challenge was to create a raft using 8 long logs, a lot of rope, 4 barrels and a wooden board. After a quick break, we then went out to finish building and race. To be honest I was quite terrified with the idea of having to sit on a homemade raft in a race. It went surprisingly well and we came 3rd out of 4 boats and we didn’t fall in once. Followed by lunch we then had to head back outside to pack up and then into the forest for a wrap up. After subject I decided to have a quick shower before kitchen duty where we had to clean the tables, dishes and take out the food. After kitchen duty there was yet another party where it was very entertaining watching everyone else getting completely wasted. Since I wasn’t drinking or partying, I decided to head to bed early.
Saturday was a late start where we had some brunch before some more kitchen duty to clean up after everyone, luckily a lot of people had gone home for the weekend so there wasn’t quite as much to do as opposed to during the week. Kitchen duty was quite tiring so I decided to relax in my room instead and write a bit more on my blog to catch up. After not too long, I had to head back into the kitchen for more kitchen duty followed by dinner. Once we had finished cleaning up afterwards, I then played a game of Partners together with some of the others from my group. We then headed out for a wander down to the ceramics room to have a look before heading to bed for the day.
Today was the last day at Circus Summarum and I have to admit, it was quite an anticlimactic experience. It was however a very relaxed day where I was in charge of the giffler stand where my sister was able to help out with standing in on a few occasions. We were very fortunate to get two interviews done with Mr Beard and Bubble Mother who were both characters within the circus. I was also very lucky to be able to get some photos taken with the whole cast from the circus. After taking photos with the cast, we then managed to interview some of the visiting parents as well as with me on the accessible swing. After doing some filming we then had farewell photos with the rest of the activity group followed by dinner with everyone before saying farewell for the last time in this year’s circus.
Monday morning I went for a walk so the others could get a chance to clean the apartment in the meantime. It was a very bumpy walk but definitely worth it as I got to visit the biggest and coolest game shop I have ever seen. There were so many games, hobby supplies and even real guns & ammo. After a very brief browse, we then returned to the apartment as we had to get on the taxi in order to drive to Egmont. We arrived safely at Egmont and found my room so we could put all the luggage there. In the room, I saw someone who I thought I recognised and it turns out it was in fact an old friend Simon who I met from my last visit in 2015. Since they weren’t done with cleaning my room, we then decided to go on a walk to explore the surroundings. On our return, we then decided to play a bit of badminton together with Simon. After some badminton we were then about to head out to buy some dinner, but unfortunately my chair was low on battery. After some dinner, we then played a bit of wheelchair basketball which was very entertaining to watch.
Tuesday was a bit more relaxed with a very inspirational interview with Simon. The interview took place down near the water and so afterwards we went down to the school’s pier to check it out. We then went down to the ferry where we had lunch. On the way back we stopped at the shop to pick up some supplies for dinner.
Finally, the first day of orientation week and the first day of my Egmont experience. I also got to meet my new carers whom I had only spoken to over Skype from Australia. After we all had settled in, we then sat in the food hall for the introduction presentation. After the presentation we then got to work with making a work roster. During the making of the work roster, we then decided to have a team meeting where I could brief the carers on what to expect. After the team meeting, we then had a chance to meet with our group whom would be sitting at the same table as us and got to have a chat to get to know each other a bit better. After dinner, we then were taken on a tour around the school with Michael (my contact teacher) while the rest of the school was doing folk dancing. Our tour was cut short when we found out that we had to be back in time for the principal’s introduction to the school.
Thursday was the first early start in a long time due to early breakfast and our morning assembly followed by the introduction of today’s activities. After finding out that I had enough hours to employee another carer, the majority of the morning was spent interviewing carers. After deciding on the potential carers we conducted an interview with the principal on the history behind Egmont which was a very inspiring story. We also managed to get an interview done with one of the teachers who started as an assistant on the school. At the conclusion of the interviews, we then went on part of the school orienteering session. Followed by dinner was a board games and popcorn night where I learned the rules of backgammon together with one of my carers.
Friday was a very exciting day which started with a group chat café where we got a chance to speak to some people whom we’d never spoken to before. It was a very interesting activity and we spoke about some specific and interesting topics together with the whole room. At the conclusion of the café, we then headed down for some activities at the water. There were a lot of interesting activities including crab catching, beach volleyball, kayaking and shooting & sprint. The activity I decided to give a go was a game called kongespil (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubb). This was a very fun game and after playing two games and successfully managing to knock over 3 blocks in total, I then went to look at a fish sculpture where I helped to drill a piece of timber onto it. After lunch I then sat down and had a chat with some new people around the bonfire. The smoke got a bit too much and I ended up going for a walk out to the end of the pier for some fresh air. I decided to then head back up to help out with preparation for intro party and then went and got ready myself showered and dressed for the fancy dress party. Dinner gave me a chance to talk a bit more with the table group and after a bit of beer I found I was a bit tipsy and more entertaining for everyone. After our 3 course meal, we headed in to the big sports hall where there was live music, dancing and chatting. It was a bit cramped so a few of us decided to go for a walk. On the way back to the party my chair ran out of battery so I had to be pushed back to the party where I headed to bed at 4am which is the latest night I have ever experienced.
The next morning had its consequences when I woke up with a bad hangover and so was starving at breakfast. I still managed to get up pretty early and had to go and tidy up after the party. After the party had been cleaned up, we were then taken on a guided walk to the sea where we decided to stop at a café for a drink on the way back. At the school we watched a bit of beach volleyball before sprinting back inside due to sudden heavy rainfall. the afternoon was a bit more relaxed and I even decided to try driving with a blindfold on and someone directing me where to go which went very well.
This week has been very busy but definitely packed with fun.
Sunday morning while I was getting ready for the day to go to the circus, it was pouring with rain. Not an ideal day to be walking 2km to our destination in the rain. Luckily I was able to put on a poncho and stay dry for the whole walk to the circus. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be put on jumping castle duty out in the rain. At the meeting I was so relieved to find out that the jumping castles were to stay closed due to the rain. After the meeting, I sat down with the activity group for our briefing of which post we would be in charge of. Thank goodness I was put in charge of the Giffler (cinnamon scroll) stand which is in a tent. The Giffler stand is where the guests can purchase a set of marshmallows and Giffler that they can roast over a fire.
We sat in the tent waiting for someone to come and assist us with advice on how to set up shop. After a while, we got assistance with opening up the tent, setting up the terminal, setting up the card reader, lighting the fires, putting out the signs and collecting Giffler and marshmallows. It was a very rainy day but with a few patches where there were breaks in the rain. There were a lot of people who came to purchase a set of giffler and marshmallows to toast due to the cold weather. At the end of our shift, we then packed up and sprinted to another tent where we waited to see if the rain would stop. We couldn’t wait long enough and ended up putting on a poncho and plastic bag on my head. After, we then headed out into the rain and headed to a indoor street food market where my mum and I were having dinner with one of her school friends. There was a huge variety of food and we had an excellent time.
On Monday we decided to make a trip to the old town of Aarhus. It was a very nice day for a walk and on arrival at old town, we realised that there was a fee to get in so we decided to look around at the free parts instead. We found a giant greenhouse dome which we decided to have a look inside. After a quick stop at the café, we headed in to see what was on display in and around the greenhouse. There were lots of plants from all around the world and we had a great time just strolling around inside. After we finished our round, we then headed outside to the garden to have a look at the lovely location. On the way back we stopped at the grocery shop to pick up some supplies for dinner.
The following day, we headed in to Muskelsvindfonden to do some more interviews with the employees and a few members. We managed to get an interview with Theis Petersen who is the ceo of events. The interviews we conducted with some of the members with muscular dystrophy were very inspirational and we thoroughly enjoyed hearing their stories. After conducting the interviews, we then had some lunch at the office. After our day at the office, we then headed for a trip into town to check out the different shops. There were a lot of amazing old buildings and cathedrals. On our way back we picked up a few things at the grocery shop.
Wednesday we headed back to the circus after having a 2 day break. We were put in charge of giffler again and it wasn’t quite as busy due to the warmer weather. At the end of our shift we then did two interviews, one with a volunteer who had been there for quite a while and one with my group coordinator. Afterwards, we then went down to the food tent before heading into the main tent to get photos taken with the whole cast as well as the volunteers. It was a very fun and eventful day.
Thursday we were again put in charge of the giffler and we were a bit busier due to the colder weather and everyone wanting to huddle around the fires. We had it all under control as usual and I was starting to really get the hang of it. At the end of the day, we found out that there was a party that was going to happen at night so we reluctantly decided to hang around. It was a lot of fun with heaps of delicious food and a few drinks which made it a lot more amusing. Throughout the night we played a game called unemployed, watched a comedian who made a special appearance and also did a bit of limbo. We stayed until around midnight before deciding to head back home.
Friday I was put in charge of the merri-go-round which was a lot of fun. When the show started, we then headed into the circus as we had been allocated a slot to go in and watch the whole show. We hurried in with some popcorn and slush ice. Unfortunately when we got in, we found out that there wasn’t actually any space for us to watch the show and were sent out again. We then went on break for a while before heading back out to the merri-go-round. That was very unfortunate.
The next day, we were put on the merri-go-round again where this time we were going to go into and see if we could watch the show. Luckily there was enough room in the circus so we were in fact able to go in and watch the whole show. The show was amazing and I loved all the quirky characters as there was drama, comedy and a few acrobatics. However, most of the show was not like most circuses you expect to see as it was mostly just like watching a musical with a tiny bit of acrobatics which was still a lot of fun.