Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012: The Passing of Time

Has it already been a week?!

I’m already in love with the city! Even though I’m not used to city life and the loudness at night, it’s still amazing! I love all of the colored shutters and the graffiti around town, not to mention the various parks and the gorgeous views. 

(I'm obsessed with The Pink Panther, so I had to get a picture with the graffiti)

And though the hills are brutal, I don’t feel like I need to work out as much, hehe. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m in Switzerland, either! They’ve had us so busy during this past week. So here’s a brief recap (with a little bit of French!):

Thursday, September 6 (jeudi, le six de septembre): Filled our info for our biometric cards, then went to Old Lausanne to visit the cathedral and meander around.

Friday, September 7 (vendredi, le sept de septembre): Started our French intensive program (we don’t start classes until tomorrow, so they wanted to refresh our memories of the French language). After lunch and a research methods presentation by Professor Gorton, we took a nice walk around town to a huge park about a mile away from the house, which had the coolest playground I’ve ever seen. No lie. I’m not even a kid anymore and I was stoked out of my mind! We walked about a mile through the park (yeah, it’s that big) to Lake Geneva, then walked back uphill to the house. After having a while to relax, we ate dinner at Holy Cow, a burger joint close to campus – and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to eat burgers here!

Saturday, September 8 (samedi, le huit de septembre): Went to Chexbres Village, which houses miles upon miles of vineyards and beautifully quaint houses along the coast of gorgeous Lake Geneva. It was serioualy one of the most stunning landscapes I’ve ever seen: rows and rows of grape vines with the turquoise Lake Geneva and the French Alps in the background.

(My new goal is to live here...vineyarding is definitely the life for me!) 

(Okay. A diving board on Lake Geneva? Heaven! I must go!)

We then took a train to Vevey, close to the French border, and were essentially dropped off there by our directors – aka we were able to explore town, but we had to fend for ourselves and find our way back to Lausanne. My group and I stopped for some ice cream before heading down to the lake for a good while. We were planning on getting dinner before leaving, but the restaurant our director suggested we eat at was closed, so we came back early and ate at the house instead. A few hours later, I went out dancing with quite a few other Pepperdine students, which was a riot!

Sunday, September 9 (dimanche, le neuf de septembre): Free day! So I took advantage of the lack of morning plans and slept in. Then, I went to the lake with my roommate and five other girls. It had been my goal to swim in Lake Geneva, so albeit the water was frigid, I dove right in and swam out to the buoys with Alexa (my roommate). A few other people came soon thereafter and left to swim at the beach club close to where we were tanning, so Alexa and I decided to tag along with them. The club had lots of grass; sand volleyball courts; a diving well complete with springboards and a platform; a pool; a section of the lake; and a set of too-cool-for-school inflatables, such as trampolines, a see-saw-like rocker, a globe with handles to climb. It was fun. But then Alexa and I had to head back to the house so we could go to church with the Smiths, a nice family that is affiliated with the church. The service was in French, so I pretty much had no idea what the sermon was about (Mr. Smith translated the major points, though), and service was held in the Smiths’ house, so it was a nice and comfortable setting. After service, we ate dinner with them and chatted about Europe and travels. Then, we came home and went to house church in the common area.

Monday, September 10 (lundi, le dix de septembre): Went to French intensive, then to convocation. After lunch, some people from the train station came in to talk to us about Swiss passes for the trains, buses, and boats around the country. Then we headed over to the train station to purchase passes. Dinner was a few hours later, and after I ate, I went on a run to the huge park we went to on Friday.

Tuesday, September 11 (mardi, le onze de septembre): Left the house at 8:15 to go to Geneva for the day. When we first got there, we split into two groups – one went to a museum about the Protestant Reformation, while the other group walked around with Professor Gorton, who talked about some of the historical places around the city. Then we switched. We then ate lunch by the reformation wall, and headed over to the UN.

Being able to tour the building was amazing, especially since the UN is such an important international coalition. The most striking room was the human rights conference room, which has stalactite-like structures on the ceiling, painted with various bright colors. The significance of the ceiling is that you can’t just look at it from one vantage point, because there are infinite ways to view the ceiling. This represents the views of people worldwide: there are infinite ways to look at a situation, and infinite perspectives being represented within the UN conference rooms and building. After our tour, we came back to the Pepperdine house. Dinner was at a Mexican restaurant, but I didn’t even consider going. Swiss Mexican food? Umm…no thanks. So I went to the grocery store and bought some rice, lettuce, and veggies for a homemade rice bowl and salad – my first self-cooked meal of this year!

Today, Wednesday, September 12 (aujourd’hui, mercredi, le douze de septembre): Had intensive French again this morning, then had the rest of the day off, except for a worship team meeting and practice. Since then, I’ve just been hanging out inside, since it’s cold and rainy here. But at least we can finally see the entirety of the Alps!

(Yay! Finally, a clear view of the Alps!)

Tomorrow we start classes…and I have three. So y’all should probably say a prayer for me, since it’s been four and a half months since I’ve done any academic work. Oops. But at least we only have class tomorrow and Friday (even though we have Fridays off, we’re having class Friday to make up for Monday, since that’s a national holiday – Jeûne Fédéral to be exact – and we won’t have class). This weekend is Switzerland travel weekend, so I believe I’m traveling to Lucern for a day trip Saturday, going back to Geneva with the Smiths on Sunday to see some old scripts from the Bible and attend a church there. Monday? Switzerland is my oyster! Well, it’s time for me to bid adieu so I can take a nap or something before dinner!

Au revoir!

1 comment:

  1. Wow i am so jealous of all you have done so far. Keep up the blog. Dad