As usual, three days in Switzerland went by in a flash! Holger, the preacher at the church here, picked me up from the airport Wednesday afternoon and dropped me off with Rosanna, one of the ladies from church. It was so nice to catch up! We made lunch and went for a walk to a park close to her house. Then I spent some time at the church visiting with Holger and “Grandma Moses”–a.k.a. Alice. =) She recognized me and promptly gave me a love swat on the behind. I love my family. 😉
Simona came over after work and took me to supper. We picked up Dudem (which is Turkish food) and walked over to the Rhine where we sat and ate and talked. And then I was in for a special treat… gelatto! Simona got chocolate and I got vanilla (made with sheep’s milk!). We got together so very well. =) Again, it is SO nice to talk in person! She and I Skype pretty often and we keep up on e-mail and Facebook, but it’s definitely better to talk face to face in real life!
And then… church! The crazy touchy-feely American (me) got to hug everyone, which was SO great! People were happy to see me and I got to meet new baby Jessica. I also got to see Bianca for the first time in over a year, and Nicki for the first time since November–Simona, Bianca, and Nicki are my “Swissters.” =) Of course it was great to see Ben and Chris again, and Margrit and Dan Steinhauer as well. I wish you all could meet them, too! There’s an American family who attends there now, too. The mom works for a Swiss company, and they just moved here a few months ago from Kentucky. I haven’t met the mom yet (she was away for business), but it was great to meet the dad and the daughter! It was nice not to be the only one there who needed a translator (Ben and Chris do the translating for me when I’m there). I usually feel like such a bother, but if it’s more than just me, I’m ok with that!
After church I got to spend the night with Nicolas and Anita and baby Jessica. She’s so cute! Pictures soon to follow… I was honored to share my room with Nicolas’s guitars! It’s so funny to see people outside of America who love country music–he likes Johnny Cash and thinks it’s so cool that I’m from Nashville! =) I love it.
Here in Switzerland it’s been extremely hot and humid. While it’s quite comfortable to me after the summers I’m used to in TN and VA/DC, they don’t have air conditioners here because they usually don’t need them. It’s been quite a shock to the Swiss! Be thankful for your A/C, everyone! Anyway, I say that because they have really neat windows here. They can open from the side AND from the top, which helps with air flow. It’s really nice to be able to sleep with the windows open! =)
Thursday morning, we had breakfast (cold cuts, bread, jam, butter, and cheese) and played with the baby, then started out for Solothurn (“solo-toon”), which is a very old city–it reminded me of Old Town Alexandria! There were buildings from the 1000s, which was pretty amazing to see! We walked all around on the stone streets, stopped for coffee at a little cafe, and walked over by the river. The we stopped at another cafe for some ice cream (I got the “Alexandria”, which is a scoop of vanilla, two scoops of caramel ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce–wow!), and sat for a little while. It’s amazing how much we found to talk about even though we don’t all speak the same language! I’m going to start giving Nicolas English lessons on Skype, and they taught me quite a bit of Swiss-German while I was there! We got home and made a pizza–yes indeed, more cheese!
Thursday night we had a Bible study with some of the others from church. About 8 people came to Nicolas and Anita’s to study about the New Testament and how the prophecies in the Old are fulfilled in the New. Again, someone had to translate for me, but I think I actually pay more attention when I’m in a place where I have to try and interpret what’s being communicated. I like it! Afterward we ate dessert and talked a little more–again, amazing when you don’t even speak the same language. =) And then I was pooped and went to bed when everyone left. =) Good day.
The next day, we loaded up and went to church to fix lunch. I got to help! Anita and I set the table and cut up vegetables for salad while Nicolas fixed up some other things, and then I cut the cheese–for the Greek salad, thank you. 😉
Several people came, and we even had a couple of visitors. Grandma Alice and I exchanged punches (I was at a bit of a disadvantage since I didn’t have crutches like she does!), and I got to catch up with Margrit over lunch. Afterward I went over to Holger and Francie’s, It was so nice to see her for a little bit before she had to leave for work. We had a couple of interesting and lengthy discussions about some Bible topics, which was great! Hendrich and Kerstin (the kids) fixed supper (salad, bread, and cheese) before Kerstin and I went to Simona’s for a girls’ Bible study. =) It was Bianca, Simona, 5 girls, and me, and we talked about priorities. Simona did a great job with the lesson!
Sleeping arrangements were interesting last night. Simona was in her room, I got to be in the guest room, and Bianca slept on the balcony! She likes it out there, she said! I was afraid she’d get too cold (the weather cooled off quite a bit yesterday evening!), but she said it was fine! This morning Simona and I made muffins, and the three of us have been taking it easy today! Nicki came over for lunch and stayed for a while until she had to go to work, so it was so nice to be with all three of my “Swissters!” =) Now we’re about to go for a walk and just waiting for 7:00 when Simona, Bianca, and I will meet up with Ben and Chris. Fun times!
More to come. Hopefully you’ll get to know the Swiss brothers and sisters here vicariously through me. =)