25 days in SWITZERLAND (2012) – week 1

This is a super super late as in super pa sa super super late na post. But I still want to post/write this article, para if I miss those days when I was in CH I will just read this blog. So, this is only our 1st week, it might be too long but please bear with me, this is going to be fun. 🙂 (I hope)

October 2011; the month I learned that I’m going to Switzerland for a leaders exchange activity on April 2012, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Bc there are a lot of other deserving leaders, but still I am one of the 8 leaders to represent Chiro (our group) and the Philippines in general.

This is partnership activity is between Chiro and JuBla , (JuBla is a combined word of Jungwacht – for Boys and Blauring – for girls) the partnership started 9 yrs ago.

Here’s a picture of the TEAM 4 🙂 4th team who visited CH kaya team 4

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after our embassy schedule. VISA APPPRROOVVEED!! (L-R) Ehman, Mitzi, Vhan, Deo, Chino, Me, Pau, Ojie

To share you our Switzerland experience, here is what we did for 25 days. Those days are one of the days I have that will never be forgotten as long as I live. There will come a day better than that experience, but those are incomparable.

Day Zero – Departure and Arrival

We stayed in one house in Cainta the night before our departure to have our final meeting. Yes, meeting, but what we did the whole night is still a preparation/packing of our things. Some iron their shirts, print some pictures, and do practiced for the presentations while others packed their bags which is really a big bag. Mine seems like it is bigger and heavier than me, joke 😛 it was less than 12 kilos when we weigh it, but really it was like 24 kilos when you carry it considering my body size.

Look at how big our bags are; plus each of us has another 1 small bag pack. It’s not really a small backpack though.

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After we have settled with our bags things to bring we had our short sleep, yes, bc I think we’ve settled at around 3am, and everyone need to wake up before 6am for the mass. So, that was really a short bitin sleep.

Then, it’s now time to say goodbye for a while to our family and friends in the PH because we are about to meet new friends and find new family in CH. ang drama lang 😦

Here are some of our airport pictures. (Credits to Chino, Ojie, Ehman and Deo camera 😛 )

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NAIA 1

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while waiting for our connecting flight in Qatar

Bc we have an almost 6 hours stop over in Qatar, we tried to sleep but in shifting mode because we need to look after for our bags.

Finally! We have aarriivveed!!!

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A traditional Swiss breakfast is already waiting for us with our  JuBla friends (Erich, Pascal and Bettina).

After eating our Swiss breakfast, we proceed to Pascal’s house in Luzern to have our quick rest and the orientation also took place in his house. Then we ate our first Swiss lunch, it was Pizza for lunch. I’m sure that we the guys  didn’t like our first lunch bc they we are tired and eating pizza for lunch doesn’t boost your energy after a very tiring trip, especially if you’re used to eat rice for lunch and dinner. 😦

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Then we had our tour around Zurich City, we visited some important places in Zurich like their train station, park and business district where most of the banks are located.

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After the city tour, we travel to Boni Giswil for our Welcoming night. It was more than an hour away from Zurich. During the welcoming night, some leaders played traditional Swiss songs using their trumpets, accordion and a big cow bell.

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Day 1 – Partnership Tree and Blauring Activity

We planted the Partnership Tree and we named it Plum2x bc it’s a Plum tree. Hehe 😀

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It’s been 3 years already, kamusta na kaya si Plum2x?

After watering Plum2x, we travel to Sempach for Lunch at Sarah’s place, then Blauring activity in the afternoon. Sarah’s family is very hospitable, they serve us different foods like pizza (of course), salads, breads and ice cream 🙂

Her mom even requested us to sing 1 tagalog song, and they were like mesmerize with our voice, though only Vhan2x, Mitzi and Pau2x sung the song with conviction, the rest is just like lip syncing.

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Then we walked to a near parked to join the Blauring Activity. We played different games and I am sure it satisfies everyone’s kinesthetic skills.

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After the tiring games, they served a bread for everyone; it was baked by Sarah’s mom. We then get back to Giswil and had our presentation practice. While having our practice some of the partnership committees was interviewed by a local newspaper, they even took a picture of us having our practice.

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Day 2 – Mabuhay Brunch

We woke up early for the Mabuhay brunch event in Giswil Parish. We attended first the Easter Mass, we dance in the opening mass for Jesus entrance in the Jerusalem. Look at our costume, it was really cold, we were really chilling while dancing.

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Then in the afternoon is our first ever SNOOOOOW experience. We go to Giswiler stock and played in the snow. They also improvised a slay, using garbage bag we enjoy skidding on the snow.

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Look at how crazy they are.

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In the evening we had our first Partnership meeting and our 1st chocolate fondue. 😀

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Day 3 – City Tour and Office Visit

We visit Fastenopfer office and had our orientation about their project in the Philippines. We also visited JuBla office, their National Leader toured us in their office. We also got some JuBla shirts and jackets as a souvenir, seems like we just had our shopping. hehehe 😀

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Then we ate at one of the famous Asian restaurant around the area, followed by a city tour around Luzern. We had a chance to see a very historic place in Luzern. It was a tower that used to be a prison during the WW.

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This time we have to part ways as we will now be going to our host families, we were divided into four groups and distributed to 3 different towns.

Me and Chino with Sibylles family in Wettingen.

Vhan2x and Deo with Natalie’s family (one of the ldrs in JuBla Wettingen)

Mitzi and Ojie with the family of Lily’s friend in Giswil.

Pau and Ehman with one family in Sempach.

Day 4 – Host Family

The following parts will be about my days with my host family, bc I didn’t have the chance to know what the other groups did in their host family. 😀

We had our laundry in the morning and go to Migros market with Sibylle to buy ingredients for Pizza as our lunch. We made our 1st home made Pizza. 😀

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In the afternoon, we meet Vhan2x and Deo in the school. Then we ride a bus going up a mountain and we climb a tower up the hill in Argau.

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At 6pm, we go to St. Sebastian Blauring activity about Easter. We made a box for our egg and a chocolate bunny. We also teach a song to the kids “May Isang Kalabaw”

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Day 5 – Host Family

It’s my mom’s b-day, so before going to sleep the night before; I message my mom in her FB account a happy birthday.

We meet Natalie, Vhan2 and Deo at the bus station, to go to Natalies’ school. We attended her morning subject specifically Italian, Mathematics, German and Biology.

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In the afternoon, Sibylle meets us at the bus station and had our town tour. We go up to a wall that protects the town from the War.

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Before going back to our host family, we go to Migros market to buy ingredients for Adobo. We cooked Adobo for our dinner and they liked it. It was my first time to cook a dish. 😀

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Day 6 – Host Family

We picked up Deo and Vhan in their host family, and we go together to a snowy mountain w/c is 1 hour away from Wettingen. We ride a cable car going up the mountain. When we’re up the mountain we played SNOWBALL fight!

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After the snowball fight, we get inside a restaurant in that same mountain to have a hot drink, just to lessen the cold we are feeling, because it was also snowing.

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Then, we visit the Einsiedeln monastery, one of Switzerland’s oldest and most important places of pilgrimage. The place is really huge and very solemn, we are not allowed to take pictures of the Altar but we still did. Pasaway na mga bata eh, but I won’t post the pictures na lang, we might get caught, patagong kuha lang kasi. hehehe 😀

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In the afternoon, we go to Vhan and Deo host family to visit their Filipino neighbor. Just the 4 of us, imagine walking in a foreign town where we don’t know the people and the place.  Luckily we found her house and she welcomed us to her home. She told us her life in Switzerland, how she got married with her Swiss husband and had 2 kids.

After listening to her stories, we got back to our host families for our last dinner together, because tonight will be the night to say goodbye to them. Sad 😦 yes, but before going we had this picture taking and giving of souvenirs. Sibylle’s family is a very hospitable and very cool family, we felt at home when we were in their place. We surely going to miss them. Before we go, her mom asked for the Adobo recipe so she can cook it for the family.

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We now go to a leaders activity in JuBla St. Sebastian for Easter, the 8 of us is reunited again before their church activity starts. Their activity in the night is a wonderful experience, especially during Easter bc the leaders recall their childhood and how they grow up in JuBla.

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We are wearing a shirt from JuBla Wettingen and an ID lace. 😀

Then, we go back to Boni, Giswil for 2 night stay before the camp.

Day 7 – Ranhft Church and Basic Camp Visit

We had our Easter bunny (chocolate) hunting in the morning. The JuBla partnership team hides a big chocolate bunny outside the house and we joyfully looked for it. The last one to found an Easter bunny will have a consequence. Luckily I am not the last one. :p

We go to Ranhft Church, it was a small church, but a very significant church for JuBla. Bc every December before Christmas they will all go to this church for an overnight vigil. It was a very nice and quiet place to pray.

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Imagine thousands of JuBla leaders and members will go there and will stay overnight even if it’s so cold. That’s called sacrifice.

Then before lunch, we travel for an hour, to visit a Basic ldrs camp. We ate lunch with them and played games. It was a nice preparation experience for us before we go to our 1 week camp. Ojie and vhan was picked up by Sibylle bc the’re going to start their ldrs camp today.

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When we got back to Giswil, we played some board games and they teach us how to make an improvised DOG game. This DOG game was popularized by JuBla.

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This is not the DOG game. 😀

Pack your things everyone, Leaders course/camp will start tomorrow.

Ok, I’m done with the first week. What? Sobrang haba na nun 1st week palang? heheh 😛

I hope you enjoy reading (hindi ka sana na bored) our 1st week in Switzerland, this article took years before publishing. hahaha. 😀 But, I know for me it was worth the wait. 🙂

As I write this blog entry, I got way too nostalgic about my summer 2012. 😦 I miss the people, the place, everything about it. Can someone take me back to 2012? Or just take me back to Switzerland. hehehe 🙂

P.S: I hope you will still read my Switzerland 2nd week blog entry. This will be published soon.  As in soon 😀

Lifeaholic,

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