Thursday, May 27, 2010

Looking Back

I've been back in America for quite some time, hence the halting of the blogs relating to my Swiss life.

A year after I left, I went back to Switzerland as an au pair, this time living in the French part. The blog for that is here.

If you're new to the blog and curious as to what my life was like, here's a few stories from my life abroad.

Fasnacht Review

First Day of School
Standard Day
Train Station Social Experiment
Rotex Weekend: Gridelwald
Love to Bike
Sherlock Is Dead
Delightfulness In a Day
First Day With My Third Host Family

There's not much reason as to why I chose those blog entries. Mainly what caught my eye in 2010.

Friday, January 9, 2009


This was a long day ago.
Many a day.
It was ago.
As in… not recently. our tour bus got attacked by a band of angry hippos in Italy so we got stranded so we stood on a dock so it was nice so the water was moving so we were all exchange student so I ate a pizza so I couldn’t go home so I bought a postcard...


I admit it, I like castles...
Add Image


Well, I guess there are a mere 5 or so months of school left.

It feels kind of weird.

I mainly wish that all the rites of passage and traditions could be skip.

I don’t need the big graduation, I don’t need the Senior prom, I don’t need Senior party.

I’m ready to move on.

Monday, November 3, 2008

In Just a Day

How much
is my school
able to give
to kids in Africa
in just one day?

(when all I do is talk to a handful of people and hold out my jar with a cause)

Today, at school, I decided to see how much my classmates would be willing to, and able to give.

I admit, I had low expectations. My goal was $5 in change or so.

The day started with two cakes. I brought them to first period. Set them up on a table. And from there, anyone could take a piece. Anyone. And, if they wanted to, they could give some change or whatever to the kids in Africa.

My goal for period one was $2.

The first person to donate reached that goal -- thanks Collin.

Anyways, from there, it was simple as holding out the jar and asking. And people obliged. I never got a no, unless they didn't have money.

Dollar Bills.

Inglemoor, you guys are awesome.

And in one day, $38.65 was raised.

We're raising money for Anaka Secondary School in Uganda.

We're not just looking for a temporary solution. We're working with Schools for Schools, realizing that for them to have a brighter future, we need to invest in their education.

Anyways, I'll be out again tommorow with the same jar.

The money has already been sent to Invisible Children.

Go to for more information.

Thirty eight dollars and sixty five cents doesn't seem like a lot over here, but we'll make a difference.

(Update: The next day, $40 was raised)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

[free taco day]

Today was, is, Free Taco day at Taco Bell.

" Baseball and taco fans alike can get their free taco by simply visiting a participating Taco Bell restaurant on Tuesday, October 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (local time). No purchase is required; one taco per customer."

I didn't even know I liked the place... until I tried a taco today.

It was delicious. Lecker. So warming.

Me and Sarah headed out there today after school. Ended up seeing Julia, Nick, Emily, Marie, peoples.
We all wanted free tacos.

You should go get one. You still have two hours left.

And what? What is this beautiful occasion? Free tacos?

It has all and everything and most things to do with the World Series going on right now. When Jason Bartlet stole second base, he stole free tacos for America!

" "When I was running back out to the field for defense after the fifth inning, I was told that Taco Bell was going to give everyone in America a free taco," said Bartlett. "The first thing that crossed my mind was all of my buddies back home in California who are probably on their way to Taco Bell that very minute. It's pretty cool. I'm sure I'm going to get more than a few text messages from my friends thanking me for winning them a taco, I guess."

I think we have a new national hero on our hands.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"My Favourite Things Right Now"

Blog inspired by Leeland
My Favourite Things Right Now
  • Instruments that sounds like accordians (melodicas, harmonicas)
  • Rice in plastic tubs
  • Bed Sheets
  • Random music from the Seattle region
  • Kitchen timers
  • Orange socks
  • Masking tape
  • Curling
  • Annoying music makers (kazoos, nose flutes, etc.)
  • Helping without getting cash in return
  • Reading crappy books in one night
  • Re-Con
  • Biking
  • Making plans
  • Oatmeal

Clothes Lines

[Devin busking in Seattle]

"Am I doomed for a life of realizing that I am never going to be as ready as I always thought I would be?"

"Regardless, I have come to the understanding that life is pure procrastination...never really knowing the choices you are going to make or the topics you are going to write about until it comes down to crunch time and then you are forced to make a decision that you never have really decided on."

"Anyone else who reads this, I would love to know your opinions on the it is always entertaining to find out who reads this crap haha."

-Rachel Kuenzi-


Make me think why don't you.

First, I will almost always read other people's "crap" as I dish it out like no other. I love recording my thoughts to look back on later and laugh at, reminenice, or hold onto.

I am going to put this out there... not sure if it is related to what Rachel said, but it is indeed inspired by it. Simply my reflections. Not answers. Personal interpretation.

"Am I doomed for a life of realizing that I am never going to be as ready as I always thought I would be?"

I think it is the other way around.

You are doomed for life thinking that you are never ready enough and holding back and waiting till you think you are ready.

Not ready to leave home.
Not ready for that job.
Not ready to actually throw yourself out into the world and see what you can do when you get away from the tini little micro society we call high school which is barely anything compared to the real world.


We just gotta go out there.
Throw ourselfs on the line.
See what happens.

I never really think I'm ready for anything.

But what do I have to loose in this life?


The only thing I don't want to loose is self respect.

" I have come to the understanding that life is pure procrastination...never really knowing the choices you are going to make..." "... until it comes down to crunch time and then you are forced to make a decision that you never have really decided on."

That I am.

"Life is pure procrastication."

I think almost the entire time, we know what the decision will be, what we will choose. From the beginning, we know. Subconsciously.

But we have been raised to "make good decisions" and essentially ignore that tugging feeling in our stomach, heart, some vital organ.

Our minds are unbelieveable in what they are capable of doing.

But we still throw ourselfs into the pros and cons of matters, weighing the benifits, only to come to the decision we already knew.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dove? Wo?

What is happening to the bloggings?

I tend to do it on Facebook.

Get one.

Add me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Kitchen Cubboards and the Perseids Meteor Shower

The Kitchen Cubboards and the Perseids Meteor Shower

Back home.

Meteor Shower? Sounds like a plan.

So me, Sarah, and Brent headed out to check out the stars that night and perhaps see a few fly through the sky, well, meteors, flying, through the sky.


About to head up when *bang* we called Kiku! And she came with us.

We had a melodica, two guitars, nose flute, and kazoo... ready to go.

Stopped at Taco Time, loaded up on Mexi Fries.
Oh so good.
Greasy goodness.
Babies hate music.

And we drove.
And drove.
And drove.

40 miles there.

Where is there? Why, we went to Rattlesnake Lake, by Rattlesnake Ridge, by North Bend.

We got there and the parking lot was full. The park was closed. The lot park was full. So we parked anyways. Stocked up on blankets, tarps, food, essentials, and headed into the park.

Set up camp. Tarps underneath. Nest on top.

And then the night began.


God's creation.

I was totally in awe. Out there, the lights of the world were blocked out, only stuff up there was worth our attention. Meteors flew.

Oh yes, they flew.

"I think it's peaking guys."
"It's peaking."
"Stop ruining my night vision."

Night vistors, our friends, the mice.

Fruit loops in the lake.
Watering the lake.

Sick on sugar.

Gummy Bears/Beef Jerkey/Fruit Bars/Chips/Fruit Loop Necklaces/Bagels

Yes, we could survive in the wilderness.

At one point, we heard a sharp scream from Kiku.
A mouse had invaded, between her and Brent.
Brave little mouse.
Would not go away.
Would not go away.
Would not go away.
That was not pleasing to us.

So we took the food back.

Yes. It was an amazing night. I mean, not that much can beet getting out there, in no where, with your friends. Just realaxing. Not having to do anything. See what is up in the sky.

And we are seriously missing a lot of stars from here in the suburbs. The light polution deletes a bunch of stars up there.

Thanks you guys.
For an awesome night.
I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rotary 5030



We got to see everyone again.
I got to see everyone again.

(except for Miss Kenzie...)

Guess it was great.

I want to meet up with a lot of you again. Keep my sanity.

USA -- Spain

USA --Ecuador

Guess it is official.
I am now home.
In America.
But at least we have a lovely skyline to photographize.

Day At the Kuhlmans [fotoessay]

Wellah, I am working on transisting into the USA way of life, and was totally blessed when I had an invitation to visit the Big Rock Ranch, home of the Kuhlman family, for a lovely morning with Mrs. Kuhlman (Nancy!) and Sir James.

I like it.

It was one of the first times in America that I felt really happy and sort of free.

They live in, well, Snohomish. Pretty much the country. And from their house they can see two mountain ranges along with the respected volcano, Mt. St. Rainier.

It was just a refreshing, renewing time.
Mrs. Kuhlman... llama fields? Jes. I think so.

I was able to talk to Nancy about life in general, hear about life on the ranch, and do, well, stuff.

She made an amazing (aka epic) stack of Swedish Pancakes to enjoy, which we did. Complete with fresh blueberries me and James had just picked together. Mmm…. Soo good! Along with yoghurt, powdered whipped cream, strawberries, and butter.

We even drove down to the “river,” ok, so the not so flowing creek down at the end of the property. On the way back, James got to drive.


Mr. Sir James. We play Uno together.

James is one of the most amazing kids I know, seriously. He is 7 years old, I believe, and pretty much always filled with ideas, energy, and is just one cool guy.

Anyways, he drove us through the hay fields in crazy circles to the tune of “Ob La Dee.” Defintily something I will not forget.

Photo by James.

Nancy talking to the llamas... cause they be awesome.

Llamas! And they have llamas! They were so sweet and fuzzy and big and they had cool feet. I liked them.

He told me to make a llama face... here it is.

They all had personalities and such, which I found pretty sweet. You could see it just from beeing with them for a couple minutes.

So thanks Nancy for having me! It was an amazing day and I will be taking you up on that offer and coming back again soon. Thanks and God Bless!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I would like to appoligize for my over negativeness.

Yes... I guess I am greatful to back. Seeing my family again is great. Friends are happy.

It is just a difficult time right now... and I don't understand it.

I am scared to go to high school....

Maybe I could... join the circus. Circus Kniee or somethng brilliant like that.

Culture SHOCK... Wha?

Am I better yet? Appitite back? No. I have not eaten a single thing from my kitchen or at home yet.

Yesterday I managed to consume half and enchilada... today I got in a small chicken sandwhich and part of a Jamba Juice. But I don't feel like eating.


Today I went to the mall for the first time.

My best friend Sarah works at Jamba Juice. She is amazing.

Anyways, she had around a 4 hours shift so I was left to do as I pleased during this time...


It was, well, a bit of a shake up for me.

What is with this nation?

What is with the namebrands Abercrombie and Hollister??? WHAT IS SPECIAL? I did not understand that... are they a status symbol for something? There is no expression in them. Plain white shirts with a name splashed on the front.

Short shorts.... are they shorts?

It was so artifificial.

I hated it!

So... gah. Just like the freakin steryotypes we have. Obese or Barbie. Take your pick.

I felt physically sick, light headed, dizzy, stomach ache... and I went to the car and slept a bit.

It was just overwelming.
To much.

I did not like it.

I do not like it.

I want to go back to where the cows roam free.

Alice Brandt (East Senior High School) wrote
at 7:30am on July 12th, 2008
aw maggie i miss u im sorry i never got to see again here
Natasha Garner (Switzerland) wrote
at 8:23am on July 12th, 2008
MAGGIE!!! I miss you!!! Wouldn't be lovely if we could have all stayed here another year...
Emily Lynch (Trinity Western) wrote
at 9:45am on July 12th, 2008
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made EVERYTHING beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from begining to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in al their toils- this is a gift of God. I know that EVERYTHING God does will endure forever, nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him."
Ecclesiasties 3:1-14
Chloe Dauwalder (Lone Peak High School) wrote
at 11:11am on July 12th, 2008
maggie dearest! i miss you! and our adventures and all the time that we spent together in the best country in the world. we WILL be back there one day, but for now live in the moment and do the best you can.

as my best swiss friend told me: "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift...thats why its called the present"

Kyly Hawk (North Little Rock High West) wrote
at 6:02am yesterday
MAGGIE! that;s aweful! I'm sorry you fell like that. I hope it gets better

Melodie Noyes (Seattle, WA) wrote
at 9:15am yesterday
Hey Maggie, I feel like that a lot, too, and I haven't even been out of the country. Sometimes I wish the Lord would just pick me up and move me to Africa or something so that I could be removed from this hedonistic culture that we live in, but He has called me to be faithful to Him here first. It's hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and we're pretty rich--face it. I think we become pretty apathetic to life here. Everything's so convenient and expendable. .....I'll get off my soapbox now. Glad you're back safe and sound. Maybe you could get away to the country or something. Go work on a farm like your cousin Dustin.

Nicole Pflugfelder (Eastern High School) wrote
at 6:24pm yesterday
Maggie ,I feel exactly the same its such a horrible feeling but just surround yourself with people you love.


Daniel Baskin (Pacific Lutheran) wrote
at 8:09pm yesterday
I've never even met you yet, so at least I'll get to meet you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

And So it Ends... OVER!

Gah... I am home.


The trip here pretty much was, eh, lame. I have never cried so much in such a little amount of time. I cried when we went up, when we went down, and when I watched Home Alone 3....

A little package of emotional unstableness.

Nelly was there the entire time.

Now it is 12:30 at night in Seattle... and I haven't really really slept for a good, or bad, 28 hours or so.

Anyways, nothing is more horrible than feeling like you are being wripped from your home. But I guess things are chill now. I am home.

I will be trying to respond to wall posts and messages soon... but for now, bed bed bed.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Last Week... Last Day... A Wet Wreck

I am a wreck.

A total wreck.

I have cried multipul times for the past, eh, 5 days or so... and it, uh, it is lame.

I was told crying makes you stronger. I could be a weight lifter soon.

I got really, dangerously close to my friends this year...

But my Swiss friends... they meant the world to me. It is hard to explain the relationship I had with them. Like back home, I always had my parents there for me. But they were like my family. I loved my host famlies, but I was always changing. These people... they were always there for me.

I wasn't just a bystander in our class. People in the class told me that I truly was a part of the class and that it wouldnt be the same at all without me... and I think I believe them. I participated. We hung out after school. Train rides. Bike rides. Walks.

These were my friends.

And a year is more than enough time to get attatched to someone.

And every day I have to say good bye... and it is killing me. I do not like it.

Last night I had to say good bye to Julia.

At first I was ok, but she was crying. But then I said, "I don't want to go through that door." so she said she would coem wtih me. And we walked through her door... and then I cried and couldn't stop. These are the tears that you can't stop from coming and that make you shake and feel awful.

I feel horrible...

And now a bit better.

I am for the last time in my school today. I did a presentation, in English, about, well, me and my life and America. It was pretty lame. i didn't have the pictures so I had to make up a bunch of crap. Worst part was when the gum fell out of my mouth onto the floor. But whatever... I will never see these people ever again.

I want this to stop. time to stop. Or to go home this second and skip the good byes... but I have to say good bye. Prepare to go home. But it is so hard...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Schauspielhause Zürich Schülertheatertreffen

So... we had another fesitval pertaining to the lovely art of theater.


oh Theater....

Theater in antther language is einfach something anders...

Let's see... what to say?

Ought I to talk about the Street Parade next door?

Or sleeping in the bombshelter and playing Mafia (Werewolf in German...) until 2:00 in the morning?

Or about how me and Moritz and Helena went some evening to some random place and consumed beverages of fruit?

That was a nice evening.

Maggie Questions.

Not really sure what to say... there were a lot of brilliant plays.

The two favourites would have to be Krabat from Luzern (it was in Swiss German close to the Obwalden dialect so I could understand it well) and Much Ado About Nothing from a group from Basel filled with so many ingenious moments that I felt like pulling out a pad and paper and taking note of them but realizing I would miss something if I did.

I was mainly impressed by the builidng that this festival was held in...

An old werehouse thingy... suited up to be a theater. Huge empty rooms. Crazy stages... such as one entirely furry and blood stained for Clockwork Orange.

I am not really sure what I feel like telling you guys... go read about TAG, I felt inspired to write about it.

And that was...

Schauspielhause Zürich Schülertheatertreffen

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feet Of Holiness

My feet are weirding me out...

Anyways... today, I sit.

And *INTERJECTION* low and behold... I have some 2 weeks läft.

I wasn't going to do the countdown, but I hear it enought from my friends.


Anyways.... I have been thinking lately about... AGES!

Yeah. Time. Age. How freakin stupid it is.

We have birthdays, that is cool.

But what the age you are given is supposed to pertain to your personality and development.

I was talking to some other exchangers. We talked about first impressions (they are funny).

And for me... every single one had something to do with me being small, cute, and, "How old is that girl and where did she come from? Did we pick her up along the way?"

Haha.. I guess it didn't help that I was carrying around George.

Anyways... I have no problem with those impressions... it's what I give off and how I have been treated. Always the little one.

But then I laugh when I think, HA! I am 18 in some 3 months.


I don't look like it, or act like it... sometimes I think like it though.

Why are ages thrust upon us with ways we are supposed to be.

And why is just enjoying life sometimes consider juvinille?

Switzerland... you be awesome.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Photos from [swimnopoopnobyenomusicstorm]

[b a t h i n g]

Anywhere you go in this area (Oh Oh Obwalden, oh how schön du bist), you are near water. For me, it is just a 7 minute bike ride or so to the beautiful lake on a hot day. It is a 5 minute walk from the school.

Therefore, in the middle of the day, when it is time to eat, we can go swimming. I have not yet cause I have no idea where my swimiming clothes are, but I can go wading. And my friends just go and jump in and cool off in the middle of the day.a

Imagine that in Inglemoor. Say it was right on Lake Washington, and the water was cleaner. And the second the bell rang for lunch (which is 1 hour and 20 minutes long) you could run, jump in the lake. Swim around with everyone. Lay on the grass (that has no bird poop in it) and relax. Do whatever with your friends. And then, just pull on your clothes and head back to math class or whatever.

These last days, wow, ,going by so fast.

This is my last, last 5 days with my friends for some 2 years or until I come back. I will not see some of them for a long time. Some, never again, ever. Ever. I find that lame.

Today was the last music class. We had crousants and chocolate milk and gingerbread and talked about stuff. Then the teacher showed us old movies from the first class which were hilarious as they all danced. There were pictures too… my classmates have changed a lot.

Are good byes really important? Why do we need to mark the time we say good bye when it is the middle stuff that matters. I left the exchange gathering early that morning without really saying good byes… and I know now that I won’t see a lot of those people ever ever ever again. Never ever. And I didn’t say a good good bye. Anyways, but did I need to? Does that make it easier? I try not to think about it.

The weather has been crazy lately. Soo hot after a week of cold rainyness. Warm. Sunny. And then, people were swimming one moment in the sea and then in a 5 minute period there was a downpour complete with thunder. I like it. Just a bit wet.

I guess that is life now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


So…. Ellie came over today, and it was today that I realized how much I know this village… or that they know me.

It was time to wrap up our time together, so me and Ellie went to grab our bikes from the bike rack. As we left our destination we saw Christoph waiting to cross the bridge. So talked to him for a moment. We got on the bikes and then we saw three girls. I knew 2 of them but all three knew me. Ages? 8 to 10 years old.

Then we rode our bikes, going the long way by the school. “Maggie!” I turned to see Jana and Marion and 5 seconds later, Fabian as well. Ages? I am guessing 14 to 16 years old…

We arrived at the train station, I didn’t know anyone. But after Ellie got on the train, I went to the bike rack and realized I knew all of the people there. Judith. Stefanie. I was talking to them. Beat. And then there was Timon (Happy 18th Birthday Timon!). And Nicole. And then Maya came a minute later on her bike. There was one person I did not know, but she was with Nicole (21 or so years old, I know her from the kitchen in the school) so I went and met her as well. Her name is Cornelia. New Friend. As I was talking to them, Moritz went by on the bike. I drove Stefanie’s bike with her behind me. Moritz was going quite slow, so we caught up with him, rode a bit. Dropped off Stefanie. I said good bye to Moritz (doubt I will ever see him again…) and then walked home. And on the way home, 5 minute walk, from the 4th story of some appartments Tamara yelled out, “Maggie!”

So… in this short trip from the school, to home, to the train station… maybe 25 minute time span… I saw…

Three Girls Younger Who Knew Me
Fabian’s Friend
Cornelia (met her)

And that is in our little village… goodness… I feel more rooted here. Like I belong here. The people know me here. From 8 years, to 12, to 16, to 18, to 21… and I could talk to any of them. Goodness, this life is good. I think I will keep it forever and not leave this place. I feel loved here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hay Day

(view from my back porch)
Today is Hay Day… not officially, but somehow, all the farmers seemed to get the message.

I could safely say that 50% of the land in my town is hay, well, fields that is. When I go bike riding, I am surrounded by, well, hay, and farmers... cause they rock and sweat.

The grass was getting long. The rain kept coming, which is lame for the farmers cause then they can’t cut the hay when it was wet.

Finally today they cut it around 8:00 in the morning, let it dry all day, and finally started to gather it up at 1:00 or so after it had dried out in the sun.

I find it epic how all the farmers seem to know this.

As I rode my bike, I started to keep track of the number of tractors I saw… I gave up at 30… yes, I give up easily.

Anyways. The have some pretty hard core contraptions to cut this grass.

Of course they need one to cut it… but then another one comes and sweeps the grass into neat rows.

Then one more machine comes. It drives right over the grass and then gathers it up in a rolling machine till there is just a giant roll of grass. Then the giant tootsie roll of hay is rolled onto the next machine that wraps the roll up in plastic around and around and around.

It is quite hardcore.

Until it looks like a marshmallow, that when I stand by it, perhaps comes up between my shoulders and waist.

On the end of the day, all the fields are dotted with these giant marshmallows…

But I love just riding my bike through. Watching all the farmers, the farmers’ wives, the farmers’ children, working together on this project.

I live in a farming village… and I love it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I am coming to my countdown now... dang, it's pretty lame.

Let's see... last Saturday, I avoided filling up till I realized it was leer... oh dear. So I had to fill it up.

I ended up competing in my very first, and last Swiss Shooting Competition.


I was in the adult catagory as we wore crazy jackets, head bands with eye patches, and shot 22s at targets that moved in a motion that reminded me of starwars.

The jackets hold your arms riged so you can't move them... the eye patch lets you keep the other eye open.

Anyways, I am proud to say I competed and got 41 out of 50 points... not enough to win, but it was a start.

I went with my neighbor, Tamara, she is pretty ninajish...

Then I went to a car wash and helped with a bunch of little girls.

That was cool.

What I want for my last weeks is for life to be like always.. and I want to be with my Swiss friends.

So I loved the little kids and we rocked the world together...

And then I hung out with Maya and Eliane and we went to my house.

Then me and my host famliy went out to eat and my host dad orded 32 CHF Schnitzell... and I did too.. AH!

and the I walked to Elianes and we looked at baby photos of her and watched a bit of the match and I checked my email.

Well.. that is life.

It is full and joyful.

Normal and spiffy.

And I love it.

How can I leave this place? How? THIS IS MY HOME!

Sorry... just a little rant.

I mean, I love you guys, I love the USA, but a year is a long time in many aspects to get settled in... but then again too short in the sense that I have to leave already.

Yes, I am excited to see my friends again, but how can I say good bye to the people I have met here?


I love being able to just right my bike though Giswil, through the fields, the woods, across the brooke, by the church... just fresh air. Not too much traffic, maybe a few tractors, and I know soo many people in this small town. I can just hop on the bike and find a friend.

Life here is so carefree... like something from a book... something I don't feel like ever forgetting.

And then I will go back to America. Stress. Homework. Hills. Yellow Busses. School. All of the cliches...


I guess that is life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

TAG Theater Festival

Well, what can I say.

It is over.

This year I was a participant of the TAG (Theater am Gymnasium) Theater Festival 2008 in the Kanti Zug.

I’ve blogged about theater in Switzerland before.

I do enjoy it… especially the people aspect of it.

This was a festival of around 12 different theater groups.

It lasted 4 days, Wednesday to Saturday.


I arrived a day late, on Thursday morning, at 9:00 to see the courtyard of the Kantonsschule Zug filled with a huge mass of students running around as if in a war. Kids were on the ground, groaning in pain, while others screamed in triumph. You would never see such things except in a festival of this sort. I quickly disposed of my luggage and joined the group in a huge circle where we did theater tai chi and stood in a circle humming in unison till our hums turned to yells.

And this was my life for the next two nights and days.

We then headed at 9:45 to the Guthirt Hall for the first play of the day, Jean-Pierre Venguere de Clingrad…. Yes, it was in French. It was a more or less mondern take on the old tale of Douki Outo (no idea how to spell that). In this case, the main character was into Star Wars. I understood enough throuh words like, “la force,” “princess Leah,” “Obi On Canobi,” and “*french words that sounds like ‘may the force be with vou.” That’s the brilliancy of this weekend. We had Italian plays, French plays, German plays, and yes, even plays in English. I found the production pretty good. Some of the actors were not totally in the role, well, they were, but they over played it to the point of it being to unrealistic, but who am I to judge. I do so enjoy watching French speaking people pretend to be gangsters though…

After that came 1913 by some school with the word Montana in the name. This show was bilingual, in English and German. I, personally, enjoyed it. However the fact that they did not understand most of it led many of my friends to not find it all that good. 90% percent of the text was taken from newspapers and so forth in 1913 and it followed the life of Marie and the events leading to her death in 1913. It was confusing at points, but acting in a language other than your mother tongue is quite difficult, I know that first hand. I found many of them focusing on the language rather than the acting. In the middle, groups of people left which I found horrible. Leaving in the middle of the play is the simplest way of saying, “your play sucks and I don’t find it worth my time to sit down and simply watch it.” At the end, we learned that the two times they played it that day were the only times they would ever perform it. Ever. And it was obvious they went to quite a lot of work for it. Only twice, and for an audience who didn’t fully appreciate it.

Zmittag. Lunch. For the festival, we all received meal tickets to be redeemed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The system worked quite well and the food was ok… and almost always eaten outside. All of our free time was spent outside on benches or going for walks.

After lunch we split into group for work for the workshops. I signed up for… something that had to do with setting a scene with music. Through this I was able to meet more people, including three students from the Italian part of Switzerland… hence, two of them didn’t speak German so our teacher and another student translated everything. One of the students was bilingual so that helped. We played noise games where we would just sit for 10 minutes in pairs and take turns making noises with out mouth, fingers, clothes, and the floor. Other games were your typical theater games such as “Bippidy Bippidy Bah.” Well, I enjoyed it.

Then came “Soaped Up,” someone, or a group from Maturaarbeit Zug wrote and produced this play for their Matura, which is the IHS equivalent of the Senior Project. I have to admit, I was impressed with their production. It was a play with the format of a typical soap operah filled with the cliches we see played out over and over on the television. From the best friend sleeping with the other friend’s girlfriend, to the awkward trio, to the hairdresser that one of the leads goes to for moral support, to the cheesy commercials. They prefilmed an intro and commercials which were played at the beginning and various intervals of the film, specifically at those cliffhanger moments.

What these students created was a play that was tailored to what students of today want to see. Although I enjoyed doing my school’s performance of Medea, it was just too heavy for most of the student body. Students want to see interaction between people of the oppisite sex, they want to see other people in awkward situations, they want to laugh. This was something that could even keep my 15 year old host sister plugged the entire time, which says quite a bit. It was witty and filled with characters you couldn’t help but like… or loath. Even the ending was great, or brilliant, not sure which, perhaps both. So, for a students production, I was impressed. They did a lot of things right and it would be great to see them take it a step further than the TAG festival, who knows, maybe they are…

Dinner was a huge square of pizza.

Then two friends and I headed off to look for the Zuggersee or whatever it’s name is. Anyways, there was a lake somewhere and we were determined to find it. We ended walking behind part of the cast of Soaped Up until we reached the station. We made our ways to the lake. It was, well, beautiful. Sunset. Sunset. I do like sunsets. But my camera, oh where could it be? That I did not know. But then I rememeber I had left it on a bench at the festival, crap. Not by my friends, just on a bench. So we headed back. Passed the Soaped Up cast as they headed to the lake and asked, “Heading back already?” which in fact, we were. I was ok with waiting a bit longer, but having my camera back in my hand always gives me a peace of mind.

We got back, searched, inquired, searched. And did not find it. I was not too depressed, as I figured it had to show up, it always does. But if it doesn’t, mainly I was worried because then I would have no camera for the Eurotour. Finally, feeling defeated I prepared to call my parents and ask them to pray, I had already done so myself. But I headed back to my friends who were chatting with some random guy… when he pulled my camera out of his bag. Well, that made my day. I had my camera back.

So we headed back to the lake, a 20 or so minutes walk, and took a multitude of pictures. Two girls headed back but my friend stayed by the lake with me and we walked around, took pictures, and once again, passed the Soaped Up cast.

Zug. Zug is a pretty big town. Ok, city. Completely different from Obwalden, my kanton. And I am greatful that I am in Obwalden. Right now, right next to our house is a field… filled with cows. I see green hills and snow capped mountains. Blue skies. It is open. Zug was too, well, I didn’t see a charm in it. It was pretty much a city and just that. Sure, I guess it had some sort of character, but I saw nothing that separated it apart from the other great cities in Switzerland.

The school building was not to my liking. It was all concrete and structured. The views revealed nothing. I missed my school here in Switzerland. From the windows you can see mountains and grass. It isn’t very big, but some parts are old and have a lot of charm to them. Other parts are new and modern. A mix of everything. A small student body. I would feel lost in Zug. And as some of the Obwaldeners complained, it seemed like everybody in Zug, well, looked perfect, put together. A bit artificial. I am Maggie and I live near farmers! I like that.

We headed to our sleeping quarters… a bomb shelter, as usual. Those bomb shelters really are a great idea and really useful. There was a security man on duty the entire night so the doors were left open and we were free to stay out as late as we wanted. To my surprise, they had a theater group in every room… boys and girls sleeping together. I mean, it was ok. I just have never really been in a situation where they have organized it so. Yes, we are like a family. But it was just a bit, well, different. I admit, I moved to a place where I was sleeping next to girls. No problems with guys, I just don’t like sleeping by them…

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23rd and 36 Exchangers

So… I finally got home from EuroTour on May 23rd. I woke up at 8:00 the next day realizing I had to get Miss Nelly a dress she had lent me and needed that night.

9:06 on the train.
10:00 on the train to Bern.

I met her at 11:03 in Bern, returned the dress, and learned that Taylor and his mother and sister, real family, were coming bald. With an empty day ahead of me, I decided to join them on their excursion to see the bears and other sights of Bern.

I bought a binder for my EuroTour memeories book.

At around 11:18 they arrived along with Alice.

We headed out and spent the next 2 or 3 hours checking out Bern. Conversations included hot cocoa, solar panels, EuroTour, organs, baby socks, and other things of important nature.

It was raining. I was lacking a jacket.

We headed to a café and were treated to something of something sort by Miss. Taylors Mom… Michelle? Thank you Taylor’s Mom.

In this café, there just so happened to be around 4 other exchange students.

Exchange Student Tally: 7

We drank, some smoked, discussed enlightening things. Another exchangie came.

Then we headed to the station to pick up more students… I believe after that we had 14 students total, but 2 had left. So that day I had seen 16 students so far…

We went to the top of the station. Drank beverages such as ice tea. Watched a dude do magic tricks which were trickily amazing.

I was quite amused when the police came to talk to me. Sitting on the steps, just 2 steps away from me and two others were other kids drinking vodka and smoking. Yet we were on the platform, and it was with us the police wanted to speak with. We were not in the play area, but apparently it was just for kids, and we were breaking some rules. We were just sitting under a tree… two steps away it was ok to drink and smoke, but a couple feet away and you were in trouble. So we moved. Checked out pics. Took pics.

Pee break on Gleis 5.

More tea.

They were going to head to some place, I honestly was not interested and the day seemed to be going slowly so I jumped on a train to Olten, which would then take me to Luzern. While on this train to Olten, I began to speak with Jorge, figured out he was on a train to Olten too and was going one stop further to Aargau. Well, why not? So I stayed on the train to Aargau and ended up meeting with some 10 other exchange students, the majority were latinos.

The latinos rock.

Students rode bikes around. I printed pictures. We went and got kebabs. Came back. Waited for people. Headed to Mr. Pickwicks and got coke and ice tea with lemons in. Just hung out.

I really enjoyed that evening. Just chillin, I guess you could say. Hanging out. Basking in the glow of a group of exchange students. I believe there were 18 of us there? I learned quite a bit of Spanish from the Ramiro and enjoyed bashing my head trying to remember certain words.

We took pictures.

I wore Miguel’s host dad’s jacket from Bolivia and fell in love with it.

On the train ride had us Patrick, Paz, and Jaxon. So we all had a good hour ride home together which I guess was enjoyable.

30 minutes in the Luzern Bahnhof.

Ride home part way with Jaxon.

We met a friend of his and discussed Nidwalden, which I just so happen to loath.

He got off.

I arrived in Giswil around 1:15.

In bed by 2:00.

So yeah, that was one lovely day.

In total I was with three different groups of exchange students, around 36 total in one day… not bad eh?

Monday, May 19, 2008


Well... I feel like blogging, and I can.

We just finished our meal.. it was, er, interesting. Half of us actually finished it. But the cream covered cream puff completely made it complete.

Yes, the exchangers invaded the lovely city of Venice once again... taking it by storm and doing the unordinary.

We started in the tourist ary of this Marks platz... not sure the name. Anyways, there are a bajillion pijiogns.

Then someone asked me if I wanted to go check out those places that aren't touristy.... that was already my intentions and hopes of the day, so of course I said yes.

And that is essentially who my day was spent with.

Chloe, Chrystie, Taylor, and Travis.

We mounted walls, climbed fences, window grates.. anything. The majority of the time was in tiny alley ways... some so small your shoulders practically touched the walls.

We wanted to go where we were not to go... and did go to great lengths to achieve that.

I enjoyed the lingustic university... we ended up some 4 stories up and were able to overlook the entire city....

And then we made it to a lithograph shop, or somethying like that.. and bought somie snazzy postcards that really captured the Venice we had came to know... the real Venice. Not the tourist venice... Venice. Venice....

Finaly we split up into two groups... me with the ladies, naturally. And we got on a gondolla.

That was soemthing I will never regret spending my money on, that gondala ride.

The man sang to us. Just going down the canals.. like in the movies.

Nothing could beat that feeling of bliss....

Anyways, so Venice rocked my socks. I loved it. Really did. And it is defintily something that I was not dissapointed in...

We are about to go for a walk on the beach...