During my 1977 trip to Denmark and Sweden I went to visit past ‘trainees’. These were young men who lived with my family, or my uncles’, for six months while working on our farms in Saskatchewan.
I have such wonderful memories of those visits because I was welcomed into their homes and families. I wasn’t just a ‘tourist’.
Forty one years later I was still welcomed as warmly, and met many of their children and grandchildren.
Hans and Lisa with the first two of their four daughters in 1977, and now
They live near the west coast of Denmark where there are fantastic sand dunes.
We visited Tirpitz, a brand new interpretative centre that told the story of the how the area was formed, how it changed over time with the drifting sand, and the stories of people who had occupied it.
They also told the story of how the Germans had occupied this area during WW2 and the bunkers that were installed. They did a magnificent job of bringing the stories alive.
There are still bunkers along the coast, with some creative additions!
The drifting sand has also covered oak trees that are hundreds of years old, so that only the tops of the trees are visible.
Getting our feet wet in the last bit of ocean (almost) before England!
Erik was not just a trainee. He and Mona lived in Canada and worked for my uncle for eight years before returning to Denmark, so they are ‘family’.
This is Kaj and Elsa in 1977. They had worked for my parents in 1973, so Elsa came over to see me when I was at Kaj’s parents house.
Kaj and his wife Karen in Svendborg
While on the west side of Denmark, I also visited the ARoS museum in Aarhus.
So after a lovely evening with Kaj and Karen, I’m leaving tomorrow to meet Viveka in Sweden. See you there.
P.S. jet lag is gone