Time in Switzerland – Nov 2011

Dear Family,
I see that I haven’t posted since last Wednesday so will try to bring you up to date without boring you to death.
Thursday Felix caught his flight to Lagos, Nigeria from Paris, through Amsterdam.  We were able to make contact with the Chief Secretary in Lagos so someone was able to meet Felix at the airport and he had a place to stay at the THQ compound.  He was able to get a place on the bus on Saturday morning to his home town and to his waiting family.  We will try to call him tonight to see how things are going.

For me, Thanksgiving day was spent traveling to the countryside just east of Zurich to Heidi and Kurt’s village home.  Heidi had visited us in Fond-des-Negres in 2008 so it was good to see her again and to see her beautiful home.  The original site goes back to 1550, being the ferry crossing to the castle governing the area.  The oldest remaining part of the house dates back to the 1700’s.  Kurt has done much of the renovations himself.

Friday Emmi let me sleep in for the first time!  It felt very good.  In the afternoon our Haiti friend from Holland, Major Nell, arrived with Major Rose Marie (also long time Swiss missionary to Haiti).  We had a fondu dinner and I was able to show photos from Haiti and the work going on there after the earthquake and the cholera outbreak. 

Saturday, we got up early, took a train to Visp, met up with Regula (former clinic admin) and went up to see the Matterhorn, one of the tallest mountains in Switzerland, 14,692 ft first scaled in 1865.  Since there isn’t much snow yet, this location has attracted many skiers and the train was filled.  After a nice lunch near the summit and long chat with Regula, she took Emmi and me past the hospital where she works and back on the train. We stopped in Thun, were picked up by Emmi’s sister-in-law and wisked away to an accordian orchestra concert. It was amazing…25 highly skilled accordianists. Even the children’s group was very good. I ‘ll see if I can get the video clip of the group playing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” to load. Still no snow except on the mountain tops at 10,000 ft.
Sunday I went with Emmi to the Bern Central corps with the message being on fasting.  With all that Emmi and Suzanne have been feeding me, it was very convicting.  🙂

Today, Suzanne got me up early and we went to downtown Bern for the one-day annual onion market.  It was a street festival with booths of handicrafts, specialty foods and lots of onions braided together and decorated with flowers.  Even at the early hour the streets were full of people, the children authorized to hit people on the heads with plastic squeaky hammers and people throwing confetti everywhere.  It was quite interesting.  Now we are back home, doing laundry and getting ready to host the monthly missions prayer group for soup and sandwiches.
Blessings!  Violet

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