“It was a long, hot summer, similar to this one”, tells us the 93-old Asta Schmidt (née Nielsen), looking past me, while her son Sven Ole pours me a cup of coffee. We are visiting his parents who live 10 kilometers from Aarhus in a co-housing community that they co-founded 30 years ago. “We had … Continue reading A Dane helping Finnish refugees in Lahti in 1947
How many pants does a woman need?
In the beginning of June I picked up my carry-on spinner from the garage and started packing for a trip to Colombia. My plan was to visit the hot and humid Caribbean coast - Cartagena and maybe Santa Marta - as well as some cooler places like Medellin and Bogotá in the Andes mountains. When traveling … Continue reading How many pants does a woman need?
Mystery of the old album
While cleaning the top shelf of my bedroom wardrobe, my hand hit thick cardboard. I pulled out a large, dark gray folder. On the front cover “Suomi, Finland” was printed in golden letters, and between them was the lion coat of arms of Finland. I climbed down from the ladder carefully holding the about ten pounds … Continue reading Mystery of the old album
First time in senior cinema
Three 60-70 year old women started collecting their things at the next table. My mobile phone showed that the movie would start in five minutes. I rushed to finish my coffee and the chocolate bar that had been included in the ticket price of 12 dollars. Like so many other movie theaters this one offers a … Continue reading First time in senior cinema
Learning for life at Danish folk high schools (folkehøjskolerne)
Almost every summer I live a week at one of the Danish folk high schools, also called peoples colleges. Ten years ago I even took off from my work in the middle of the fall and went to a 14-day writing course at Vallekilde Folk High school. I just needed to do something else than my every … Continue reading Learning for life at Danish folk high schools (folkehøjskolerne)
Therapy can lead to healing and acceptance
“I plan to ask my husband to attend couple therapy, what do you think?”, asked a friend of mine. “That’s a good idea”, I answered instantly although I know that it can be a risky business in light of my own experiences. I never suggested going to a couple therapy to my first husband some … Continue reading Therapy can lead to healing and acceptance
Air and noise in Bogota
The third day back home in Melby, Denmark, I heard the ringing of the ice cream truck bell, took my wallet and rushed to the gravel road even though it was raining. Not that I was desperate to get some ice cream. But it was the first sound of human life on an otherwise silent … Continue reading Air and noise in Bogota
Safe behind the locks at home?
Burglaries seem to be common in Colombia too. Last Sunday afternoon I was hanging out with a Colombian woman, Merche. She is a single woman in my age range who works in a government agency in Bogota. Her friend, Rosa, from Cartagena joined us later in the afternoon. “What kind of security system did you install … Continue reading Safe behind the locks at home?
“If you survive Colombia, could we…
… could we have our next winter holiday on a cruise ship in the Pacific”, asked my husband when he saw me packing for my month-long trip to Colombia. “Yes, of course", adding jokingly, “maybe you better take a cancellation insurance to get the money back in case I don’t survive Colombia.” Now after two … Continue reading “If you survive Colombia, could we…
Native North Americans recover slowly from past injustices
During my earlier stays in the Southwest of the US I have mainly met two kinds of Native Americans: reckless drunken men and women, and children who have fled to a homeless shelter. This is of course because I have volunteered in a shelter for women and children and because drunken Natives stand out in … Continue reading Native North Americans recover slowly from past injustices