This week we had a huge variety of different activities to raise money for the Danish Handicap Association (https://danskhandicapforbund.dk/en/development-work/honduras/). Today after classes in the afternoon we had a human auction. At the auction, the students got a chance to sell their skills or an experience to the others. It was very entertaining and interesting to see what people were offering. There were for example people selling bedtime readings, morning songs, massages, trips to the cinema, room cleans, etc. I came up with the idea of selling 3 walk and talk therapy sessions with Dr Phil (myself) which everyone cracked up laughing about and it was sold for 250kr ($50). There were also 2 students who sold themselves as gurus who would be able to help complete tasks and get your life back on track which I bought for 260kr. After selling my Dr Phil idea, a whole lot of people came up to me asking if they could get a walk and talk session even though they didn’t get it. This was a very nice experience to see how enthusiastic people were around going for a walk and having a chat with me.
Tuesday I had adventure line where we focused on learning about reading and following maps. The first part of the day we got into groups and had to locate different posts by reading a map. This was a very fun activity and after having done quite a bit of it at home in Australia I was very enthusiastic about giving it a go. We managed to find all posts and mark them all with a hole puncher on the correct numbers on the map. Later on after lunch we received another task where we had to find our way around a specific route where each turn was shown by an arrow with symbols around it so we knew which structures or plants were around that turn. My group ended up being the only group that followed it precisely without any wrong turns. Near the end, it started to rain and so we had to hurry back so we wouldn’t get soaked. When we got back I just hung out with some of the other students while we waited for dinner time. Later in the afternoon there was going to be a municipal of students who would be reading out various dilemmas and answering them as a panel. Two who had organised it and had already gathered together the panel came up to me and asked if I wanted to be on the panel to which I definitely did. After dinner I went into the heated pool for a bit of a swim and just to relax a bit before the municipal. However, it got a bit hectic in terms of limited time when I had to get out as the municipal was due to start quite soon. Luckily though, we managed to make it in time. The municipal was a lot of fun with some very interesting dilemmas which people had written in the morning at assembly. In the role of Dr Phil I think I did quite well and also managed to crack a few jokes without intending to do so.
Wednesday was a very chilled out day where we finished early and I ended up just sitting together with some of my mates over in their room where we just chatted and I wrote a bit in my blog. There was also a second hand shop set up in one of the classrooms where people could buy different items of clothing and other things. Since it was pouring with rain and I was over in one of the outside apartments, I didn’t particularly want to go over to the main building. Instead we ended up playing a drawing game where we had to draw something on our phone and then guess what the others had drawn. Even though there wasn’t much going on, it was a great day hanging out with my friends.
Thursday we had a bit of bango (bingo where you slam the table if you get bingo) in the afternoon where the hall was packed with people. It was very intense and slightly frustrating evening since I kept getting very close to winning but then someone else would get it. However, patience was the key and I ended up winning one of the big prizes which was 2 packets of lollies and 2 concert tickets.
Friday I was out on an excursion with adventure in nature where we went out to see black sun which is a natural phenomenon where thousands of black birds come flying in and almost block out the sun with their sheer number. We drove out to the location and stopped at a parking lot on the way to stop and have something to eat and drink. Here we met a man from Norway who had converted a medium sized bus into a camper van which he could drive around Europe with. I couldn’t quite understand what he said but he seemed like a nice guy and decided to give me a cap to keep. After an interesting chat with him we met with a guide who was going to talk us through the natural phenomenon when we arrived at the location. Before we were to drive out, he briefed us a bit on what was generally expected and that this year there was a much smaller number of birds that would be flying in. It was very cold outside when we arrived and there weren’t too many birds but nevertheless it was still an interesting and unique experience that was definitely worth experiencing. We all sat together watching as these birds flew in and it was a very pleasant evening. Later on we all got back into the buses and headed back to the school jamming away in the bus. Back at the school there was a lot going on as people had all sorts of drinking games in their rooms based on different themes from letters that they had received and people basically toured from room to room experiencing the different themed activities they had going on. It was quite fun to see everyone dressed up and getting absolutely wasted but I wasn’t really interested in getting involved in the activities.
Saturday was a very quiet and relaxed day where the majority of people who were there during the weekend were either sleeping off or feeling terrible with their hangovers. However, in the afternoon there was a bit of salsa dancing where there was an instructor who came in to teach us all how to dance salsa. It was a lot of fun and everyone was getting involved in it. To start off with the girls had to line up on one side of the room and the guys on the other and then the guys had to go over to the girls and ask if they wanted to dance with them. I was a bit hesitant at first but then I managed to muster my courage and go over and ask. We all stood in a circle and once we got the hang of it with our initial partner we then started rotating around dancing with different partners. Afterwards, we also got to try a bit of zumba which was a great way to get the energy levels of the room raised to the max and also a great note to end on.
Today was a pretty chilled day where I headed in for a swim in the indoor swimming pool. It was very relaxing in the heated pool and a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Afterwards there was a cake competition going on in the dining hall where a few groups had competed against each other and there were a few judges about to determine the winning group. There were a lot of interesting looking cakes and looked almost too good to eat. Followed by this, a few of us decided to order some pizzas to have for dinner. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to finish off a lazy Sunday.
Monday was where the whole adventure line would be heading out on our 3 day canoeing trip. I have to admit I was a bit nervous as to how the trip would go. We packed our bags and prepared some lunch before being loaded into the buses to drive to the starting location. Our driver got a tiny bit lost, but we nevertheless made it only a few minutes later than the others. After a well in depth briefing, we all got into small groups and hopped into our canoes. It was a tiny bit scary for me as I had to lie with my legs underneath a metal bar which would mean broken legs if the canoe were to tip over. We were off, sailing down with the stream and we were going pretty fast, we started by going under a low bridge where the two other guys in my canoe had to lie down as to not knock their heads. It was a lot of fun and we were chatting, singing and laughing. As we kept going, my butt got more and more sore, but I was still enjoying myself being outside listening and looking at the beauty of nature. After a while however we had to stop by the shore to reposition me as I was very sore. Once I was lying comfortably we kept going but were stopped by a shout of “Help!” We called back asking if they were ok which they said they weren’t. We turned around and found that one of the canoes had tipped over and they needed help to empty the canoe of water and also to get back into it. Luckily we were close by and were able to help them and then continue with them in front this time in case they were to tip again. Around an hour later we arrived at the campsite where everyone was loaded out and started to set up camp with tents and campfire. A few headed into the woods to collect some mushrooms for our vegetarian stew which tasted delicious. We all sat around the fire chatting and having a jolly good time together. However it got very dark and I ended up deciding to go to bed where I slept in a tent which I haven’t done in a long time.
Tuesday we started out with a delicious cooked breakfast as it was Frederik’s birthday and he had ordered a delicious cooked breakfast. After brekky we continued down the river in our canoes, but we had to transport them over onto the other side as there was a road with a pipe on the river. This time I sailed together with two different guys, one of which called Rasmus who had a harmonica which he played a few tunes on for us which was amazing. After 2 hours or so we stopped for lunch where I sat and rested a bit lying on the grass. We then continued down the river which was very nice and clear. After a while we were stopped by a canoe in front of us where the two girls in it were holding onto a tree for dear life desperate not to tip the canoe. Since we were a bit slow in stopping the canoe we slammed right into them where they slowly started to tip over. In panic, they took a hold of our canoe and were about to tip us over with them which luckily they didn’t and we were able to stop their canoe from sailing away. Since there was nothing more we could do, we continued to sail until we reached our destination. Once we arrived we had to wait a while as my wheelchair had not arrived yet and so I waited patiently almost asleep in my comfortable position in the canoe. Later, the chair arrived and dinner was not too far behind. We had some dinner and then played a bit of werewolf which was a lot of fun in the pitch dark. After a few games, I headed over to the shelter ready for a well-deserved night’s sleep.
Wednesday we got up fairly early and started to pack everything up ready to leave within the next hour or so. Once we were all packed up, we then headed back to the school in the buses. We arrived back at the school at around 10:30am just in time to prepare for our table group meeting. Since we had forgotten to charge my chair before the canoe trip it had been very flat throughout the whole trip and so I decided to charge it a bit before our table meeting. It was a pretty laid back table meeting and afterwards we just spent the rest of the day resting and getting ready to get back into the swing of things on Thursday.
On Friday, I had adventure in nature where we visited Moesgård Forest where we were all going out to pick mushrooms. Once we arrived we got into pairs received plastic bags and then headed into the forest where we managed to pick a whole variety of different mushrooms. There were a lot of funny shaped ones, different sized ones and also many different colours. After we had picked our share of mushrooms we then headed back to the park where we put all our mushrooms together with everyone else’s on a table. The reason for us picking these mushrooms was because there was a mushroom expert who was going to teach us about all the different mushrooms and to tell us what kind they were. It was very interesting and we definitely learnt a lot from it. On our return to the school there were only a few hours until our night run. The night run consisted of a team who was to run out and complete various different James Bond themed challenges. We got to do a obstacle course to get to a diamond, we had to diffuse a bomb on the bridge, put our hands into garbage to find certain items, shoot with a pistol, complete a slalom course, work our way through a mine field and then finally we had to perform in front of one of the other students to try and arouse him. This was indeed all very intense, but we managed to complete it all in an orderly fashion. Unfortunately we didn’t win overall against the other teams but we definitely gave it a shot and had an awesome time in the process.
Saturday was pretty laid back during the day with luckily not too much going on around the house. Later however there was a James Bond themed night where everyone dressed up fancily for the event. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of my fancy clothes but luckily there were a lot of other people who hadn’t put much of an effort in so I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have the correct clothing. After a 3 course meal, we then headed down to one of the student apartments where everyone was playing various different drinking games which was very entertaining to watch. There was a very festive and happy atmosphere around it all and I felt very welcome there. After quite a wild pre party, we then headed up to the main party where there wasn’t too much going on. As a result, I headed to bed pretty soon after.
This week I was unfortunately a bit sick after having been on the 90km hike. On Monday I had a BPA which is an acronym for the carer system where I learnt a bit more about their system. Even though they were speaking in Danish it was still difficult to understand what they were saying as a lot of the language was quite technical. However luckily my mum was able to come along and understood almost all of what was talked about. Since I wasn’t feeling very well, we decided to call the doctor the next day to see if we could get an appointment. Luckily they had an available time in the next 90 minutes so I was able to go down and see the doctor and get a blood test done to ensure I didn’t have a lung infection. Luckily it was all good and I was able to go back to the school without any necessary treatment. Since my class were all down in the sea I decided to take the afternoon off as I didn’t want to risk my cold getting worse.
Wednesday was pretty laid back where in the morning we had toast masters where we had some speeches outside from people who hadn’t said their speech in the previous lesson. The rest of the day however was just spent relaxing and just focusing on getting well again. Thursday, I had psychology the whole day where we looked at mindfulness and what is involved in the practice of meditation. Later in the day there was soccer which I decided to head over to and watch despite my cold and put lots and lots of layers on. On the way out, my chair was very low on power and so we decided to put it into manual mode. We put it back into drive mode again and I was able to just get down to the field. On the field my chair suddenly stopped and wouldn’t start driving again. I was quite panic struck and we ended up having to put it into manual mode and push it along the grass. After the game we also had to push it all the way back and we never managed to figure out how to put it back into drive mode again.
Friday morning we managed to get a service man on the school to come and have a look at my chair and surely within 10 minutes he managed to get my chair back into drive mode which was extremely relieving. The first lesson of psychology was spent doing a full body scan meditation which was very relaxing. After the break, I then had adventure in nature where we went into Aarhus Botanical Garden which was a very nice spent afternoon where we got to see plants from all around the world inside a gigantic greenhouse. It was a very pleasant way to finish the school day. Back on the school we had a party where I decided to take it easy and hung out in the dining hall playing various different board games which was a lot of fun. Saturday was also just spent chilling out where I did a bit of cleaning up in my room and writing a bit in my blog. I then played on the computers together with some of the other students in the computer lab which was a lot of fun. However after a while we went out again to reality and headed over to discussion café where we sat with a table group of people whom we hadn’t really spoken to before and spoke about some very interesting topics.