Friday, August 31, 2007

Well... How Be Dat Schule?

School is 1\3 of the way done.. and I have mixed feelings.

I can`t imagine life any other way.

I have my routine now and, well, I like it.

I go to school, hang out before school, do school, eat lunch in a tiny wooden room, and hang out with my friends afterwards... how could anything else compare?

Sure the teacher may be interesting at times... but I`ve got the exchangers don`t I?

I have a lot to say... so I`m going to do it through pictures and such... kk? Yep.

  • Our teacher took us out sight seeing. We sall (what has happened to mein Englisch?) all the classics sights of Luzern and took a few pics...

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  • Me and Jorge went on a boat trip...the views were amazing!

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  • We went to a mirror maze and a museum about when Switzerland and the ice age and some gardens stuff...

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  • At school... we love to sing... all the time. The teacher is getting driven crazy. In class we sing HSM and any other song that comes to mind (Everything by Michael Buble) and out of class... well, Hey There Delilah and London Underground dominate...

  • In lunch... wehave soo many stupid bees. Today, we saw at least 10 of them so my class headed over to the church step`s to eat.

  • I have my mini speakers and Jorge brought some.. so we listen to musik.. a lot.

  • Here, they have notecards for vocab that are, well, half size and brilliant!

  • I love getting mail :P

  • I`m afraid I`m starting to take my dear life for granted now... and the scenery, well, it lamost never gets old, but I`m used to it now.

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I have so many moments to blog... but I guess that`s all for now.

I`ll leave you with a little song...

BBQs and Baptisms

I went to church again.

This time it was in the evening at the beach.. it was a BBQ and Baptism!

I love seeing people get baptised... it makes me soo happy.

And I loved it.

Just talking to people... meeting people.

Sabiene picked me up right in front of Emmanuel`s house.. and Mr. Peter!

That whole family is quite epic.

I didn`t bring any food... but you could easily compare this family to the Lynches. That speaks volumes about them doesn`t it?

Well.. they had plenty plenty to feed me a few other people. I feel more comfortable trying out my German here.

Anyways, I was disapointed to find that there is only youth group once a week... and I felt like I would die with nothing going on Friday night.

And on the train the next day, I found Madlen! She`s an epic person who I can safely say is one of my first Swiss friends.

(a ladybug baloon just went pasty my window and is flying over the lake)

Anyways, we arranged to get together today.. this Friday, at 6:00. Eveline may come and Madlen invited other people. We get to meet at the church. I am SO excited! Who knows how it will go? Even if it is just Madlen and I, I`m sure we`ll have a great time. She takes the train from Giswil to Lucern everyday, but only on Mondays and Tuesday does she ride the same time as me.

Gotta love life...

My Pitiful Foot Adventure... Gotta Love Them Ankles.. and X-Rays

Well, Mom, Dad, glad we have that emergency fund.

And... nothing serious has happened.

Many of you might know already, well, maybe not, but anyways, I have a weak ankle . my right one.

And before I left for here, I had just twisted it some 3 weeks before. Something that made it get bigger for a long time.

I was walking, um, to a speacial place :P and we were talking. I could go into details. But let`s just say I had a person on my back, stepped wrong, and it felt very wrong.

It hurt worse than normal.. well, it always hurts. And within minutes it was really swollen.


And so we walked around, still, for a while.

Sergio and Kyly were epic and carried me a bit.. they can be my heroes now.

We went to a restaurant for a small lemony drink... well, so I could rest my foot. I got some ice for my foot.

And I had to hobble around dear old Luzern for a while and back to the bahnhof (train station).

I called Brigette to pick me up, but we had some confussion so I ended up having to walk a ways to Ruedi`s work.

And right away Brigette took me to the doctor... although I`m not sure I needed to.

And they did an xray... and of course it wasn`t broken.

But I got cremè and pills and stuff.. they really work well... I guess, at taking away the pain.

And the next day, poof, I was on crutches. Gah. I should have used them longer then I did. But my arms got tired.

And that was on, um, Monday I hurt myself.

Today, I finally walked to the bahnhoff this week, I felt a bit better...

And today, during school, we were doing some random thing and I had to stand up to see and reach stuff. And, well, I wasn`t doing anything stupid.. have no idea how it happened, but GRRR it got retwisted.

And once again, it is bloated, bruised, and really really sore.

Goodness that is a bit annoying... I guess it`s back to the crutches for me.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Adventure to Youth Group for the First Time

God is so good.

Really, he is.

If you`ve been reading these blogs, you might have read about the lovely party adventure and how afterward I was invited to a church.

And how I went to church.... and then I decided to go to the youth group.

My host family and I went out for pizza... it was quite good. And I even ordered in German... hehehe. Anyways, the pizza had chicken, mushrooms, ham, garlic, and lots of cheesy goodness covering it. I must have smelled like garlic the rest of the night.

And then I ventured along by foot. Hark! Where could this church be?

I found it with ease.

And walked in.

And *interjection* knew no one. But that was ok. I found some random people and they told me where to go.

I walked into a comfortable sized room with couches and chairs and there were some 5 people in it.

Well... this is what exchange is about isn`t it? Just throwing yourself in and see if you float.

"Ich heisse Maggie. Ich komme aus America. Ich wohnne in Sachseln.. ummm.. Eveline? She told me she would be here. Umm.."

And I was told that someone in there spoke English, it was Emmanuel. He had a British accent as a result of living in the UK for some 5 years. Anyways, I sat down with the peoples and spoke in broken German.

But German!!!

Ahh.. I am so excited. I am able to say stuff in German now.. make conversation. And get through what I want to say. It might be so wrong, but they understand! And I am so willing to speak. Even in front of 12 people.. heck, I gotta try sometime don`t I?

Then Eveline came in.

And we all moved downstairs.

The message was good, I`m sure... but I couldn`t really understand it, honestly. Oh well. It`ll take time. And then aferwards we all just hung out. Emmanuel showed slides from when he went on a mission trip to some place... Moldova? Um, it is near Russia? Who knows. Well, he does. And we all talked a bit more. And I just went out there, a bit forward if you ask me, and asked for a ride home. It was getting late and my host mom could drive me... but it was getting a bit too late and I wanted to stay till the end end end. The leader`s names are Sabine and Sonja... I think. Yeah, I`m pretty sure.

It feels so good at that church. I feel very comfortable. I like the people. The enviroment. And it`s a good place to make friends eh? Afterwards, to say good bye, I got to get and give hugs. Gooodnesss that felt so good, I really have missed hugs a lot. And I got lots of them. And I loved it. Loved it.

Sabine and Sonja drove me, Nathanja and Emmanuel home. Sabine and Sonja live a bit further into Sachseln or soemthing, but Nathanja (I think) and Emmanuel live right right below me... well, a bit down the street. But it was close enough that I just walked home from their home.

God really does have a plan for me.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How Be School.. and After as Well

I`m finally getting used to my new life.

Each day I wake up, get dressed, eat at a nicely set table, and head out for a 15 or so minute walk to the train station.

I think it is fun to say you take the train to school... but many kids here do that daily. Anyways, I take the train to Luzern each day... and that`s around a 40 minute train ride. With Jorge, it goes by faster... but with the Nun I sat by today, well, it seemed like a wee bit more. I am happy to say that I can navigate my way home with ease now each day and feel comfortable. Soon I may try and expand my adventures a bit further. Soon, Jorge and I plan on taking the boat across Luzern to Alpnach and taking the train home from there.

[train station in Luzern]

They have divided us into our different classes, the upper and the lower level. I am in the upper.. which is a slight problem. Normally I would be fine, but in this class we have students who have done German before, such as Rusty who has done some 4 years of German. So there he is talking to the teacher, practically fluent, and bored stiff as we (specifically I) stumble over the basics of telling time and counting to 100.

The joy that comes from the class is the exchangers. Of course we can mix things up. And when there is a ball in the middle of the table, what else are you supposed to do with it? Hmm.

We work, well, not too hard. But we have a test each day and homework each night. And then we have those pointless assignements. Currently I am working on a large poster about Washington State... I got a couple Starbucks brochures to cut out and place on a map I have of Washington. It should work out ok.

Anyways, the pace is ok for me. I talk fine when I am relaxed, but I get a bit tense in class and forget all I know. If I could just sit back and calm down a bit more, I think that I would do better.

I get to school some 30 minutes early each day.. in fact, most of us are there early. And then we just hang out and chat and listen to music and so forth.

At lunch, we head to a side room. We all ususally have pretty small lunches. I always have bread with a special cheese spread that I tried and fell in love with and salami or ham. It`s quite good. And usually I have a drink on top of that... perhaps Rivella? Today at lunc, inside, two girls got stung by bees.

Being cooped up in a small room together for some 4 hours each day does develop a slight bond... well, who am I kidding? It`s only been 3 days, but still we get to know each other.

After school is when the fun begins. We have all hung out every single day so far after school. It usually consists of terroizing the city of Luzern and seeing what we can find. Yesterday we went to Migros, H&M (to pick out certain special items for someone :P), and a special Kebab place. Maybe someday I will tell you about the door :P

Today we decided to head out for a movie. Rush Hour 3. We split up for a while. I was with one group for a while and we headed to the water... but they really had no plan so I wandered through Luzern to Migros where I found the other group. We went to an English book shop and a 4 story Musik shop and even Clairs.... I really don`t like that shop, but it was all worth the while when I got this pic:

The movie was hilarious and I loved it. They have an intermission and everything! But it is so expensive. Luckily it was in English this time with German and French and whatever subtitles... like so:

(btw - Mom, I got a postcard from you yesterday.. THANK YOU! So I have the debit card. Ja. Danke. And tell Dad that they pay one flat fee each month for the internet.. no matter how much they use it)

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day of School... How Epic?

Today was my first day of school.

I woke up early.

And got dressed.

And walked to the train station with my host mother.

And we got on the train... and presto, there was no Jorge.

And he had taken the Fast train (like the 522 Express... it doesn`t stop at every stop)$

And we arrived.

And Jorge saw a dead kitten in Giswil.

And all of the exchangers met.

And we went for a walk with our teacher.

And we went to the school house.. it`s kinda freaky looking.

And we went into the basement.

And we took a test.

And we were divided into groups.

And we laughed when the Canadian said "Pasta."

And we learned stuff that I learned from the book already.

And we had a break... and that was fun.

And we learned more stuff I knew from the book.

And we had lunch... and that was fun.

And we learned the names of office supplies.

And we filled out a survey.

And we sang the alphabet.

And we said good bye.

And we divided into two groups... those who spoke Spanish and those English.... it wasn`t organized by the school. This was after school. And we went to hang out. And I was with the Espanol group because I was sticking with Jorge because we go home on the same train. And anyways.. they spoke Spanish.

And we searched for a vending machine with lighters.

And we looked for Migros... and they asked every single person on the street where Migros was.

And we wandered around Luzern.

And there were stupid swans.

And we walked.

And we got on some bus... because a girl said it took us to Migros. And it might of... but I got off... because I didn`t feel like getting on some random bus without being sure. And Jorge came with me.

And we checked when our train came.

And we went to Starbucks.

And it was raining hard as we walked there.

And it smelled absolutely awful as we walked there.

And we ordered our drinks... my bill came to around 10 American Dollars... sigh.

And we drank at some table.

And we stopped by a book stop and I got a little ABC book.

And we rode home...and practiced our German and listened to various genres of music.

And I got off the train.

And it was raining really hard.

And I walked home in the rain.

And I liked it.

And I came home.

And there was a letter from my mom which made me absolutely happy!

And I hung out in my room all day listening to Harry Potter.

And I studied German.

And I worked on my agenda.

And I cleaned my room... as always.

And I ate dinner.

And I did more HP.

And me and my sister danced for 30 minutes... cause we`re cool like that.

And now I am here.

The End.

It actually was grand. I really enjoyed meeting and laughing with new people. But I feel like I ought to go to bed now... it is 9:45 or so.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thank You God

Well.. if any of you went to church with me in the States, you may remember me praying for a church family in Switzerland.

I got here, and all my host family could find was Protestant of Catholic... I could have done either, but wasn`t excited.

I mean, they`re ok... but so different from America.

If you read my last blog, it mentioned running into a girl named Evelin at the party last night. And somehow I got invited to her church.

It is Free Evangelical something.. um, Church. The initials are FEG.

You can read their core beliefs here.

To me, it seems to line up with what we believe.

So I decided to go today.. even with only some 6 hours of sleep. It was definitly worth it.

We biked to Sarnen and met Evelin.

Then we walked to the church.... they don`t own their own building.

There were little kids dressed up in bed sheets and in a room that had been transformed into a tent with sheets draped from the ceiling and mats on the floor. I liked the church already.

It`s a lot more mellow than CCB... calm. I dunno.

I miss CCB... but this church is great and a blessing to have this next year.

Eveline said she went to a church in Minnisota for a year on her exchange and so she is new to this church. She understands what church for me was like... which I really appreciated. She even wore a ring for the True Love Waits movement... just like me! I thank God that we found her last night.

The church sang songs... including, Amazing Love.

The sermon was good... from what I can tell. I brought my English Bible and Anita translated a short part.

The general message today was about how we need to be a player, not just a fan up in the stands.

I couldn`t understand really anything...

But from what I was told.. it seems to line up with what we believe and they do use scripture from the Bible.

Hehe... I am soooo happy.

I heard of a youth group and asked Eveline about it. She`s new to the church so she didn`t know and hadn`t really been to it yet. So we went to ask someone and found the pastor. He offered to pick me up and drive me there! But then we realized that the church had two youth groups... one at their daughter church and one in Sarnen, so I can bike to it.

I enjoy this church already and can`t wait to meet more people. God really did have a plan for me when I came here. He knew which family I should be with and that I would meet her at the party last night. Maybe he has another church in store... but for now, this seems perfect.

They said that this is one of the few churches that isn`t governmentally funded in the area.. and so it`s pretty small. The rest of the churches get money from the government. Anyways, I wouldn`t have found this church without him.

This Friday, I go to youth group!

Nine thirty and F - E - G!

Um.. Party?

Well... I could just keep this short.

But the real culture shock came last night... I went to my first party.

I had no idea what to expect. I honestly thought it was going to be at someones house and maybe 50 people or so.





We left the house at 9:30 to arrive around 10:00 at the party... and it was huge. Well, I thought it was huge.

[before it got too crowded]

They took a school and put up gates around it. Within the gates are different areas where different things are. Such as dancing, heavy beat music, and yodeling.


Over in one corner, there was a live band with accordians and yodeling.

In that one section, there were adults... but everywhere else were teens pretty much.

The Swiss (think they) know how to party.

This is the abridged version of tonight... as this is open for the whole world to see.
I was good the entire night. I was offered alcohol and ciggaretes (however you spell that) and said no to every offer. When I danced, I danced the salsa...

Anyways, it was very confusing.

[early in the night]

First you pay and you get a wrist band. There were security officers everywhere... I`m not entirely sure what they were doing.

We found some of Anita`s friends and hung out for a while. Well... that was the entire night.

I met a lot of people...


Then we found Jessica from South Africa and her friend Kiera (or something like that) from England. And we pretty much were with them the rest of the night.


I`m not sure how to describe the enviroment. There are people everywhere. You keep getting run into.

[imagine this.. but all over]

(lots of descriptions were here)

So many people.

I felt kind of tense in the enviroment. I didn`t know what was going to happen next.

I am starting to reconize people now and them me. And that makes me quite happy.


We went to the dancing room.

So many people.

With every step you take, you bump into some 5 others.

I don`t get the concept of getting drunk and why anyone would want to do it.

Anita left to go to the bathroom.

I lost her.

She lost me.

I had Jessica and Kiera... but no Anita. And I needed to get home soon. It was 1:45.


I stood alone surrounded by *insert adjective here* teens.

People ran into me.

I didn`t know where Anita was.

I just stood there, taking it in.

I really did enjoy myself that night and had a good time.. it was just different.

I wasn`t in my element.


Luckily I found Michelle.

Michelle is a really sweet girl who I had met earlier today... and everytime I see her she smiles. Hehe, I like that. I ran into her a couple times that night.

I asked her if she had Anita`s cell number.

She did.

I made contact with Anita.

But what`s cool is God can work in any situation... any situation at all... even a crazy party.

As we waited for the shuttle bus home, we ran into Evelin. Anita and Evelin.

I pull out my iPod and listen to Chris Rice...

Then the bus came.

It`s really a van that feels like a jail car.

Everyone crams in.

So many people.

And we talked to Evelin.

People always look at us weird when we speak English.

And somehow church came up.

And somehow, I don`t even know how, we got to which church she goes to.

And she invited me.

And I was so excited to go the next day, today.

It wasn`t Catholic or Protestant.

She had gone to church in America for a year, and she said it was more like the churches in America.

And I am so greatful to God.

There were 100`s of teens there that night... but God let it be that me and Anita would seperate so we would leave 45 minutes later than planned just to run into Evelin.

Evelin is one of the sweetest girls I have met here. Really, I wish you all could meet her.

God has a plan.

And even at a party... he can provide what I have been craving so much. A good church family.

I love how he works.
(Side note to any Rotarian who might read this: I didn`t break a D or come to close to doing so. I was safe at all times as there were many adults everywhere that I could have gone to. I wasn`t in danger... yay for life. I start school tomarrow)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

2 Samuel 22:3-7

Last night I went to a birthday party.

It was around a 20 minute walk there.

I met my second host family along the way.

It was up in the woods.. there`s a snazzy little gathering place.

The entire walk, I practiced saying this birthday greeting...

Very nice people.

Very nice.

I enjoyed myself.

They didn`t mind my horrible German and laughed along with me as I tried to make myself understood.

Around 5 of them had been exchange students before, so they understood.

One even went to Roosevelt High School of Seattle.

The food was good.

Some people smoked illegal drugs.

There was no alcohol.

And we walked home.

And I went straight to bed.

And woke up at 3:00 AM.

I was hot and had a horrible stomach ache.

I felt sick.

I felt nauseated.

I changed into lighter clothes.

I was sure I was going to throw up.

I almost woke up my host parents... but decided not to.

Then, I did all I could do. I knew I couldn`t fall back asleep, so I opened up my Bible.

We don`t just call him the Comforter for nothing...

I opened it randomly to 2 Samuel 22:3-7.

I read it over and over and over.... espeically verse 7.

"In my distress I called to the Lord:

I called out to my God.

From his temple he heard my voice;

My cry came to his ears."

Over and over and over I said it.

I prayed it.

I was comforted to know that he would be there with me when I really needed him and that he was with me through this entire year.

I didn`t have my mom or dad to comfort me over here when I was sick... but he did. I fell asleep with my Bible on my pillow and my head right beside it.

God really is the best Comforter... although I would have given anything to get a hug from my mom at that moment. I felt so alone. So miserable.

In the morning I slept in till 12:00.

I`m still a bit on the edge... but I`m drinking a lot of water.

FC Sachseln - 20 Jahres

Today was our local Soccer Club`s (Football Club) 20th year anniversary.

Such a jolly celebration with food and a tournament.

I met nice people.

The song, "Evertime We Touch," played four times in a period of 4 hours.. it got kind of old.

But it`s been a good year for the club. They got a new "club" witha a kitchen and stuff, two new fields, and new "trainers"... aka jerseys.

I tryed out taking some action shots and was pretty pleased with the results...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Harry Potter und der Orden des Phönix


Harry Potter in German is.. um.. interesting.

Today, Anita, Philipp, and I went to some town right right right next to Luzern... and we went to go see Harry Potter.

They got me my tickets... which would have been around 13 in American Dollars. Anyways, they had gift certificates. How lovely eh? I was greatful.

And we watched the movie.

And I laughed so much... because of the voices.

You see, they have to do voice overs of course because people here want it in their native language.

Harry`s voice is high high high.. well, I thought so. I dunno, I like the British voice ten times better. This voice just didn`t fit. It sounded to young. Like he was a girlish boy or something. Well... I might be exagerating a wee bit too much... but it wasn`t of my liking.

Hermione sounded like a pretty small kid.. .or at least someone like me. Not the character she is. Not knowing. Just to high.

But Kingsly Shaklebolt was good.

I dunno... wants you know the voices, it`s hard to hear them any other way. I guess Ron was ok... he was a bit more deep. I liked this Cho`s voice better personally.

And they said "super" a lot - just like they do in the language. Super. Super Super.

But I enjoyed it quite a bit... yep.

OOH.. and they have an intermission in the middle where you can go and buy popcorn. It was pretty nice... I guess.



Thursday, August 16, 2007

Snap Schnap Snap Snap


I broke my first D today, I`m sorry. But it was controlled and so I feel free to tell the whole world including the Rotarians back home and my grandparents.

Tonight we had a "picnic" with the Rotarians.

It was raining so so so so so hard... and the picnic was in a mystery location.

We met at Hotel Belvouir with empty picnic baskets and then the men filled them up while the ladies went to another room for small glasses of wine... or in my case, orange juice.

Then we got on a huge tall tour bus to go to a mystery location... which was just Giswil, only a 13 or so minute drive.

We drove into the woods and then hiked... it was amusing watching everyone hike with an umbrella.

So much for a picnic... it was really a house that was all schnazzed up and with soup and drinks... lots of drinks.

Seriously, if I had dranken all the alcohol they had offered me tonight, I would be soo wasted.

But instead, I had around 4 cups of mineral water.


"Nein danke."

I was also offered coffee... oh good, I thought, that`s good. And they brought me a huge bowl cup thingy filled with something that didn`t look like coffee. Then I was told it was alcohol.. err. So I gave it to the lady next to me. But she said I should try some. Just a bit.

So I had a bit.

Yay for Rotarians?

Did I like it?

Well... let`s just say I like Rivella more.

I could have dranken more... but it wasn`t something that I was absolutely in love with.

It was some sort of Swiss Schnaps... I guess.

I`m not going to claim to know what I drank or the level of alcohol. But I know it was some sort of Schnappppps.

I also said no to the whiskey...

So yes, I have now broken a D... if you want to get all technical.

Don`t worry... I don`t plan on drinking any more any time soon. And that amount was so tiny... compared to all the, er, happy adults around me. It`s a cultural thing. With my host mother and Rotarians.

Haha.. and all those drinking teens out there would think this pathetic. But honestly, I don`t feel like I`m missing out on life by not drinking. And I don`t plan to do much of it in my life in the future. Wouldn`t a headache and throwing up be a pretty clear message from your body that it doesn`t like something. Hey, that`s what happens when you get food poisening... seems like this could be on the same page. I think I`ll stick with Rivella.

What can I say? I`m Maggie. I don`t need an excuse.

A Fleet of Postkarten


I just sent out some 7 letters and postkarten today... I wonder who they could be for?

But I lack a lot of addresses. I..m not going to beg you for your address... it..s only so YOU can get some mail, but I would appreciate getting some more addressess.

Do not assume I have your address! I have a few from church... but it doesn..t hurt to send me yours... right?

It costs me around 3 American dollars to send each of you a postcard..... so a response would be nice. I can..t make you write back. But it wold definitly make my day. Even just a postcard saying "Hey Maggie.. you are orange."

Postcards are good, I put them on my wall.

Letters are good, I put them in a book.

Margaret Hubert
Birkenweg 21
6072 Sachseln

With the postage normally coming to .90 cents for a normal letter or postcard.

So send me your address.... now.
(And your birthday toooo :P)