Thursday, June 23, 2011

A pink bike, bonfires, and other such dazzling things

Yesterday, after walking back from work (picking up some gelato on the way- thank you, Italy, for producing such excellent food and such friendly, smiling expats)... but as I was saying, after work, I grabbed my bike and rode down to the castle to wander around for a bit and read in the gardens. It's quite impressive, really, that anyone can walk (or jog, as the case may be) through the castle grounds whenever they'd like, around the fountain and through the castle courtyards, etc, free of charge and wonderfully quiet. Amazing.

Really, though, I just thought I'd show you all my bike, as I know you'll be terribly jealous of it's sheer snazziness- and you probably can't make it out, but that curvy lettering on the main bar, amidst the flowers, says "Stay Away." ...ahem. ...So points to Lars for procuring a bike for me to use for the summer (and he apologized for the color before I even saw it), and points to the bike for assisting me in attempting to drag a smile out of random Danes.

The internship is going well, of course, though I'm rather jealous of co-workers Lars and Helene (and Jacob, whom I have yet to meet), who are currently in Ghana training some of the excellent folks I worked with at Smartline last summer. In addition to passing on my good wishes, I've requested the bringing pack of much-missed favorite Ghanaian food like sugar bread, kelewele, and jollof. Had to ask. ...Back in Denmark, though, I've been going through the English version of Sensus's website and making a few edits here and there, writing up RoboBraille instructions, becoming more familiar with the basics of Braille, etc. Mikkel, one of the guys in the office, has sent me an impressively large list of American universities and colleges he'd gathered, complete with contact information for their respective disability offices; my biggest project for the summer will likely be working out with Lars how he'd like to tackle reeling them in to the excellence of RoboBraille services.

This coming Saturday, I'll be leaving for Kalundborg to help with the summer program at the National Centre for Visual Impairment, Synscenter Refsnæs, and will be there until the following Saturday, July 2. Volunteers get to know each other on Saturday and set up, kids come on Sunday, then camping (tents, fires, the whole shebang) and activities through the following Saturday, clean up, and hop the train back to Hillerød. 

...Sooo, as tomorrow evening is the traditional celebration of midsummer here in Denmark (summer solstice was last night, of course), I'll likely post another quick update Friday evening, then be MIA until the first full week of July. Midsummer celebrations means, naturally, local partying, fireworks over the castle lake, bonfires, and, traditionally, topping the bonfire with a witch. ...These days, of course, they're doing without the witch- the second Lars at the office remarked that instead Denmark now sends its witches to Sweden. ...ahem. Nothing like some good Scandinavian rivalry and neighbor bashing, even in terms of regional celebrations. In any case, looking forward to my first European midsummer celebration.

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