Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A New Host Familie

A new host family, a new town… a fast train!

My new host family, as all of them have been, is wonderful. From what I can tell it will be a good 3 months. But I am guessing 3 months will be the perfect time with them. I still the oldest reigning over 3 younger siblings.

Lisa - Age 9

Max - Age 6

Felix - Age 3

And then I have my two hostparents Vrenni (Franny) and Peter.

I have not met my host father yet, well, since I moved in, but the host mom is great. She will speak her mind, likes bagels, and is fun to be around. Lisa is one sweet older/little sister, plays the violin, and likes the color red. Max is the rebel of the family, is good at climbing, and has selective hearing when you tell him to go to bed. Felix is the baby of the family, prone to accidents, and as opinionated as any other three-year-old.

This house, well, I would say it is huge! It is quite large... they just built it recently. And I think the highlight for me is my room. To get the room in the first place, I have to walk across a mat, while there is a huge climbing wall right out side my door. Then my room is quite large. Like an apartment. Spacious. High ceilings. All natural wood all over. And a bathroom connected to the room, my own bathroom, with a shower and a orange and green color scheme. I have a large window looking to the mountains and right, right next to our yard is the Dreiwässer Fluss… the Three Water, um, stream. I know Fluss and what it is, but not the translation to English. Anyway, it is quite lovely, quite blue, quite moving, and quite loud… so at night I get to hear it. Pretty much a babbling brook on steroids. And there are the walking paths through some fields also spreading out beyond the Fluss, and so I can do people watching even more.

Part of my room. The door leads to the lovely bathroom..

The fast train! Going from Luzern (the main station that I need to go to get anywhere) to Giswil travels two trains. A fast train and a slow train. The slow train stops in every little village along the way. I used to live in Sachseln, so with that, I could only take the slow train. Therefore requiring 42 minutes for every trip to Luzern. But now, well, I can take the fast or the slow train. As I am in one of the few selected villages along the fast train route. The fast train makes 4 or so stops. So now, it takes me a mere 20 to 25 minutes. It is quite the party. And now I take the train to school each day, with a refreshing view of Lake Sarnen the entire way.

They do speak Swiss German here, but by now that is no problem. I won’t say I understand every word that comes out of their mouths (the same goes for High German), but almost all… or at least enough to get the idee.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

One Word

One word:


I am at it again! Changing the host families. In, eh, 4 hours or so?

"Time keeps ticking away... tick tick ticking away!"

I really miss those British Crumpets from Trader Joes!

Anways, yeah, I am changing, at least I am not nervous.

I have mixed feelings about changing. I know it is time. And things with this family are going swell. Me and my hostmom did picture stuff together last night.

When you leave a host familiy, well, when I leave, I can only hope that I am leaving on a good note, a good impression. That they will, in fact, miss having me being in their home all the time.

They just had a baby lamb! It is SO tiny! They might name it, well, Maggie! I find that a very nice name for a baby sheep.

So yeah, I best be go packing.

So embarressing, first thing your new host famiy sees of you is your 7 million loaded bags that you have accquired in the past, eh, 8 months or so.

98 days.

98 days.

"Don't stress too much about how much time you have otherwise you will spend all your time worrying! :)"
-Margaret Shipe -

98 freakin' short days.

I will be ready to come home.

"I'm not saying to forget about the future, but think about what you're missing out on. The opportunities, the people you can met, the relationships you can have, and the knowledge you can gain. Go out there and live life."
-Andrea DeBrino -

It seemed that she [Andrea] was writing more on the topic of the distant future, college and such, at least that was moreorless the topic of the note. But it applies to these next 98 days as well... I think. Yeah, I think. Thinking is good.

I have to quit thinking about how I barely have any time left here.. or I won't be able to enjoy it.

Time will keep coming, so I best get moving (literally), enjoy myself. Defnitily live life.

I mean, that is why I am here right? To live life. When the Swiss school interviewed me on why I am here, I said just that, "To live life."

I have no regrets coming here.

No second thoughts.

I wouldn't change my life for anything else.

I love riding my bicycle along the blue clear waters and zwischen the mountains!

I am one happy camper.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Computer Situation

Well, I am now into the last third of my exchange. Crazy eh? And I am typing on an American keyboard which is driving my poor fingers insane as they finally have mastered the German.

I have changed host families and you won *searches for apostrophe*’ t be hearing from me as much lately as they have no (NO) computer. None at all. Which is ok with me. Good for me… but a bit of an inconvenience while I need it not just for blogging and photos, but to keep in contact with Rotary, Inglemoor, and family. So yeah, I will have to work that one out. For now I am using a dandy laptop from my dear father in America, it is a bit old, I am afraid it will break someday, but it definitely is a blessing and does the trick.

So, to keep in contact and keep the blogs coming, I will be making blog packets on CD’s for when I do get on the computer. Then I merely have to *edit copy edit paste* it into and a blog will be up within minutes. Pictures also will be pre-edited and ready to be published.

I guess that is my technology update for now.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Jodeling conzert and Klosters

I am trying to get around Switzerland as much as possible… and made it to Klosters the other day. I only went there for the name. And had a good, um, 5 minutes before heading home. But it is for the train ride that I travel, not the ending place. Although I guess a bit more time would have been nice. It is in Graubunden, Eastern Switzerland.

Then, I was to be in the home by 5:00 as we had a dandy jodeling conzert.

It was sort of a meal and show deal, and my host mom was in the show. The entire concert was a compilation of different songs written by this dead man, who just so happens to be my great host uncle. So he was a composer and wrote the hymn and other classics for Nidwalden, the other half of my canton, Unterwalden. I live in Obwalden (and we are the best! I have been taught to have a loathing for the Nidwaldeners).

It was a great evening, just listening to the Swiss culture music of their heritage. What I find great is how a tiny little region, a city the size of Kenmore, can whip up quite the choir. They are really into community and stuff here and have pride in their heritage. I find that awesome.

In the middle came the Tombola. Like the Swiss lotery. For 10 CHF (which is practially 10 dollars due to our failing dollar) you become 11 ticket role tubes. They are mass produced, I think in Alpnach, and are tiny colored pieces of paper rolled up and stapled on the ends. On both sides, it is peforated so you can easily rip of the ends and see what the paper says.

The majority say, “Danke, Merci, Grazie, Thank You.” Which is the polite way of saying, “You just wasted a freakin’ dollar for this piece of paper and are just a looser!” However, every once in a while you encounter one with a secret message…. A number! You go to this booth where you match the number to a prize with the matching number. Overall there were around 150 prizes you could win. So lots of loosing and a bit of winning. It was quite addictive. My host family ended up spending a good, or bad 50 franks on this game and ended up with the following:
A clothes brush (for me)
A huge amazing cow bell (Max)
Towels (Max)
A blanket with those little tag thingys that babies like to play with (Lisa)
Free Caffee with schnapps (Me, and yes, it tasted quite good)
And those were our winnings. The bell was defnitly the highlight.

This concert went until 11:15 or so at night, so naturally the two youngest fell asleep. The middle child, Max, was on his mother’s lap, sleeping, when she had to go play the violin again. So I took her place. Barely anything beats a sleeping child in your lap. You can’t help but love the kid. Just breathing, who knows what is going on in their little head. That made me feel warm inside, sleeping Max.

After the concert, the afterparty began. A talented youth band of two accordions and a double bass took the stage… and I was quite impressed. These kid’s play to entertain. I was almost in awe, just watching their fingers fly over the keys… even the bassist was moving to play a different bass note every second. He wasn’t taking the one-note-a-measure road. Nope.

And pretty soon the old people got up and danced. Even the birthday lady, she was 94 years old to the date, got up and danced. She loves dancing.

And that was my second full day with the new host family.