If you think preparing to move to a different country might be overwhelming…well, you’d be correct. But it pales in comparison to setting up your life in that new country. Don’t worry, we knew what we were getting into (sort of) and we are still smiling and definitely convinced that it is all well worth it! After all, we have spent many joy filled moment getting to know this place and everything is still so new and exciting.
But as vacation begins to morph into real life, we spend a lot of time learning about bank accounts, Kommune reimbursements, government subsidies, taxes (oh my, those taxes), public transportation, the exchange rate, where to shop, what brands to buy and of course, the pronunciation of Danish words (like “gade” (street) pronounced as “gill”, yet the “g” should be said like an “h” while clearing your throat. Um, what?). Oh, and the small task of finding a place to live, registering for Danish lessons and ballet lessons for the kids.
But this week has been focused on settling the girls into a new school. The schedule for the first 2 weeks is gradual, staying a little longer each day and although it’s been interesting for us to coordinate (each class has a different schedule!) it seems to be working out very well. We have spent many mornings sipping coffee with the other parents – the majority of them are expats as well, so we enjoy exchanging stories and information about our experiences. The parents we have met are from Turkey, France, Italy, England, India, Poland, China and Denmark. It is a fascinating group, to say the least! As far as we can tell, our girls are the only Americans at the school, which was quite a surprise! Many of the kids are Danish, but since the school is taught in English, many Danish parents would like their kids to get a head-start on the English language. Otherwise, kids in Denmark begin learning English in about the 3rd grade.
Thursday was an exciting day for Matea. She stayed for lunch for the first time. The school provides a vegetarian, organic meal and the kids participate in yoga and meditation each morning. Matea follows a kindergarden curriculum and Dahlia is in a preschool class with other kids her age. The playground is large and sheltered by apple and pear trees. But most importantly, the teachers seem kind and encouraging and the girls have made new friends and have been excited about going each day.