STAFF: Our Chalet – Our Home – Sonia (RW)


Sonia dancing

My time at Our Chalet made me and everyone else feel so comfortable that it felt much like being home. Swiss people were so nice and courteous to us all.

It was a very special time for me after travelling from Rwanda to Kenya (where I collected my visa) and on to Switzerland.

Some of the Swiss people were especially friendly & welcoming as one man paid for me to sit in VIP section and another called to the Chalet to let them know I was on the train from Bern, Amazing and I am thankful to both of them.

My first two months

Sonia gratuating

My first two months at Our Chalet were quite challenging but contains a lot of personal memories like my first Christmas & New Year away from home.
Surrounded by new friends & strange new foods was very exciting to experience. I think it may be the best time that I have ever had during this holiday season.

The snowflakes hanging in in the dining hall, the real snow falling on the outside like small pieces of paper falling from the sky was fantastic to see and experience.

It was like a whole new world of trees, houses, streets. Cars and people all covered with something snowy white, like I’ve never seen before. I was so happy to be there with a new family, the long term staff and guests that were there.

Sonia skiing

… The next two months
The last two month were amazing and full of new experiences as learned to ski, sledge, use the the washing and drying machines, speak and understand the English speakers at a faster pace and check in guest easily during day or night. I was able to do Our Chalet tours on my own and so many other things too numerous to mention.

We all left Our Chalet at different times so it will be difficult to part and go our separate ways. We cried each time any of the Winter volunteers were leaving. It was difficult very difficult for us to part.

and in the end…

Sonia and bear

My time and life at Our Chalet will always remain very special. Experiences I will never forget –  Christmas, New Year’s Day, My Birthday on Valentine’s Day, my Graduation Day on 23rd Birthday, World Thinking Day Event and Easter Celebrations event.

On the fun side there were the trip to the adventure park, learning to ski, the snow BBQs, riding the zip line and just being able to go crazy and play in the snow.

I cherish all new friends I made among the Our Chalet Staff, guest and people from Adelboden village.

I ate strange foods that were much different from my native tastes but it was not a problem as I like to try new things. I also enjoyed the Helen Storrow seminar while here. I now have so many other crazy friends that I met at Our Chalet. I love them all and it’s been real.

Sonia hiking

I want to personally thank Sally, Koka, Katie, Catt, Michael and Katy for everything they did to take best care of me.

A special thanks to the World Foundation for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the Rwanda Girl Guides Association and the Kenya Girl Guides Association for all their help and support.

Sonia Umugwaneza (Rwanda)
Guest Services Intern

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