After Hallingelille, we stopped in Odense, Åarhus, and Samsø.
Some pictures from Hallingelille that I didn’t post earlier:
Roshan from Nepal helping to build their new learning center.
The troops freezing and fairly miserable at an old ceramics factory turned project for youth to create at/for.
My roommate Luca, from Kyoto, outside the factory.
I was sick in Odense, so spent most of the time there eating food from the nearby seven eleven and watching movies in the hostel. I did find this great picture of Garba doing tai chi, which is one of his classic things to do, in front of a sculpture the group visited while I was sick.
In Åarhus we found ourselves in a groovy hostel by the waterfront. We had a lot of free time in Åarhus which allowed for: a flea market visit, some shopping (I was more of a witness), a lovely walk with my best roommate Luca, and a delicious avocado sandwich. In our structured time, we visited the Aros (modern art museum, shown below)
and Kaospilot, which is an alternative business and leadership school (shown mingling below).
Both were incredibly inspiring and everyone in the group had fun with the nightlife in Åarhus…. so much fun in fact that I was glad to leave the loud hallways and sticky floors for
Samsø! Samsø is about 25 or 30 kilometers long, so we had the pleasure of biking everywhere!
It is 110% renewable energy… meaning that it can actually export it for profit! The difference between Hallingelille and Samsø is that the population on Samsø is made of mostly farmers, and more traditional, conventional people. Some own shares of turbines, solar fields, etc., and they go to show that the whole community does not have to be socially alternative to be energy-alternative. We visited an organic creamery with 8 cows, and tasted some of their delicious cheese! We also visited the Energy Academy, which is the community organization that promotes and educates about sustainability on the island.
The group imitating the sculpture outside, “balancing act”.
Getting weighed at district heating to see how much oil we are worth! Unfortunately not much since we have so much water inside of us…
The last full day, we went fishing with the island’s nature school and biked to the very northern tip of the island, which according to Garba hosts the second tallest hill in Denmark.
The fisherwomen posing for a picture.
Me fishing for my head…
The infamous hill!
Peric, from Ghana, jumping at the northern end of the island. I just thought this was a cool picture.
The Sustainability Tour was a refreshing break from the every-day routine at Krogerup. We had some group dynamic issues, but were fortunate enough to talk about them, and become a lot closer as a result of accepting each other with limitations and flaws, rather than trying to fix them. People always told me it would be hard not to just hang out with the international students, and I wondered why. But on the trip we became so comfortable with each other, and also since most of us are from different places and can only communicate in English there is not a question of language preference or cultural norm.
In terms of the content of the trip, I learned that people have great potential to make things happen, externally and for themselves. We met so many people who had a vision and worked to make it happen. And it happened. How simple and wonderful! I learned that crazy visions can be awesome and that if you believe in and work for something, you will find people who feel the same way and will suddenly have a team. I learned that everything is connected – ecologically, but also thoughts and ideas. The people in Samsø and Hallingelille were much more fulfilled than other people we met — (this thought is influenced by Joanna Macy but) it seemed that in accepting their role in the ecosystem around them, and in the community, they were able to more freely feel confidence, and to be sensitive. Their self awareness was heightened, and they used this awareness to change their behavior for the better.
Personally, I learned that it only takes a few devoted people initially, to shape a group for the better. I also learned when to be silent. We had a lot of Negative Nancies about some of the activities on the program for the tour. At first, I felt like it was my duty to try to help everyone feel as happy and excited as I was!! It turned out that sometimes people need positivity, and sometimes they really don’t. It can be better to let them feel negative if they want to feel negative, as long as they don’t bring down the group. I also learned that it is important to intervene and sometimes opt out when a situation is wrong. Last, I felt such a sense of freedom in breaking my routine, and would love to take that with me. Just change little things – what time I wake up, what music I listen to, what time I go to sleep, what I eat, what I think about. It makes a big difference.
So back at school!
Two events happened in pre-ordained order: we biked a lot on Samsø, and I got Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook in the mail. Enjoying the biking so much and fantasizing about the trail while blazing through the handbook (if only I could hike the trail so fast) led me to start seriously training for the hike. Yesterday I did my first training hike. I loaded up my backpack with books from the library and walked to Helsingør, about 12 miles round trip. I only had my flimsy running shoes, so my feet are hurting today, but on the other hand it helps be know what I need in shoes for the trail (most people recommend sneakers in Southern California and trail runners later on). Since I have to stop at a certain time for school in the fall, and since the Sierras are slow, it is extra important to be in really great hiking shape before I arrive in Southern California and start my hike through the desert. I think everyone who is keeping up with this blog knows about my PCT plan, but basically it is a trail that travels from Mexico to Canada through the Sierras and takes 4-6 months to hike.
It is the first reason that I took a gap year, and in 5 short months I will hopefully be hitting the trail in Campo, SoCal. I am currently trying to balance my enthusiasm for the trail and my appreciation for being here right now. Which is mainly working because I have great enthusiasm for my two newest “study group” classes:
“The Living Line” is a drawing class, taught by an artist who works at the Louisiana (modern art museum across the road). We have only had two classes and I am already in love with the class – we have been using pencil, ink, charcoal and clay with both hands and focusing on drawing things organically from the inside rather than from the contour. Whew! That’s a challenge and such a fun one.
Outdoor Life is my other study group pursuit. This is unfortunately only once a week, so I have only had one class so far. We ran through the woods and did a bunch of exercises and activities along the way – before walking slowly into the ocean! Brrrr. It was really fun and I could barely walk the next day – our teacher is a bulky guy who plays underwater rugby for fun and teaches crossfit for a living. I am really looking forward to the rest of the class.
Happy Late-Halloween to y’all!