Tuesday, April 10, 2012
For the long Easter weekend I decided to hop on a train and go visit a high school friend of mind, Elliot, where he lives in Chamonix-Mont Blanc, France. Despite the fact that my wallet and camera were both stolen in a salsa bar, I had a really great time in Cham (as the locals call it). We walked around downtown, hiked a bit and on Sunday night a group of us pitched a tent at the foot of Mont Blanc, built a fire and camped out for the night. When we crawled out of our tent in the morning, there were tons of rock climbers around us, curiously watching us. Apparently we had perched ourselves right at the base of a local rock climbing hot spot.
For sure it was an eventful weekend, and nice to get away and see a new part of Europe. This was the second time Ive gone to France. In 2009 I stayed in Aix-En Provence after studying abroad in Granada, Spain. See my posts from my previous trip here!)
Amanda arrived yesterday! She'll be recovering from her jet lag while I scoot off to work today. Its a cozy rainy day here in Gais. I hope everyone is safe and well!
First off, Happy Passover. I celebrated on Friday night in St. Gallen at a synagogue downtown. The seder was led by Rabbi Noam. I had met some of the members of this wonderful community at a Purim service a few weeks back and was lucky to have been invited again to join them for Passover. This year, although I was not with my family, I am so happy to have been welcomed into this Jewish community in Switzerland and to so lucky to have shared a similar feeling of connectedness with a new group of people. I sat at the rabbi's table with his wife and a couple of others that I knew. The seder was led completely in Swiss-German and I loved being a part of it. Even though I could not understand all of the words, I knew what he was talking about because of how emphasized things and engaged everyone with discussion, laughter and song. When a little girl, Olivia, was asked to sing the four questions, I suddenly felt myself being swept from my seat and transported back to home, where every year growing up..and even to this day, I would sing the four questions at our seder. It was a special evening with new conversation and good food. And even though my family was not by my side..I felt very much a part of something new and good.