“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
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?
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
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
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)
“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
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
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?
… 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…
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