Sunday, January 20, 2008

Skiing In The Alps... Like Always

I just realized that I totally take this for granted.

I learned to ski in the Alps... and am able to go up there and ski any weekday or weekend that I choose. It is so simple. So near. I am so ready!

We went up to the Frutt again for skiing this weekend.

Once again, a horrible night of sleep, or lack of, due to the high elevation.

I woke up, looked out the window, and was delighted to see that there were not too many people there this day... that is quite rare. So I was pumped. Ready to go! I wanted to ski!

After a wonderful breakfast, typical Swiss breakfast, I got geared up, waited for my host sister, and off we went to the kids and Maggie hill!

I am able to do the next hill already, but since my host parents were not with us, we stuck to the other hill. This was so I could become more sure of myself in certain technique areas. Always making curves. Always in the knee. Posture. Speed. Control.

It was wonderful! It is starting to feel, well, normal. I can now walk quite quickly with the skiis on, and when I fall, I am able to hop right back up.

It was such a warm day! I would have prefered to go without my jacket, but I stuck with the jacket shell, a pullover, and a longsleeved shirt. No scarf though. And jacket open most fo the day.

Even though we were on the little hill, three people came to join us. That tells you a lot about my sister. Those people would not normally come to that hill at their level, but since she was there, two guys and a girl came and joined us.

What meant a lot, a lot, to me is that my host sister, my sister, always stuck by me. Through it all. I mean, these were her friends... yet she was with me. When one of the guys asked to go up the hill with her, she said she was going up with me. She would wait for me as I slowly curved my way down the slopes. I don`t know if she knows how much that meant to me. I mean, already she was sacrificing a wonderful skiing day. She is able to do any hill on the Frutt, and yet she had to slowly go up and down the easiest hill with the exchange student. Yet she didn`t complain. We talked a bit. And just enjoyed the day.

Later, they (the others) decided to move on to some more advanced hills. And invited us to go. I didn`t feel ready and told her so. So she said good bye and proceeded to go to the lift, I followed. And one of the guys came and pulled her back towards the group. The other one got me.. and, well, I hit him with my sticks to the approval of the rest. I didn`t feel like getting pulled around. Bang. Bang. Not too hard. And we proceeded to go towards the lift and get pulled back. Finally we made it. But the thing is.. she was still there with me. Going up and down. Easy going. Never harsh. I was quite pleased. Yep. She didn`t make me feel like a burden.

I am happy here.

And I can imagine me when I go back to America and ski, well... I have been so spoiled. I learned to ski in one of the best places in the entire world. And what will skiing be like in Washington? Can it compare? Who knows.

Today was so gorgeous...

(behind is in the near
from where I ski)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

"I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like"


Those little moments that make me laugh out loud, shreik, and speak random German phrases trying to express my joy.

One of my favourite things to do.. is go home from theatre.

I tend to go home with two girls, Leah and Jana, who are both some 2 or 3 years younger than me.. which is perfect.

It varies each time we go home.

Today I had no bike and was wary to walk home as I had already walked the entire afternoon and suffered through two hours of "movement" and interpretive dancing and slinking with Elda.

I had a headache.
I was tired.
I wanted to go home.

And so we did the thing that comes natural.. I rode on their bikes, with them.... on the bike.

If you don`t have bikes as your main source of transportation, you would be completely clueless as to how many ways you can ride a bike with two people on it.

We tried it three, or four, ways.

  • Me behind Jana, on the same sadle. Sitting half on it and half in her basket. After a couple minutes, however, this proved to not be the best option.
  • Me on the bike pedaling and Leah behind on the rack. See in this photo the basket on the back? Remove the basket and bang! you have another seat.

    The downside is the entire time you are on the back, you must must must keep your legs out.. with no support. So it is quite tiring.. but on you go! Just hold on to the person in front when you go over the bumps.
  • Eventually.. we changed positions. I took the back, Leah the front, and on we go. She was so determined to get me up that hill! Even when I offered to walk. We were only a 2 minutes walk from where they would put me down, so I got off.
  • Jana removed her basket to prepare for me.. I was ready to walk and ran off with the basket and blinking light. And then, Leah came, offered me a ride, and I hopped on and we rode off with Jana screaming for her basket.
  • We got to my rode, hopped off... and I stole Jana`s bicycle, rode through a parking lot, climbed up some stairs with the bike, and came down the hill to see them again.

The entire time was, excuse the horrible overused phrase coming up, full of laughter. It was though! Laughter, screams, more laughing. And singing. And whatever.

And I was thinking, do I seriously belong here? I do! I feel like this is my home. And that made me happy. Happy as ever. And I thanked them a bajillion times and text messages followed.

[eliane romy maggie]

I belong.

I am so thankful.

[i like life]

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It`s Just Another Day

"It`s just another day..."
-Paul McCartney-

I like uneventful days.

And trying to turn them into something blog worthy...

(but still wondering who would read this, uh... Unsinn)


  • No host mom... means I get to eat at school which means I got to walk to school!
  • Walked to school.. realized that I can totally have worship sessions every morning. This was the second one. Throw on that iPod, get into the woods... and goodness we have a good God! I felt quite happy as I walked through the schools entrance doors into...
  • German classe. And I pulled out my smelly tiny little taped up yellow book. A little book with old German words that are not in my dictionary. Hence, the time was spent writing in my agenda about the day before.
  • Geography test! These are the best.. just write down some random answers and get full marks. The teacher appreciates that I just give it a go.. which I do. But, well, I have no idea what the weather map for today is in Switzerland. So I drew a wonderful map showing the temperatures in Antartica. Hope she doesn`t verfy that with the internet. Then we watched that Global Warmings vid by Al Gore... happy to say I understood parts of it.
  • No Italien.. hence, two hours in the computer lab, ahem.. working? Nah, Facebook instead.
  • Lunch... Wow! The cafeteria here always whips out restaurant quality food. Today, some sort of fine tender chicken in a sauce along with rissotto or something like that. The meat sort of melted in the mouth. And they have toothpicks on each table!
  • Theatre. I guess I said my lines right? I really am coming to like the director, he is so sweet.. and old. And totally into what he is doing. And we all love people wîth passion.
  • Read. Heavenly Man. Check it out! Amazing book and really encouraging to my faith.. and convicting.
  • Dinner.. same old same old. Still trying to get the courage to eat the slimy creamy cheese stuff. I like it sharp.
  • 50 First Dates. Yep. Watched it.. with my host dad. I think he has good taste in movies.. or he was just watching whatever was on the TV that night. I think it was the later.

So.. that is just a glimpse into a normal same old same old day in my life.

But know what.. it never gets old. I am still blown away by the beauty each day as I walk along the water front staring at the mountains raised up tall across the lake. Covered in snow. The rolling hills. The perfection.

(snapshot from my walk home yesterday)

Sunday, January 13, 2008


(click here for more pics)


How to describe it? A whole lot of fun? Like Mardi Grass… but Swiss Style (which includes a 16 year old legal drinking that everyone ignores).

Well.. I went to Fasnacht last night and really enjoyed myself.

Fasnacht… like Halloween clothing wise. Everyone was dressed up. We had people dressed as lumberjacks, traditional Swiss, cats, tourists, lots of teenage guys in onsie fuzzy animal suits, cows, guys with long blond wigs braided, guys as nuns, guys as girls, girls as girls, Ricola, cheese, Flava’ from MTV, and anything else crazy that they could whip up. Quite popular were faces painted black and brown and black afro wigs.

I got the train at 9:44 at night to begin my journey. Already on the train were friends Romy, Elianne, Adrianna, Maja, and another Maggie. That was the group for the night. We arrived in the next town, Sarnen to catch the shuttle bus to Kerns.

The thing is… they aren’t as worried about being politically correct or offending someone of another culture. I saw a lot of people dressed as people from Africa or Muslims (from painting the skin complete brown to the traditional garb). For example at the bahnhof (train station) there were a group of 8 or so teens in blue jumpsuits with orange vests. All were painted brown. Had black Afro wigs. And a additional piece of clothing I will not list here. And a nametag saying they were with Uganda Airlines, Air Traffic Controllers, along with some sort of name that could be associated with Africa. Wrong or not. We got to talk to a few of them. They turned out to be the group that stood out most at Fasnacht.. the loudest, and everywhere all the time. Making themselves known. It was apparent that when they were at the train station, they had already had a lot to drink.

It took three tries to get to Kerns… a lot of people and the shuttle buses only had so much room. But that gave more time to talk and meet people and so forth.

Finally we got on the shuttle and took the 6 minute or so bus ride to Kerns.

We arrived..and immediately my ears will filled with the pounding distinctive “Guuggenmusiq” music that is only played at Fasnacht. (it is spelled different in almost every part of Switzerland.. but that is the Central Schweiz way)

It would put any high school band to shame… not that it is skilled, it is hard to describe. It is lively.. the people are totally dressed up in crazy clothes, dancing as they play. Moving. Having a blast. Playing how they want. It is amazing. Like a marching band, they do march.. but better. It has a drumline and everything. I will try to get some vids up so you can hear it or see it. Anyways.. I love the Inglemoor band, but this makes them look dead.

They took new takes on the Beatles and Andrew Lloyd Webber and other Swiss classics. The rhythm is other than that of typical music. It pulsed and played the entire night. Just ringing on. So loud. Over powering. And this is music you dance to. Or jump. Or move. Or whatever.. which we needed to do, it was quite cold.

I was hooked.

Anyways.. we arrived and pretty much the entire night consisted of wandering around, grabbing drinks *coughRivellacough* meeting people, searching for people, dancing, hanging out in the pub, heading to the tents, and just taking in everything.

See, they took pretty much the major part of the city, fenced it off, and turned it into a giant party central. Imagine them doing that in Seattle! And everyone was wasted… yeah. Not the coolest part. But people were safe. I was right by a fight when it started and it was broken up within 10 seconds (literally) by the security walking around. I also saw medics there. There were three of them walking a totally out of it man to a place to rest I guess. He could barely walk.

So there was the darker sides I am not used to, but it was a happy night.

At times overwhelming.. but overall I was quite the happy girl.

At one point I saw a kid I knew, year older, as he walked towards me and shouted, “Molly!” I thought he was about to talk to me, but he said that so I looked away. He was like, “Molly!” and I said, “Who is Molly?” Apparently, that is my new name Molly.

The night was over at 2:00 for me and my friends. My friend’s mom drove me home, quite nice. And I realized what a state I was in.

I was covered in confetti leaving a trail to my bedroom.

And my socks were soaking.. but not because it was snowing or raining. It was beer. My socks were soaked through with beer. Gross eh? And my shoes were worse.

My pants were soiled to the knee with who knows what kind of alcohol and dirt and grime.

All my clothes smelled heavily of smoke.

Welcome to Switzerland.

But I really did enjoy that night, just making memories with my friends.

It was, well, amazing... and nothing beats a night of Swiss culture.