STAFF: Nothing short of incredible – Danita (CA)

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Hello, Danita from Victoria, BC, Canada here! 

I looked at the calendar the other day and realized that I have been at Our Chalet for over a month. Wow. It sure has been an incredible adventure.

Danita - staff blog

Coming to Our Chalet has been a dream of mine ever since I learned about the World Centers back in Guides. It’s safe to say that the last month has literally been a dream come true.

My time here has been full of adventure. I have done things I have always wanted to do, and things I never even thought I was capable of.

So what have I been up to these last 4 weeks? Well let’s start with the hiking. Being able to hike on some of the nicest and most beautiful trails I have ever seen is unreal, but if I am honest, it wasn’t an easy start.

The first hike we did was proof of that. By the time I got to the top, all I wanted to do was lay on the ground and never move again in my life. How do the locals and even the cows make it look so easy?!

However, the second time I did that same hike, a week later, I got to the top, and felt awesome.

In fact, I felt so good after that hike, I decided I should celebrate by jumping into the VERY COLD glacial lake. It was cold, but oh boy what an experience that was. I can’t say I ever would have imagined myself climbing over the side of a 20 meter bridge to abseil down the side, but that is something else I have done here.

The first time down was terrifying, the second time was absolutely thrilling. I have seen breath taking views (sometimes literally after a good hike) from the tops of mountains, and been absolutely awed by the endless beauty of this country.

And being in Switzerland I have of course dined on A LOT of delicious chocolate. If you were wondering, Swiss chocolate really is as good as people say it is. It is said that on average, the Swiss consume about 22 pounds of chocolate per year. I have a feeling I might end up eating that much during my summer here.

Danita Duguay - Canada day, Our Chalet Staff Blog

One of the things that I was most nervous about was having to be in the kitchen and cook food. Up until this point in my life my specialty in the kitchen has been heating up can of spaghettio’s.

A far cry from the delicious food we cook at the Chalet. Though I wouldn’t say I am ready to go on the Iron Chef any time soon, I do feel far more comfortable in a kitchen, even having managed to cook a (very tasty) pineapple upside down cake.

I’ve been very lucky to meet amazing people from all over the world, meet lots of new friends that I can’t wait to visit.

Ohter highlights of the months were learning how to make campfires in the Swiss scouting fashion, and seening the valley that was J. R. R. Tolkein’s inspiration for Rivendell.

July 1st marked my first Canada Day away from Canada. With thanks to the other vollies and guests though, we had an amazing Canada Day here at the Chalet.

On one of our off days, some of us decided to go to Liechtenstein. So we drove a total of 548 Km, and had breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Liechtenstein and supper in Austria before returning back to the Chalet for bed.

Spending a day like that with my new friends is something I will never forget.

My time here has been nothing short of incredible. I have faced challenges, overcome obstacles, grown up, made amazing new friends, built my confidence in my abilities and so much more. I cannot wait to see what adventures the next two months have in store for me.

Danita (CA)
Our Chalet Assistant, Summer 2013