What my time at Our Chalet meant to me…
As I sit through one of the many day tours that I have done, this one tour actually made me think of what I have done in the past three months at the Chalet. When it came to the Our Chalet song (and yes I should have been singing but I was thinking because no person can sing at that octave), the line “We ever shall remember the joys of Our Chalet” came to me in big bold letters as I was thinking. All of the memories I have had volunteering at the Chalet will never be able to be replaced.The days of cleaning and making cleaning fun, such as trying to sled down from Squirrel house in a laundry basket, climbing through the old oven, or climbing in the dryer wont be able to be replaced. Or how about working on almost no sleep because I get home really late from a weekend trip to Paris. I don’t know how I was able to stay awake but I managed. My program days were filled with chaos and much fun. Who knew you could take a lunch in two boxes with sleds for 30 people and be able to make it into a BBQ.
One of my favorite memories of being at Our Chalet was New Year’s Eve when we put on the evening program of “Our Chalet Idol.” Being able to dress up and enjoy the girls showing off their talent was so much fun. I forgot how much fun it was to just to act like a little kid again. I had a blast and so did the girls.
On one of my many trips out the kitchen door to the outside with chocolate mousse I looked up and seen Bonderspitz with the sunsetting on it and realized my home in Switzerland was coming to a close. I ran into the kitchen to grab Becky to show her the view and we are standing there, freezing mind you, and thinking what we have left here is very few. We all came from different parts of the world with one thing in mind is to have adventure. That I can say has came true. I have taken back things that I have learned from volunteering at Our Chalet and use them now with my final days in college.
As I have returned to my daily routines of studying and working long hours, I had the honor to show Jennamari, who was the program assistant, around Columbus, Ohio. The people that you meet and work with become friends and then are soon to be traveling to your home country or you to theirs. I have in the works a trip to Canada to see Becky.
I would never trade this experience in the world for anything. I have learned so much as who I am and has made me more determined to accomplish what I would like to and to reach my goals that I have set and have to accomplish yet. I also can say one thing that many can not say here in the U.S. I learned how to ski in the Swiss alps.
As my days were winding down at the Chalet, I am realizing what has been accomplished there. The people that I have met throughout this experience have became friends, sisters and my family. I am happy to say I feel like I have family around the world now.
Winter Volunteer 2008/2009