enam100.jpg (7290 bytes)  Rotary International Distrikt 1440 Danmark   

                Group Study Exchange Team 2008 fra  Distrikt 6890 Florida, USA

Senest opdateret den 07. november 2008


This is where we will place our travellog.

På denne side vil vi løbende rapportere om vore oplevelser.


21. august 2008 11. september 2008 19. september 2008 26. september 2008 2. oktober 2008


2. oktober 2008

Last week in Danmark Sept 28 to Oct 4, 2008- Fjerritslev and Nykobing
(excuse me for the typos in your alphabet as I do not have the correct keys)

God Dag Rotary Venner,
This is our last -but not least- week! the Fjerritslev and Nykobing Clubs are so nice and hospitable. Each hosting Rotary club in Distrikt 1440 has been extra special, and thank you for all you do!

After we left the Ronde area sommerhus, we experienced the famous DK Hotdogs- delicious!

Afterwards, the Fjerritslev Rotary Club treated us to wonderful lagkage cake at the Svinlov Hotel- the famous 75-year-old hotel and restaurant.

For the next 2 days in the areas around Fjerritsklev, we visited the famous promontory rock Bulbjerg, the Vejlern bird sanctuary, fishing boat landing, and the unique Kirsten Kjaers Art Gallery. We stopped by Tommerby Kirke where we learned that the emblem that appears on the Danish paper money Krono was actually from a Viking stone design embedded in the Kirke's wall (see picture). We also visited Hanstholm WWII Museum and the Rogegaard Hunting reserve.

Nature treated us nicely. Thanks to the rain, we enjoyed a nice rainbow (and no dust stirring on dirt roads). The sun came up just in time as we visited each place. The view was spectacular. At times, it was very cold and windy, but that gave us a chance to huddle together and become closer friends!

Thanks to Klim Strand Resort for a great tour of the beach and camp area, pool and activity center, and a treat at the Wellness Center: lavender and beer bath, sauna, steam room, massage pools. Poul Jensen said he also took the Queen on a similar tour, without the spa. So we felt like the Rotary Club treated us like royalty, maybe better!

Personally, my hosts Erik and Lene Tornoe took me on a forest hike to pick Cantrel mushrooms; and tusind tak to Bjarne Thomsen for a chance to climb his windmill. What a view from the top!

The last evening, we had the Fjerritslev Rotary Club meeting where Hr. and Fru Finn Munk came to visit. The Fjerritslev Club also installed a new member who is the Director of the Fjerritslev Gymnasium. He gave us a tour of the school the next day and gave us a great lunch prepared by Palle Nielsen's wife.

Now we are in Nykobing and vicinity, a beautiful region in Mors. We toured the shellfish science research lab ( Dansk Skaldyrcenter) and the Limfjord Seafood company, followed by sampling of fresh oysters and various preparations of shellfish. We enjoyed a delightful lunch at Belle Epoche Restaurant. The afternoon was filled with wonders of 4-D movies, magical landscaping, and exotic animals at JesperHus Resort and Garden. This is such a beautiful and fun place for children and adults. We especially enjoyed the recreation of HC Andersen's stories as they come alive in forms of sculptures and plants. The resort, camping, and activity center is vast and beautiful.

We are already talking about having a reunion here- at the resorts of Klim Strand in Fjerritslev and Nykobing's JesperHus :-)

Friday we look forward to visiting the Skive area and Rotary Club, and we'll send pictures soon after. We will have a hygge party (which we always love because of the warmth and frienship) before our flight out of Jutland.

Much affection and regards to ALL our friends, guides, and past and present hosts of Distrikt 1440 as we depart back home on Saturday. We will never forget this valuable experience! Best to you and your family.

Ginger Hoang Le,
GSE District 6890 Team Member.

26. september 2008

During the third week of our trip the diversity of this amazing country really became more apparent.  We went from farms to cities to castles to beaches all in a single week.   The Danes have talked about how September weather is cold and rainy but I'm not sure what they are talking about, I'm sitting here wishing I had packed shorts.  It's another beautiful day in Denmark - as it has been this entire trip.  Three weeks in, I've seen one raining day.

Our time in Hobro came far too quickly, as the town was beautiful and the people were friendly and generous.  All the GSE members and host families came together at Cathie's host family to enjoy a amazing dinner and tour their farm as a final farewell.  Next morning started very early as we were headed back to Aalborg for the district conference.  At the district conference we met other fellow travelers, both outbound as well as inbound students.  We saw amazing speakers and presenters and even had the opportunity to give a presentation ourselves. 

After the conference, our next stop was the beautiful town of Aars.  After all of us got together for a quick drink at my host family's house, we got to spend some quality time with our new hosts.  The next day featured a tour of the town, lunch with the mayor, tour of a dairy farm and finished with an awesome bus tour of the area.  During the bus tour we had a wonderful stop at the summer house of my host family and dinner that featured fish bigger than the plates on which they were served.  While in Aars we also visited a company that produced energy from incinerating waste and a metal casting company.  To top the trip in Aars off, we were joined by Finn Munk who led a tour through Rebild.

Our trip to Rønde started with an excellent lunch before heading over to an organic farm (Kalø).   The mayor joined us to give us a guided tour of the ruins of a castle.  What a beautiful sunset!  The next morning was  a vocational day where I spent time in a small bank.  The others went to businesses related to their fields and, of course, Fred went golfing.  The Rønde rotary meeting went much as the entire trip in Rønde - featuring a lot of laughing, smiling and good friends.  We've read that the Danish are the happiest people on earth and Rønde folks are the happiest people in Denmark.  To top things off in Rønde, we became vikings for a few hours and learned axe throwing and archery and cooked meat in earth ovens and vegetables over a fire.  Now we are relaxing in a summer house that sits on Begtrup Vig/Århus Bugt.

And its another beautiful day in Denmark!

Kindest regards and best wishes,
Christopher Jones

FL District 6890 GSE Team Member

19. september 2008

Our journey continues in this beautiful country of Denmark. 
We are all overwhelmed by the wonderful hospitality and the warm welcome everyone has shared with us.  Our host families have truly become our families. 
They are our 'home away from home'.  Everyone has been so thoughtful, kind, and most generous during our time in Denmark.
After Aalborg and Dronninglund we continue experiencing the Denmark culture in Sæby and Hobro.  We visited the miniature houses of Sæby to understand how the village appeared in the 1900s.  Amazingly, today we can still see the same buildings.  We also had the pleasure of visiting the Martin company to understand the production of lighting and its high technology capabilities.  We even got to dance in the quality testing lab!  Communication and team work is apparent and we can see how it is encouraged in the company culture.  Our understanding of Denmark is piecing itself together for us.  Finally, we visited an upper secondary school in Frederikshavn.  The many choices and liberty allotted to the students allows us to see the difference between the Denmark educational system and the US educational system.  Team work, communication, choice and personal responsibility are some of the common themes we learned while experiencing our time at the Martin company and the Frederikshavn upper secondary school.
Our time in Sæby allowed for an opportunity to visit Skagen.  We were overjoyed by experiencing the very tip of Denmark.  Words can not say how much we fell in love with Skagen.  Many of us placed both feet in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.   
To say that our time in Sæby has been an 'out of body experience' may be an understatement.   :)
Our journey continues onto Hobro.  We visited the Viking Museum and some of us even dressed as Vikings! A new fashion may be appearing in our wardrobes upon our return to Florida.
We all had a 'perfect day' on the Fjord boating and breathing the clean, fresh air of the countryside.  This time allowed us to share experiences with each other and to become closer with our host families.  The communication and interaction we have had together is priceless.  Our time is nearing in Hobro and will all have come to understand the beauty of this village and the beauty of the people here.
With Lot's of Love from Denmark,
Cathie Gharing
FL District 6890 GSE Team Member


11. September 2008

6 days into the trip and we are overwhelmed by both the beauty of Denmark and the generosity of our hosts! It has been a whirlwind thus far and we have seen everything from monasteries to castles and received educations in accounting, aquavit, whiskey and windmills! And in between it all, we manage to squeeze in a few Rotary meetings and spend time getting to know our wonderful hosts.

Denmark offers a bit of everything from beaches to forests- the landscape is stunning. The Danes are wonderful people, very proud of their country (and who can blame them?!) and thankfully they all speak some English.

Our trip began in the third largest city, Aalborg. We received a warm welcome Sunday evening at the Aalborg tower, built in the 30's and stands over 130 feet, which overlooks the city and the Fjord. Monday was our first vocational day and we all learned a great deal in our various industries. On Tuesday, we learned how the enormous blades (over 300 feet!) of the windmills that provide 25% of electricity in Denmark are made at the Siemens factory. Following that, we visited the Distillery where the makes 6.5 Liters (minus 1 after our visit :-) of liquor, primarily a drink the Danes love, especially with Herring, called aquavit (high grade schnapps). On Wednesday, we received an incredible tour of a monastery from the 15th century and a stunning church before having lunch at an exclusive club where a secret society met while hiding from the Germans in World War II. The afternoon brought shopping and a visit to the Viking center before attending a club meeting- Fred's Danish is improving! From there we bid a teary farewell to our inaugural hosts and excitedly met our second families. Today we toured an incredible Castle from the 1500s before joining the Mayor for lunch and visiting an art gallery. Tonight we will get closer to the angels with a spiritual advisor in the forest!

Skål! (Cheers)

- GSE team

21. august 2008


The team is preparing for their big tour to Denmark in just a few weeks, and Fred sent me these words, and some new pictures

Finn Webmaster

First, let me express our gratitude to the Rotary International Foundation for continuing to sponsor this wonderful program.  Without their support, this opportunity to explore our cultural differences would not be possible.

Second, a special Thank You to the District 6890 GSE selection team for offering to each of us this most unique opportunity.  We are humbled by their confidence and energized by their support.

Third, and most importantly, we thank Beverly and Finn for their friendship!   Without that we would not be able to experience the people and the land of Denmark.  This is going to be a great trip!  Tusind tak!

Now some observations.

Melinda Montgomery:  "The final count down has begun!  With less than 3 weeks to go, I am busy making arrangements at work, thinking about what to pack, finalizing dog sitter arrangements, pulling together a photo album and practicing Danish!  I am excited, anxious and nervous about this life changing experience I'm about to embark upon!  I can't wait to meet my host families, see the sights and learn about the wonderful culture in Northern Denmark.  I have recently spoken with some people who have spent time in Denmark and have heard such wonderful things about the people and country -- I can't wait!"

Ginger Le:  "As I prepare for our adventure in Denmark, I hear from several friends and associates that Denmark is a very friendly country with nice people, full of culture and history.  I am very excited about meeting everyone in the Rotary "family" and to see the country.  As I am wrapping up my work here, I am working on the Danish language.  It is probably the most difficult part of this preparation.  See you soon."

Cathie Gharing:  "I am excited about learning the Danish culture.  In our postmodern era, I'm most interested in learning the issues most important to them.  How do everyday decisions affect the long-tern goals of the country?  America's ideology is built on individualism, democracy, and capitalism, but what new perspectives can the Danish culture provide to Americans in order for us to "look" outside this American ideology?"

Fred Oeters:  "As a long-time Rotarian (27 years), I see this as one of the crown jewels of my Rotary experience.  It has been my privilege to host many exchange visitors, but to be the team leader of a visitation team is the ultimate achievement.  Now, as I frantically make my final preparations, I am even more excited!  I look forward to meeting fellow Rotarians in Denmark, to spending time with my host families and to learning about your country and its people.  And, if time allows, to play a little golf on native Danish soil."


Med venlig hilsen,



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