I hope all is well in Virginia and N.C.
Today was a great staff training day because we took a day trip to a nearby cave, a castle by lake Thun, a boat ride across Thun, and sightseeing in Thun. The trip mimicked the day trips we will take the guests on during the summer. Previously I had three days off starting last Wednesday. I biked with other staff members to Frutigen, a nearby town which took about 1.5 hours on the way there. Then we looked around the town and went grocery shopping, visited a church, and saw a lovely cemetry. I was the only one of my group to bike back to the chalet instead of taking a bus. The return trip took me about 3.5 hours becuase I got a bit lost and was biking/carrying the bike uphill. I was exhausted by the end but it was a great experience.
The next day I went on a hike to beautiful waterfalls with a Japanese fellow staff member. She is really sweet and I might go running with her in the morning. I tell her the Japanese I learned in JAPN101 which is very limited but she appreciated it. Also later that day I went running along a fitness course where their are pictures of different exercises you can do. I tried some of the exercises which was quite nice and I enjoyed running by a river. Then on Friday I went with a British spring volunteer to Niesen a.k.a. the Swiss Pyramid. We took a train to the village at the bottom of the train station/funicular. Then we hiked part of the way up and then took the funicular to the top. Niesen, the Swiss mountain, was great because the views at the top span 360 degrees and we could see the Jungfrau (mountain of the highest swiss railway) and the Eiger and other famous mountains. Sarah the girl I hiked with was very nice and she has helped with cooking the meals at the chalet. We discussed a lot of recipes and I will have to invite you to a traditional Swiss dinner when I come home. I love the food here. We normally have yogurt, muesli, and toast with cheese or jam for breakfast. Then lunch is sandwiches on bread baked in town and leaftovers from the previous night. Finally dinner is delicious and sometimes something Swiss. For example tonight we had Rosti (shredded potatoes, bacon, cheese), Ratatouille, and strattallela for dessert. I will also be helping to cook over the summer as well as cleaning and helping with program activities.
Tomorrow we have a training day in Interlaken and will visit waterfalls and a chocolate factory (I can't wait to eat more chocolate, you must tell me your favorite kind of chocolate so I can bring some back to you). Oh and everyone here is really nice. We are in a transition phase with 10 summer volunteers and 5 spring staffers who are leaving in a week. There are also about 5 or more senior staffers with specific roles who are paid such as the office manager, program assistant, world centre manager, etc.