From winter to spring, all in one post…

Hello all!

My short disappearance from this blog over the past few months is entirely my fault, though without intention of leaving you all alone! I have certainly been thinking of people from time to time, as little experiences come up during my day that make me reflect on a personality I miss having around or in a conversation. Thank you for all the comments on the past posts, it lets me know that, even over the distance and time, the conversations are still going.

So, what I have been doing with all my time, since it certainly hasn’t been spent on editing this blog,well, with a few pictures and more stories, I hope to catch you up.

Soon after the new year I moved into a new apartment (outside of the shoebox hospital room) with a deck, a dog, and a Swiss family (not Robinson, but almost as eccentric)! I have a lovely little room overlooking the nearby tram station and bell-ringing church (God’s close presence hasn’t quite got me over there, but the bells don’t ever let me forget). The place is dynamic and full of energy, and I have really enjoyed bringing people over for communal dinners and a relaxed place to study- two things that were impossible in the shoebox.

Some Canadians have even had the opportunity to visit the new place – Yossi and Ellen! Two McGiller travellers who are always making their way around the globe, and had the chance to stop in Zurich. Yossi for just a short, but sweet, trip over the weekend before he went to London for work on his Master’s thesis. Ellen stayed quite a bit longer, and dove head-first into switzerland as she hopped off the plane (from Calgary!) and onto a train bound for the mountains and some serious sledding! During the week that she was here, I tried to integrate her as much as possible: we skied at Laax (the resort close to Schluein), ate fondue, heard some local music,  sampled plenty of chocolate, and she toured on her own through the beautiful town of Lucerne (if you happen to see her, be sure to ask about walking above the clouds!)

Ellen in Laax with the unbelievable panoramic
Ellen sledding down the track (two options: 400m drop in 6km, or 600m drop in 4km!!) We lived!

After her visit, I was thrown back into school mode with a few more exams, the start of school, and some time in Eastern Switzerland for a case study course I am taking this semester. The new term definitely came as a shock, and I still settling into the new schedule, classes, and the case study which takes up about a third of my time. I’ll try to add some detail about the case study on the ‘school’ page (which is looking rather sad indeed).

However, I always find some time to make it up to the mountains to see Lisa and the gang. Some winter hiking resulted in some nice snowy vistas.

Looking down onto snowy Schluein
Snowdusted trees

And some fun with Mia, making a snow monster.

Snowmonsters!

And then spring came… A few weeks later I went down to Southern Switzerland, the Italian region called Tessin, to visit an old family friend, Jacqueline. I had seen her years ago with my mom, sister and Geri when we visited in 2003, and she was just as warm and welcoming as ever. Fit as a fiddle at 79, we went for a 5 hour walk, sang songs in French, English and Italian, and she told me many stories from her time as a nurse in France and Canada before finally retiring in Switzerland to take care of her true loves (in no particular order)- her husband and her parrot, Susy.

View out the skylight of Jacqueline's 200 year old house
First blooms
Susy, 55 years old and still calling for her mama
Lake Lugano in the morning mist, Tessin

Finally in Zurich, the weather has awoken all the plants and the people. Colour and good smells (mostly) are now found in the streets and gardens, and the picnics and barbecues have begun. There is so much to look forward to in the summer, and even though the winter was warm, I am ready to shed the hats and gloves and see green again.  

I’m hoping that there is some warmth growing back home as well!

More to come soon, I hope…