3.u in New York and Maine 2019

1st day: 2:45 PM, we met up at the Kastrup airport, and embarked on a great, but long trip. Around half past 10 PM EST, we arrived at the JFK airport, and after going through immigration, got our bags, so we could go to our minibuses and get to our Manhattan YMCA, to get a little bit of rest…

2nd day: At 8AM, all were up and looking for breakfast and coffee to go along with. At 9AM we headed towards Columbus Circle, and from there walked to the Amsterdam nursing home, to go along with the students of Project Rousseau on their weekly volunteer work at the home. Some of us played board games with the Rousseau Students and elders, while others participated in the ‘adult daycare’ or got a tour of the premises. We then ate at a nearby diner, before heading to Columbia University, where we discussed topics of food waste and food insecurity with the Rousseau Students. A disturbing and sad topic, which I really feel opened a lot of eyes. After Columbia, we were free to roam the city, until 8PM where we all met up, and walked to the Brooklyn bridge. A breathtaking view and a fantastic experience.

3rd day: We huddled up at 9AM, and took the subway to Delancey street, where we talked with an activist group ‘Culture Push’ about tackling social issues through art. I especially admired their focus on gentrification and displacement, because it is a subject that is very close to my heart, being a Copenhagener, and also is one of the biggest issues we face as humans, regarding culture. In the evening we went to the Nuyorican poets cafe for some poetry slam, which was really fun, entertaining and exciting

4th day: The day’s activities started off with us visiting the Muslim Community Network, where the team had prepared presentations for us, about Islam and Muslims in USA. I was really struck by how friendly, and welcoming they were. They’d bought loads of coffee, muffins, bagels and so on because they read online that Danes like coffee. It was a really eye-opening and interesting presentation, and the whole class really did well to participate. Then we headed to ground zero. It’s quite surreal to stand among all the tall buildings and think about how normal people were walking the exact same places as you are walking in that moment, when tragedy struck. After splitting up, the whole class met up at a restaurant called Berry Park. It offers great food for a nice price, as well as a breathtaking view of New York City. 

5th day: We met up early, at 06:45, and took the subway to the Port Authority Bus Terminal where we were going by bus to Maine. We arrived in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and got picked up by a school bus, which drove us to Marshwood High School in Maine. After getting a tour of the school, and having random students greet us, we went home with our hosts. 

6th Day: After having stayed the first night with our respective hosts, we headed to school, where we were each given a student who we were going to follow around for the day. Here we had a whole range of subjects, and experienced lunch in an American high school cafeteria. After school I went to a city called Wells, where my host knew a guy who owns a lobster pound and restaurant. I got to experience real Maine seafood - something I’ll never forget. We had lobster rolls, crab cakes, steamed clams and fried clams. In the evening, we all went to the homecoming soccer game, which Marshwood ended up winning 2-0. After having dinner with my host and his cousin, we went home and slept. The theme for school today was costume day, and I saw people in all sorts of creative costumes. Namely a girl dressed up as Marge Simpson from The Simpsons caught my eye. 

7th day: School was frighteningly early, as we started school 07:30. Today was the big pep rally day, where the whole week’s competitions culminates in a battle between all the students, who competed in disciplines like dodgeball and blindfold dancing. Usually the seniors win every year, but this year would prove to be different, as the upset of all upsets unfolded in front of us, and the freshmen won! The frustration and disappointment was visible on the faces of the seniors, as well as understandable. As the pep rally finished up, I went clothes shopping with my host before heading to the yearly homecoming football game, which is the biggest of the year. Despite the fact, that Marshwood supposedly were playing against the best team in the state, the Bederford tigers were no match for the Marshwood Hawks, as Marshwood steamrolled their way through the tigers with a score of 52-7. 

8th day: The eight and final day was going to be a relaxing one, which was much needed on top of a long fun week. We went to the light tower in York, which supposedly is one of the area’s big tourist attractions. At 5PM we went to Boston by bus, where we flew back home from.

Written by Thor Keller, 3.u