It is difficult to put into words the amazing experiences that I have had at Our Chalet. I am a simple Nepali girl and have always been passionate about scouting and guiding. Traveling to Europe was something I had always dreamed of. Now that I am finally living my dream, I am reluctant to wake up.
How it began?
My journey began with an application, an application to volunteer at ‘Our Chalet’, the first World Centre of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). After a couple of months, I received an email from Our Chalet with news that I had been selected to work as an Our Chalet Assistant for Spring 2018 and there was no boundary for my happiness as my application was accepted.
My first ever visit to Switzerland became challenging as I landed at night and had to get into different trains to reach Adelboden. Nepalese people do not have good experiences with trains since there are no railways in Nepal. This was also a little bit worrying as I was traveling alone. Getting into different trains on time and changing platforms with my luggage was not easy, however it was worth it when I finally arrived at Our Chalet. I experienced snowfall for the first time in my life and it was exactly how I imagined it to be- STUPENDOUS! I have had so many wonderful experiences such as building an igloo, making my first snowman, sledding, skiing and snowshoeing which I had never done before in Nepal. I have now travelled to many places in Switzerland and the beauty is just mesmerizing.
Our Chalet Experience
I am the first staff member from Nepal in this 86 year old establishment. Everyone in Our Chalet (be it guests or the staff) love to find out about Nepal, its culture and scouting there. I have been learning more about WAGGGS and different projects run by WAGGGS during my time here. I have taken the lead in several programs which are conducted for guests. I have been carrying out the role of lead volunteer several times where I manage and allocate tasks for all the volunteers. I really enjoy interacting with guests as there is so much to learn from them. Since most of them are from different corners of the world, it is interesting to know about their guiding stories, memories and about the adventures they have had in their life. My experience at Our Chalet has helped me grow and become more independent, confident and push myself outside my comfort zone.
Swechchha Bhandari, Our Chalet Assistant Spring 2018