Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Alicia Update #4

Hi Everyone,
Yesterday was a very exciting day of program training. All of the spring volunteers plus our program director from Slovenia and assistant program director from the UK who graduated from Cambridge went to the Adventure Park in Adelboden to learn how to assist with the high rope activities with guests. We learned how to zipline across a river under a bridge many times back and forth at varying heights. Then our group went on a high ropes course. On this course we were attached to a cable over the river and walked over moving logs, trapezes, and went swinging like Tarzan. {the mountain guide leading the course told us to make Tarzan noises} Next we went abseiling off a bridge and then the most exciting part of the day occurred. It is called the Pendulum Swing. Basically I was attached to a full body harness with two ropes on the end. Basically I jumped off a ledge on a bridge into the river below and had a few seconds of free fall [very terrifying] before the rope caught me and then I swung like a pendulum back and forth. Although I was very nervous I looked calm and everyone around me commented on how calm I looked. It was an unforgettable experience. Usually scouts have to pay 20 francs extra for this swing. Then we had lunch by the river which for me was a tuna sandwich with cheese and a cucumber and cheese sandwich with an apple. For the afternoon we went outdoor rock climbing and practiced belaying. I have quite improved my climbing technique and skill since I learned that climbing centers on your feet and not your arms. I climbed the most out of our group and made it up 4 routes.

Today was another program day and we first hiked to a gorge and did abseiling/repelling in the morning. Then we had lunch by the river and got to explore the water and the large stones surrounding it. After that we went to the wood carvers where you can buy everything hand crafted from wooden cows to wooden bottle openers. Scouts can buy woggles and other souvenirs with their name put on it. A family has run this wood carving business for generations and was very engaging and loved telling us about their work. The mother treated us to orange juice, mineral water that is bottled and comes from Adelboden (apparently Adelboden is known for their spring water), and cookies. Then we visited a cafe where we will take scouts. The program assistant treated us to lemon cake there which was delicious. Today was also a great day because a could understand most of the German being spoken in the wood carvers. I am hoping to practice and learn more German while I am here. After eating the cake we hiked back to the chalet for dinner.

Finally tomorrow we get to move into the staff house called Stockli. We couldn't move in there earlier because the spring volunteers were still here. They left on Monday and I was sad to see them go because they were really engaging. Also I spent one day off with one of the spring vollies from the U.K. and I could tell we would be great hiking partners. Well the exciting news is that I have finally found out who my roommate is....It is Emi from Tokyo, Japan. Emi and I went hiking together on a day off and we get along well. Well tomorrow is a day off and I get to move into Stockli and then Friday is a staff training hike on Bunderspitz. Then I have the weekend both Saturday and Sunday off.
love, alicia

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