STAFF: Mazza (AUS) Our Chalet – The bees knees


Look at this angel face! Meet Mazza.


G’day, my name is Mary, I am known by some at the Chalet by Mazza, as I do believe being a true blue Aussie that anything that ends in azza makes it bogan, and we love using the word bogan in Australia, or maybe its just me?

😛 For you who do not know what this means it may be known as chav for those British or …….. for the Americans and for the rest well its a term Australians use to describe a type of person. If you were asked to dress up like a bogan there would be a flanelette shirt, King Gee stubbies (which are really really short shorts) be styling a ‘mullet’ (type of hair cut, short at the front, long at the back, CLASSIC!!) and the standard white ‘thongs’ or UGG boots for the girls invlolved, for those shocked readers thongs are flipflops in Aussie language….not a type of underwear!

The language most bogans potray is very un recognisable to most english speakers, but seeing as Australia is covered in Bogans we tend to understand the lingo of most. Bogans are known not to pronouce the letters ‘I’ of ‘g’ and everthing tends to end in ‘un’, for example ‘shooting’ would be said as ‘shootun’ or ‘fishing’ as ‘fishun’ two of their favourite past times. So there you have it a little break down of what to wear and how to speak like a bogan. Some of the long term staff here at the Chalet are very good at speaking in ‘bogan’ and love using azza at the end of peoples names. To me this is a strong sign of them wanting to be Ausssies deep down!
Winter hiking I am from Tasmania the little island under Australia where the famous Tassie Devil lives and contrary to most other Australians Tasmania is a state of Australia, and yes we do belong to Australia, where we are only 45 min-1 hour plane ride away from the ‘mainland’, considering it takes 1 hour or longer at times to leave the cbd of Melbourne!

Before arriving at the Chalet to be honest I really had no idea what to expect! I knew the basic outline of working in guest services, taking people out on programs and working with people from all over the world, but I really did not fully understand the magic that I was about to walk into when I got on my plane in Launceston. After about 40 hours of travelling, waiting in airports and struggling to lug my bags around with me from this check in to the other I finally arrived in Adelboden, Switzerland.

Throughout the first few days I was here I knew the magical place that I had stepped into. It’s hard to describe the feeling that this place gives you. I have had the joys of meeting some of the most amazing people and discovered wonderful and fun facts about the different cultures around the world!

Throughout my time at the Chalet I have learnt how to snowboard, some Spanish, my favourite saying which I have learnt down packed being “quisiera una taza de tee” “I want a cup of tea”, that going into town is not just a stroll down the road, but a 30 minute hike down and back up the nice steep mountain side. That no matter what your age you can still zoom down black runs like the speed of light and that snow shoveling is my new passion and that I was so disheartened when we bought a new toy for the chalet ‘Boris’, have i mentioned Australians are quite sarcastic?! I can now set beds with my eyes closed and every time I walk into the ladies bathrooms I find myself checking if the soap dispensers are full or if there are 3 rolls of toilet paper stacked nicely behind the toilet. I also admire the hard workings of beautiful Wendy, the Chalets dishwasher and I have the approach of no need for stress…unless it’s me being kitchen co-ordinator well then yes this is a time to stress…..

So my time here at the Chalet is quickly drawing to a close, once Thinking day has been and gone the end is just around the corner. I leave knowing that I have left a little bit of me behind with some of my well know sayings of she’ll be apples and I know that ‘classic’ will be venturing all the way back to Costa Rica. This will no doubtingly be a sad time for most, I know that you will probably find me bawling my eyes out, but I know that I will leave this place with so many beautiful memories.

I thank all the people involved who have made this time so special for me, from the guests we have had from all over the world, to the long term staff and a special mention to the vollies Cata, Ale (my beautiful roomie), Gaenor, Brooke, Anna, Kat and Sammie who I have worked so closely with during my time here at the Chalet.

I leave the Chalet to explore the wonders of Europe, my final destination being unknown, but she’ll be apples life is meant to be full of surprises and adventures!

Mary Hookway – Tasmania – Australia
Winter Volunteer 2011-2012


STAFF: Anna (FL) Our Chalet löpinät


Two months at Our Chalet are soon gone. It feels more like two weeks, time has flown so quickly. Every day has been memorable and every day I have learnt something new.

Engstligen hike Anna and Mary

Now I know that British people really do drink lots of tea, Costa Rican people are the most happy people in the world. But different cultures are not the only thing which I have learnt. I have learnt much about Switzerland, other cultures, the English language, other people and myself.

I never want to forget my experiences here and I don’t think that it’s possible to forget. This has been such an amazing exeperience that I have special place for it in my mind and also on my head where I now have funny hairless spot thanks to an accident with a cupboard. 🙂 I didn’t know what to expect before I arrived here. New friends, lots of snow activities, cooking together, learning about different cultures were on my list, that was about all. My time here has given me much more. I couldn’t even begin to list all things which I have experienced here.
And now I really know, that Scouting is an international movement. Even though we have different forms doing things, we still have many of them which are the same and which we all share together.

I have enjoyed meeting guests from all around the world and spending time with many different people. The world is now much smaller for me and borders don’t mean that much anymore. I just have to remember, that outside of Finland people’s personal space is much bigger than in Finland 🙂

I hope that some day I can come back and still get into the “Chalet feeling”. It is something, that you can not describe with words. You have to experience it for yourself.
I’m sure that everyone, who has been here knows what I’m talking about, and if you don’t know, you have to come here and find!
Anna Haavikko (FI)
Winter Volunteer 2011-2012