Sunday, December 4, 2011

Swiss Delights.



My first stop in Switzerland landed me in a stone railway station with arching windows and dozens of suitcases marching about like ants.

My train arrived two hours earlier than expected, and I wasn’t sure how to reach my friend. But since I was no longer in Europe (Switzerland opted out of the European Community years ago), I had to exchange some money and find a phone.

But once again I was in Swiss-German territory. Who would understand me?

If I had paid better attention in geography class, I would have known I could speak French to the locals but I didn’t. Instead I blabbered away in English.

Bea and Me in Basel.
It wasn’t until much later that I learned that Basel --Switzerland’s third largest city-- marks the spot where France, Germany, and Switzerland meet. As a result its locals are quite fluent in all three languages.

With time I found a phone, called my friend, and arranged where to meet. My dear friend and fellow Newlife graduate, Bèa, met me at the tram station with warm hugs; we dropped off my bags and immediately headed into the city center.

Basel has a beauty and tranquility that is hard to describe; its rich past bleeds through picturesque views of the Rhine; its worn, cobblestone steps hint at an antiquity full of lore.

We only had a few hours to catch up, so we set out at it with gusto. Bèa and I laughed and reminisced over pasta and pizza, then I sent her off to work while I tumbled into bed. She works nights.

The next morning, I climbed back aboard a train for Zurich where another Newlife graduate, Medea, met me with her 9-month-old belly. She’s due any day!

Meda and Andre near Zurich.
Together we laughed, took pictures, crocheted, and ate our way through her house. I kept hoping she’d deliver while I was there... but it didn’t happen.

Our time together was blissfully restful though, and I’ve come to realize that weary travelers and term preggos need about the same number of naps each day!        --I love naps!

The following day after visiting another amazing Christmas market in Zurich, I caught the last train of my trip.

Now I sit at my sister’s house in Geneva, sipping on my forth cup of coffee and listening to the house wake up on this sleepy Sunday morning.

An fun handmade Advent calender.
I love my sister and her family so much. What a blessing to come to a home where hugs are meted out liberally, and the conversation bounces from French to English in the blink of an eye.

Their home is laughter and joy, warmth and love. Thank you Jesus for giving me such a wonderful family and so many extraordinary friends! I’m blessed... so very blessed.

Next stop... Kenya.

I fly out in the morning. Please pray for traveling mercies. Thanks.