Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Wow. After loosing connection with this blog for so long i can honestly say it feels wierd to be back. Both here and in america. After arriving about a month and a half ago in my "homeland" as other afs'ers sometimes refered to it, it easily described as diffent, strange, wierd, boring?. Nothing Like switzerland, but im pretty sure even a non exchange student could figure that one out. I am finding the things that have been bugging my most are the routines of my daily life. Well I miss my host family and friends like crazy, its the little things, like always saying "agueta mitanan" before each meal. Meeting friends on the train and getting a coffe, or sitting near the Rhein. Dressing up whenever you left the house. Walking everywhere. My bike. All the things that made my daily life, well, my life. Those are what I am finding I am missing the most. I feel like Ive come home, but Ive lost all the things that made home home.

Dont get me wrong. I have had a fabulous summer catching back up and traveling with my family. Its just the times when you find yourself having nothing to do where it hits you. On the upside, because of the hurricane my school is still in summer vacation which means that I have not really been able to have a daily schedual back home. Everyone has said it can start to get easier once you have the back. Right now Im not back to the stage I was with my friends before I left because I havent seen most of them yet. I dont have those people I can just go and hang out with therefore which makes it harder to adjust to being back home. Hopefully once school starts up Ill be able to reconnect or connect with new people, and start being the person I have become through out my year. Its easy to see ive changed already, but im hoping once I get back in a daily life where I really have things to compare myself to who i was, I will be proud with how ive changed and be even more thankful then I already am, for my time abroad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something new

Once again i have lacked the time to post a new blog about all the amazing things i have gotten to do the past few weeks. While I can find a minute or two, i can never find the time to just sit down and share everything. Thats when a friend of mine gave me a great idea. Twitter. To be honest its something i always hated the idea of, but i thought i would try it out and see how it goes. So below is my twitter name. For the many of you who i am guessing have no idea what twitter is, its simply a website much like my blog, wher i can post quick notes such as "off to zürich for the day with my host family" or "saw a dunkin doughnuts today in germany! first once since the states!" I will ofcourse continue to post on my blog about how the experience is, and longer stories including photos, but I feeel like the quick notes will give everyone a better idea of what my daily life here is like, with less then 2 months to go in my exchange. =) Hopefully it works out.

So here is the link to my twitter site. Please take a look and follow me. Hopefully you'll enjoy =)

New post coming soon with pictures from my class trip in St. Stephan! Amazing week!

Friday, April 1, 2011

As the sun keeps shining...

Last week can be what I consider a perfect week of my life here in Switzerland, or atleast a week that truely makes it feel like home. As mentioned by almost every exchange student, time flys by after your 6 month mark, and it is sadly because this is the time when everything is good. you speak the language, have friends, a new family, understand the culture, and feel at home. (Ofcourse just when all is good, it is time to head home, but thats another story).
The past week for the first time in a while, the sun shone bright and long. A good 7 days long to be exact. The weather hit the low 70s, and although it was the first week back in school after vacation, I can honestly say it wasnt so bad. Spending lunnch time out on the lawn, getting ice cream in the breaks, windows left open in class hours, and overall just soaking up as much sun as possible, the atmosphere in school was that of a welcomed spring =)

Then the weekend hit, and started off by me heading over to a friends house with 3 other girls from my class, and hanging out baking cookies, and overall just talking. It felt so much like what I used to do back in the USA with my friends on the weekend and made me realize how good of friends I am becoming with them =) At about midnight everyone else headed off, and I stayed for a sleep over with the girl whose house it was. She was in America last year on exchange in south carolina and its really funny hearing how different just my life, and that in the south can be. After watching a movie and staying up talking we finally headed to bed about 3. The next day we were up nice and early at a sharp 8am. After showering and an unbelievably fast breakfast we headed to basel and met up with two girls form the night before for a Farmers Market. We ended up spending almost the entire day there simply looking around, buying what caught our eye, and then doing a little touring...oh and ofcourse eating. I found a really cool bracelet and earings, as well as...well I will post it later as its a gift for a friend back home... We also bought an amazing old fashioned poleroid camera, some cool sunglasses, and other random things. I swear they had everything there! Then that night I went to a birthday party from a friend I met through AFS at a really cool camping area place (which also took about 20 minutes of walking randomly around to find) where they had set up a fire and such. Unfortunatly it was raining and as I didnt know that many people we didnt stay that long.

The next day I headed down to Cully with my host family, which is in the french speaking part of switzerland. It is a small whine town set on the Genf Sea, near Lausanne, and is absolutely amazing. So beautiful! All the houses were what you picture in France or Italy! It was really cool getting to hear my host family speak french as other then one of my host sisters I never really had before (also good as my french is limited to yes, no, and my name is) After the long train ride we walked through the whine fields for about half an hour before getting to our restauraunt that looked over the sea and fields. It was stunning. After lunch we headed back to the main town to see the Cully World Jazz Festival. We saw an amazing band called Portico Quartet from England. It was really cool, but as I was so tiered from the past few days and school, I was  ready to head home when it ended.

Today the is perfect, with temperatures in the mid 60s, and sunny skys. This weekend is even going to be about 77!! I also just learned my parents are going to be coming to visit around the end of may and I am so excited! It will be great to be able to show them my life here!!

For pictures from my weekend and past few months, please see the side bar! =))

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

February and March, Where did they go???

People always told me that after you reach the half way point on your exchange year the time begins to fly by, but I never thought it would be quite like this. It truely feels like just last week I was coming home from my christmas in Engelberg, and now already its been 7 months, I have the date and time for my flight home, and I am left wondering how I will fit everything in the short 3 months I have left.

The last two months have been absolutely incredible,  from many more skiing trips, to random visits with other exchange students, saying goodbye to swissfriends leaving for exchange, aswell as making new friends, shopping trips, school tests, sport turnaments, exploring, and simply enjoying the everyday life Ive come to love here in Switzerland. I can even now amazingly understand most swiss german, which is great as the weather has reached a lovely point of sunny and warm (the first time in my life the weather has been that of spring when the calender says it is officially spring) and my class and I have been trying to enjoy it.

Unfortunatly I am off to learn for a biology test and can not write anymore at the moment, but until I get another chance, I have been uploading photos from the past two months in the mean time!
=)) Enjoy

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Last friday officially marked my half way point in Switzerland. 161 days here, 161 days to go. 23 weeks both ways. I can't believe how fast the time has gone! I feel like just last week I was sitting on the train for the first time coming home with my host family! Its now been over 5 months and its hard to explain how wierd that feels. I now truly feel like I have a new family, friends, and a home here. In one way I am so excited to have made it this far, and crazy happy to think I will soon see my friends and family back home who ofcourse I miss insanly. But on the other hand I cant really imagine going back. Here is home now. Its normal, and I know as soon as I get home I would want to be right back here. Anyway havcing it be half way makes me think about all the incredible things I have already gotten to do this year. This is truely a once in a life time experience!! The idea that just last week I took a quick trip sight seeing to Luzern after school with my host aunt or go to Germany for the day and doing it all only speaking german, is something that I never would have imagined I could do last year. From a vacation in spain, sledding in the swiss alps, taking and passing classes completely in german, its crazy to think about all that Ive already accomplished, as well as how much more I want to do, and see before I head home.

Anyway it worked out quite nicely as to celebrate my half way point I went skiing for the first time ever with a girl in my class who has a house in the mountains. I must say for anyone who wants to learn to ski, you truly cant find a better place to do it then the swiss alps! Blue skys, "neble meer" (dont know how to say that in english), hot chocolate, perfect slopes, and beautiful views in every dirrection! Its quite perfect! =) It was just me and Flavia (friend from my class) for the whole weekend, and as she is swiss and learned to ski at age 2, and was skiing down the black marked slopes at age 4, she was my teacher. Saturday we headed out at 9, and skied until about 2 before heading into the town in the valley. Saturday night we spent watching movies, eating brownies, ice cream, etc. and just laughing a lot. Sunday we spent the whole day skiing, before heading back at about 430 to pack up, clean the house, and head home with the 7pm train. We were home by 930, and I was exhausted! By the end of the weekend, while it wasnt the most graceful or fastest skiing, I could succesfully make it down the ski runs without falling by myself. (without her as a guide of where to turn etc.). And as it was my first time anywhere near alpine skis and ski resorts I was pretty proud, although today every musle in my body hurts =) Below are many pictures from the amazing adventure. It was such a great weekend, and it was cool getting to spend so much time just hanging out.

Lunch spot
Very little snow!
Our house!


Achtung Treppe!

Of all the ways to end myself in an Ambulance on the way to the Emergancy room in Switzerland, I do it by falling *up* the stairs. Now before you start laughing, I would like to point out that many of you have probably done this yourself once or twice! Simply step wrong, or over think it, and whooops. Anyway, heres what happend.

Two weeks ago I went out with a girl from my class, and one of her friends. We headed to Basel, and after picking up some food, headed to see Burlesque (With Cher and Christina Aguilera) in German. I was so excited when I found I could actually understand most of the storyline! Granted not every word or sentence, but I knew in general what was happening! It ended up being a great film, and as we walked back to the trainstation at about 23:00 all was good. We were less then 10 minutes from the Trainstation when we were walking up some stairs on the side of the street. I guess I simply stepped wrong or something and fell face first onto the concrete steps. I had my hands in my pockets so nothing to really stop the fall. I thought at first it was just a nasty fall that would give me a bad head ache for a few days, but then my friend said "Oh blood". When I looked down at my hand it was already completely covered red. We eneded up walking to the closest pub, and there got a bag of ice, and found a women who literally took control. I was so lucky in that i never really had to think.  I overheard what they were saying but I wasnt really thinking strait so when I heard taxi I asummed we'd be getting one to go to the Hospital in. As I was sitting on a bench waiting for the "Taxi" to come, my friend called my host dad. I then all of a sudden heard sirens, and freaked out when I realized they had called the Ambulance. I was so embarrassed! I mean I could walk fine, and was still talking normally! In the end I spent 2 1/2 hours in the Emergancy room, got four stitches, xrays, etc. I was surprised to find that the ER system is very similar to that in America, and was lucky in that many of the people I worked with spoke english...(I can understand german fine, but medical terms, allergies, etc. is a completely differnt thing). By sunday morning I had a beautiful black eye that lasted well until wednesday when itcheanged to green followed by a bright yellow, and bruses that coveded my legs (in the perfect spacing of stairs).

In the end I was amazed at how quickly people, who are almost compelte strangers to you,  step up in the time of a crisis. The girls I was with  waited for me in the ER until 2 in the morning, and even checked on me over the course of the weekend. Sunday was spent washing the blood out of all my clothes, and contacting both my parents and AFS as to let them know what happend, and ofcourse calming down parents (both host and biological). While it was a great night of firsts, many of them I find were not that fun. Even without the pain even just walking, the uncomfortableness of the overly swollen eye, and the difficulty showering (as the stitches can not get wet), just answering the 5000 questions that alway follow once people see your face is enough to keep me always holding onto the hand rail now whenever I'm on stairs. Its definetly not fun. I finally got the stitches out yesterday afternoon, and now just have a inch or so long line on my cheek, but according to the doctor it should heal nicely. So other then a slight scar and crazy memories form a night out in Basel, I now get to always hear, "Achtung, Treppe!!" every time I walk near some stairs, in english,  "Watch out! Stairs!".

Friday, January 21, 2011

Time to think...

So much has happened in the last week or so so I think I am going to break it up into a few blog posts, which might take a while, so in the mean time I thought I would let you guys expand your minds. The "6 monthers" as I like to refer to them, or old AFS'ers, also known as the kids who were here in Switzerland on exchange for 2010 (came in January 2010) just left this week to head home, and its got the rest of us thinking a lot about our time here, and how we've changed, what weve done, what we still want to do, and ofcourse, how good is our german?? I promise to post a little on this later, but in all the thinking, we got in to quotes, and so I thought I would put up some of my favorites that ive aquiered, found explain my life, or finally understand after the past few months. As you might suspect many of them are about finding yourself, as if nothing else, an Exchange year is one of the best ways to go out and figure out the real you...even if it takes a while...enjoy. =)

What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

And Hansel said to Gretel, “Let us drop these breadcrumbs so that together we find our way home because losing our way would be the most cruel of things.” 
....And losing your way on a journey is unfortunate, but losing your reason for the journey is a fate more cruel.
....But when the destination was reached, it wasn’t me who arrived. It wasn’t me at all.
.... And once you lose yourself, you have two choices: find the person you used to be or lose that person completely.
.... Because sometimes you have to step outside the person you’ve been and remember the person you were meant to be. The person you wanted to be. The person you are.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. Its about learning to dance in the rain.

Who knows where life can take you, the road is long, but in the end, the journey is the destination. 
-Sometimes the greatest rewards in life ; come from doing the things that scare you the most.

Nathanial Hawthorne - "No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."

I just wanna live a life I'm gonna remember even if I don't write it down......

Life begins at the end of your Comfort zone.

There are over six billion people in the world. Six billion souls. But sometimes all you need is one

 E.E. Cummings- ‘Be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else. It means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.’

Khaleel Jubran - “Your reason and your passion are the rudder and sails of your seafaring soul. If either be broken, you can but toss and drift or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas.

Wayne Gretzky - "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" so take your best shots.

Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.

Ida Scott Taylor - "Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone. And do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering."

Abraham Lincoln - "And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years."

Does your brain hurt yet??? =)) Until later....