Sunday, June 14, 2009

Alicia Update #6

So we started summer on Monday with a bbq and onsite orienteering, games, campfire, etc। day. I was on guest services for the day and helped with cooking and the shop. Our bbq included long bratwursts, french bread rolls, apples, toppings, and mini toblerone bars (fun fact: the toblerone bar is shaped like the matterhorn). I helped prepare the bbq and then helped with cleanup. During the afternoon I unpacked goods for the shop and counted them and then put them away. It was quite a boring job but not too stressful.

Basically my final task on Monday was dinner dishes clean up. Then on Tuesday I was on guest services again and helped in the kitchen but nothing too exciting happened that I can remember. Wednesday was my day off and I went hiking to Furggi which was quite beautiful but somehow I lost the path and was climbing up the mountain through grassy fields. I found the path again and then headed across Gsur on an alpineweg. An alpineweg is the most challenging hiking route and is only for experienced hikers. Gsur has quite exposed rock faces and a lot of loose gravel. However the most difficult part of this hike was not the rock but the snow that still hadn't melted. I crossed the snowy paths on all fours trying to keep my boots gripping the snow and using my hands for stability. It was a bit scary and I realized that it is not a good idea to cross alpinewegs in May or June when the snow is still present. I enjoyed when I finally reached Schwandfeldspitz, the top of Tschenten Alp, and ate a late lunch.

Thursday was my next day off so I decided to go hiking again but for a longer time. My hike lasted about 6-7 hours and I ran a bit of the end home to make it in time for dinner. First I began hiking toward Chuenisbargli the home of the world cup ski run. I basically hiked up the ski run and at the top I could see the box from which the skiers start. It was very neat. Next I continued on to Hahnenmoos and hiked along the top of a narrow ridge from which I could see both sides of the valley below. It was beautiful and there were great flowers to view. I finally made it to Hahnenmoos around 3:30 pm and saw middle aged men flying remote controlled airplanes in the sky. This was an interesting sight to see, and I went inside a building and witnessed the same men fixing and assembling other toy airplanes. Then on my hike back to the chalet, I think I passed a gondola that we visited on our Christmas vacation in the Sillerenbuhl. Thursday was a great hike and I was not as stressed as on Wednesday.

Friday I continued on guest services and I gave a tour in the afternoon to three people from Arizona. They were just day visitors and staying in a hotel in Kandersteg. It was a middle aged woman and her two parents. The woman had come to the chalet about 20 years ago with a friend during the winter but the chalet was closed at that time for two weeks so she could not see any of the buildings. She was so excited to finally see the chalet and asked lots of questions. The tour ended up lasting about 1.5 hours. Then I helped prepare Friday's dinner of meatloaf, veggies, and stracitella (sp. it is a vanilla pudding/ice cream like with chocolate chips mixed in and we served it with frozen berries). I was in charge of mixing the meatloaf together.

Friday marked the first of several days that our head cook Veronica is away in Scotland attending the wedding of a relative. In her place is Emily a summer volunteer from Pennsylvania whose family is Italian. Although I am not keen to eat meatloaf, Emily made the meatloaf delicious with the spices and other ingredients she added.

Saturday again I was on guest services and the highlights of my day were cleaning the main chalet, creating a box for scouts to put surveys about their stay at the center, organizing Tupperware containers (a bit like finding the mates to socks, we basically took all of the Tupperware out of the shelves and tried to match them with their mates), and making the dessert for dinner (strawberry yogurt with two pineapples on top drizzled in chocolate sauce).

Today I am on guest services and since I did not have to help with breakfast and packed lunches, I could be ready at 9:30 am instead of 7:30 am. The people on guest services rotate with the breakfast duty so some days you can sleep in more and other days you have to get up early. It is nice to have a chance to sleep in once in a while. Then this morning I helped find linen, sheets, and towels to prepare Squirrel house for guests who are coming tomorrow. Currently we have about 15 guests but soon during our mini break between a new program session (lasts 10 days and is a package which scouts book and similiar to the idea of a week long summer camp) we will have 75 guests. It will be crazy in the kitchen those days.

Now I am on a three hour lunch break which is great. I cleaned my room and did laundry and now might do some reading... Well keep me updated on your summers...


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