Janice's journey

This biography is made based on the diary of a young woman who lived in many years in Denmark before she went on a holiday at her birthmother’s county. Her values and morale is based on her upbringing in Denmark which some might consider offending. However in order to truly understand how she experienced her stay in the United States the cultural influences has to be considered a major contributor to her choices both before, under and after her stay.

Second the names of individual youth transport firms, wilderness programs and boarding schools are not mentioned. It is not a question about being for or against various companies offering emotional growth. It is strictly a story about how Janice as she has chosen to call herself experienced a number of incidents which left life changing marks on her adult life.

This biography is co-authored because Janice wanted to have her story published in both Danish and English.


17. The trinity

While Lindsay had her future planned my concern was about how I could get to Denmark. I wrote to John – my boyfriend in Denmark and told him that I was Los Angeles. He was very amazed since he hadn’t heard from me since I contacted him back Minnesota when I was on the run. He would try to talk to my dad but he said that my father so to say checked out from life because I was no longer his responsibility when I was abroad. He had almost gained postal address down at local the Pub with a man known as The Writer. The Writer was former real estate agent and some people claimed that he had been a lawyer at one point. For as long as I could remember my father had been regular visitor every Friday at the Pub, but when I was living at home I could also be sure that there was food on the table and clean clothes. It seems that my departure had changed something for him.


While John promised to mobilize my dad I tried to find out where I could get in touch with the Danish authorities so I could get emergency travel documents and leave the United States. My father had custody of me so with his help it should not be difficult to obtain them. Once I obtained these documents I could return to Denmark. There was a Danish Consulate down in La Jolla south of Los Angeles. I wrote an email to John, telling him where I would go the next day. I got Lindsay's aunt to drive me down to the town. She dropped me off some blocks from the address because she wouldn’t risk being mixed up in something.


The consulate was located in a residential neighborhood. I could see a large white Penthouse at a distance. When I got to the address, I could see the Danish coat of arms on the door. I was saved!


"Hi. Janice".


I turned. There was Joe, Angela and Chelsea’s husband. Shit! I started to run from him, but I had not gone far down the road before the familiar van driven by Angela came up beside me. "Janice. Stop now. It's not worth it." I didn’t stop. We were not far from shore. Could I reach the beach, they could catch me using their van. I ran across the main street. Luckily there was not much traffic. Now I approached the beach where there was a parking lot. It was then that I saw that Chelsea getting out of a car down in the parking lot. Joe hadn’t been able to run as fast as me and he was a while back. Angela had problems in traffic it was just a question of minutes before she caught up with me and now Chelsea was in front of me. There was no way out. I was trapped.


There was nothing else to do but give up. Fortunately, I had nothing on me who could tell them where I had been. I had agreed with the Aunt that I should hide a cell phone where she dropped me off. If I had not called her back within 3 hours, then she should just collect the cell phone and forget me.


Joe came up to me panting and groaning. “Man. I am too old for this”. He was almost too exhausted to speak. Angela also came and I was led down to the parking lot where the well-known leather straps and chains came out again. They asked about Lindsay, but I said that we had lost track of each other up in Utah. I could see that they did not believe me but it was obvious that it was me they had been hired to catch. I asked how they could find me. They said that their company had monitored all Consulates and Embassies after my escape hoping to catch me when I came for travel papers. I could not see how my mother could afford it but maybe there was a kind of insurance built into the price of wilderness program so I didn’t think further about it.


As we drove I thought about how I could escape the next time. It was not certain that I met a girl like Lindsay with the ability to remember maps. I would get lost in the wilderness and perhaps die of hunger, thirst or exposure from the elements.


"Why don’t you cry?" asked Chelsea. "The ones we usually catches, usually collapse." I'd not really want to answer her, but eventually I felt that she deserved an answer. It was not her or the others from the transport firm who had decided to banish me to the wilderness program.  "There are no more tears left. I have nothing but disgust left for my mother." She said no more until we stopped at a motel on the outskirts of the city.


It was back to the usual routine of the Poncho. For some reason it didn’t bother me anymore. I got a pizza with Pepperoni. Despite being disappointed and worried about the future I was somewhat relaxed about the fact that it was Angela and Chelsea who had caught me. Unlike some transport firms which according the others students at the wilderness program punish teenagers in their care by spraying them with pepper spray the atmosphere was quite relaxed. They were also not the type of people who would beat me up as it had happened to members from Jose’s gang.


Angela had surprising news for me: "Well. Janice. This time we head to Hurricane. Apparently the wilderness program doesn’t want you back so they have written that you have graduated their program. Of course you missed some of the levels but your mother has spoken with an educational consultant working with various schools and wilderness programs. He told her that he based on the reports the wilderness programs had recommended that Maccray High School should not enroll you before you have adjusted to the American school system and a stay at a boarding school is the best method to ensure that so we are transporting you to a boarding school near our home. "


I was amazed, relieved and uneasy at once. As much as I was incredibly relieved to avoid more time on the wilderness program because I knew for myself that I could not graduate it without sacrificing everything that made me a Dane I worried about what the boarding school would bring of challenges.


My head was full of speculations as I got ready for sleep that night and it was those who kept me wake rather that the uncomfortable sleeping position due to the restraints. I don’t know how late it was before I fell asleep.

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