This is my soundslide project over Delta House of Pancakes!
The time has come to that the assignment ends, and in all fairness, I kind of forget this was an assignment.
I’m currently writing my farewell blog while one of my friends is writing a history paper.
Who’s in the better class? the answer is obvious…
Writing my farewell blog almost feels like leaving Switzerland all over again.
This blog was a great way for me to be able to reflect on the amazing experiences and crazy differences.
Thankfully, I know that I will return to Switzerland again soon,
and hopefully this assignment will be the exact kick in the pants I needed to get my personal blog a more recent occurrence in my life.
Through this assigmment, I have learned, that just because you HAVE to write a blog doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
This blog also helped me realize that moving between two vastly different cultures so quickly isn’t easy,
and it’s ok to be dazed and confused when you speak to someone in German, and they don’t understand.
Or when you try to pay using Swiss coins, and it just doesn’t work.
Between the blog I kept this summer and now this blog I have learned that blogging is something I enjoy, and would very much like to become even better in the future.
So thanks for reading!
and for being so great, I’ll end with my last photo I took in Switzerland…
Living and working at a Girl Scout world center, it’s well, predominantly women.
There were four men that were at the Chalet, and that was it.
Christoph, Cameron, Alex and Michael.
And Alex and Michael were only around part-time.
Christoph was the Chalet groundskeeper,
He was a 50 some year old German mountain man,
and he knew every thing.
We cared so much about the volunteers than anyone,
he made sure that on days off we had fun things to do.
He was the one who took me hiking in a valley two valley’s away.
He took me to France and Germany.
Christoph was crazy, but once you got to know him, he was basically our dad of Switzerland.
Cameron was the groundskeeper assistant and he was the girlfriend of the assistant program manager.
He was a recent graduate of college and a fraternity man,
He quickly became like an older brother to me while I was away from my own.
We chatted about Greek Life, and our lives in Pennsylvania (because I’ve previously lived in Pennsylvania, and that’s where he is from)
Overall, Cameron was helpful in encouraging us to try new things,
But also very frustrating in thinking his Boy Scout ways were better than our Girl Scouts ways.
Alex and Michael, were the other Chalet boyfriends.
Alex was the boyfriend of our program manager Katie, and they had been together 7 years.
Michael was the boyfriend of our cook, Katy, and they had been together 5 years.
These two boys were also like brothers/dads/mentors/friends.
Michael was always willing to drive us places, and Alex was always up for a hike.
Though, they didn’t work at the Chalet, they made sure they were there for all important events like birthdays and celebrations.
With the environment I was in it was so great having these men around to just break up all the estrogen and be the brothers/fathers/mentors/friends away from home.
I am so thankful for them.
One of the most obvious things about a different country is their food.
While living in Switzerland I had the pleasure of trying a lot of different dishes, some even being local to the valley I was living in.
Raclette is not only a Swiss dish, but is also the name of the cheese used in said dish.
Eating Raclette involves owning a Raclette grill.
You place a slice of cheese in the little heating dish, and stick the dish on the grill, once the cheese has melted you scrape the cheese out of the dish and onto a potato.
The whole idea sounds weird and disgusting, but it isn’t.
Rosti is another Swiss dish that I’ve fallen in love with, and like Raclette, it involves cheese and potatoes…
Rosti is made of grated potatoes and then melted cheese on top, and to make it your own there are many other toppings you can put on it.
It’s like America’s hash browns, but way better.
Alpine macaroni, as you can guess, involves potatoes and cheese again.
Alpine macaroni, is very specific to the region I lived in, and even in the recipe calls for cheese made in my valley.
The dish is basically macaroni, with Alpine cheese, and then within the noodles sautéed onions and potatoes.
It is again, delicious.
Europe has this amazing yearly competition called Eurovision.
Eurovision is kind of like American Idol–but a million times better!
Each country sends forth one singer, or singing group to represent their country.
The acts range from boring to straight up weird.
Being American, and never having seen this, my eyes were opened this summer.
I am now the proud owner to the entire soundtrack of the 2012 Eurovision contest.
In Switzerland, we decided to celebrate the glorious occasion that is Eurovision,
by hosting a party for the viewing!
Each person attending had to dress up like a country.
I was Greece,
I wore a sweatshirt with greek letters on it and boat shoes,
obviously I had the best costume….
I am quite fortunate to have family that lives in Switzerland.
When I was 13 years old, my family hosted an exchange student,
Her name was Nadine, and she was the sister that I never got.
Thankfully, she is from Switzerland, so spending the summer there, I got to spend a lot of time with her and her family.
They graciously opened their home for me multiple times while I was there.
Andrea, Nadine’s mum, was more than willing to be my mum-away-from-mum.
She cooked me multiple traditional Swiss dinners.
Paulo, Nadine’s step-dad, was there to help me practice my German, since he speaks nothing else.
Daniel and Isabel, Nadine’s siblings, were there to ask me all kinds of questions of how I’ve been since the last time I’d seen them.
Being away from home for so long, it was great to have a family to escape to.
I couldn’t ask for a better Swiss family,
and cannot wait until I get to see them again.
I am in a sorority, and I am quite proud of that.
So obviously this summer I planned to show my Delta pride!
My sorority, like many others have some sort of hand symbol,
that we like to “throw” while with our sisters at events, or just by ourselves when we are somewhere cool.
I saw this summer as my oppurtunity to “throw what I know” almost every where this summer.
My fellow volunteers laughed in the beginning,
but by the end of the summer they found themselves saying “Hey Sarah! This would be a good place for a Delta picture!”
My sorority sisters quite enjoyed getting to see our hand symbol thrown everywhere,
and I quite enjoyed the adorable photos I got of my Delta’s everywhere.
If I had one Swiss franc for every time I said the above statement,
I’d be rolling in money…
In Switzerland, their is a charge every time you need to have your dumpster emptied.
So obviously, if something can be recycled, we were all for it!
Paper, cardboard, tin, aluminum, green glass, brown glass, clear glass, PET, batteries…
you get the idea.
We even recycled food.
separated into two different categories–food scraps and compost.
Now that I am back stateside, it actually pains me to watch people throw their paper napkins away.
While scrapping all my leftover food into the trash can at my sorority house, I am freaked out that I am not separating the compost and food scraps.
Europe has this recycling thing down,
get on it USA!
Switzerland is known for their great transportation system.
Trains, buses, ferrys, trams, and gondalas.
If you want to get there, you can.
Though, I lived in a small little farm community, it was fairly easy to get around.
You even began to get used to the routine.
If you chose to leave Adelboden for the day, or weekend, or such,
you would walk to the Adelboden Oey bus stop, and take the 30 minute bus ride to the Frutigen train station.
More often than not, you’re journey would land you in Bern,
the train that comes in from Frutigen stops at platform 7 at the Bern train station,
which is convientally located near the Brezel Konig, which is like Auntie Anne’s but better.
Being so used to the motion of the trains, and the constant checking of my train pass, and the speed of getting anywhere.
Driving is weird now.
I’m overly cautious, nothing seems as safe as the trains.
Some of the little things about driving, I’ve forgotten.
My fear of driving again was only reiterated when I was hit by another car on the first day of classes,
Only 3 days after being back in the country, and my first time driving my car.
Yeah, the trains are better.