I have been here at Our Chalet in the Swiss Alps as a volunteer for the winter season. Taking the decision to come here wasn’t easy because I had to put a lot of things on hold. But from planning my journey and finally arriving it was worth it. My dream of seeing snow came true though, I saw snow, I felt snow, I walked in it and I experienced all kinds of it and waking up every morning and seeing the whole place including mountains tops look white and beautiful always brings peace to my soul. I have seen so many beautiful sites and lots of memorable experiences, each and everything I do daily is new and wonderful.
To start with we had a white Christmas and New Year celebrations, it’s the first time I have spent Christmas away from home, not just away from home but far away from home in a different environment, with different people and cultures. It wasn’t the same but it was fun anyway. We went on a trip to the Christmas market in Bern, it was cool and I fell in love with the city.
We have been hiking to different places; Woodcarvers, Engstligen waterfalls and going snow tubing. Walking in the snow always makes me feel like am on the moon! I also used the snow shoes for the magic tree snow shoe hike which was great. It might also interest you to know that two different wishes I made at the magic tree came true; so do try and make a wish at the magic tree anytime you visit our chalet!
Soon it was time to learn how to ski, I enrolled for some ski lessons and can proudly say I know how to ski even though am not an expert. I am yet to perfect making turns – the skis are their own masters and they never bend to your command until they have flung you on to the ground a few times first!
It’s fun and interesting to know that you have to put in so much energy to control some tiny objects!
I had a great time during the ski world cup held in Adelboden, it was awesome watching professionals ski in real life and listening to the beautiful tunes and background music that were playing. We also managed to get into the village that night to see other events (such as the bib picking ceremony) that were taking place. It was so much fun.
One of the best activities that I enjoyed doing here was sledging, it’s so much fun, especially sledging at night – I will really miss that! I also had a go on the airboard and another of my dreams came true when I went paragliding. I lack words to describe how I felt but it was very good! One thing I learned here is just how cold it can be, it is never this cold back home in Nigeria!
It has been a wonderful experience and I have enjoyed every bit of it, there is so much fun in the Swiss Alps, there is so much fun high up in the mountains and much more fun lies beneath the roof of Our Chalet.
Chinweoke ‘Somto’ Orakwute (NGA)
Our Chalet Assistant – Winter 2013/14