Sunday, June 19, 2016

Greetings from Aarhus (“aaauuhus” /ˈɔɹˌhus/ ) By: Raymond Opoku

Greetings from Aarhus (“aaauuhus” /ˈɔɹˌhus/ )

The difference in time will not allow my body to follow its regular sleep routine so I thought I would write instead. It’s strange how at 3:30 am in the morning broad daylight pierces through my hotel room window as though it were 7 am. Interesting right?

Well, let’s start.

The optimist in me mentioned to a friend that we will embark on this trip regardless and I recall him saying that, yes will but probably next year! Haha. 
The stress and frustration of getting the Danish Visa made me almost give up on the trip Thanks to every member of the team Dr. Klein, Tim Mayer, Sally Gilman and particularly Dr. Vandersluis for his relentless effort amidst his busy schedule and to making sure that all went well and the trip came off this year instead.

We left Brookings for Minneapolis in a van driving by Tim. All was well till check-in time at about 5:35 pm at the Minneapolis Saint Paul’s Airport. Nazia, was asked to provide an extra travel document and this made every one worried but was sorted out. As such we were the last people to board the flight to JFK. The transit from JFK to Copenhagen was much smoother and hustle free.

You might have noticed by now the pronunciation of the city name Aarhus. On arrival at the Danish airport, the immigration officer muffled something in Danish, releasing I didn’t understand a thing of what he said, he asked why have come to his country with a congenial smile in engilsh. I responded by stating that I’m attending a conference in his beautiful country. Then came the follow up question, Where?. I said Aarhus!. He corrected me by stressing on the two A’s in the name. My first lesson in Danish 101 had begun!

The first leg of our trip came to an end with lots of activities, from meeting with Mr. Jan Lauritsen at the Danish agriculture and Food Cluster on the first day of arrival to a guided boat tour of the city of Copenhagen. From a fishing background, I loved the boat tour particularly. 

After a 3 hour train ride from Copenhagen to Aarhus-the second-largest city in Denmark, We had to check into our various hotel rooms and grab a bite to eat. Refreshing and unpacking took longer for me than the designated time. As a result, I joined the group a little late at the Cabinn Hotel reception lobby. 

Indeed, in a group of 12, one will expect difference in taste and preference food. While the boys chose to go the “boys way”, the rest of the group stayed together. The team of boys, chose Shushi over anything. We found ourselves in a nice but price Shushi place but with the quality of service from the waitress, we could expect nothing less. While at the joint, we discussed International politics and foreign policy, Economics and trade. We returned to the hotel at about 11pm to iron our clothes for the main event on Sunday June 19th. 

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