Monthly Archive for September, 2008

Switzerland is beautiful

One of our reasons for spending some time in Switzerland was to have easy access to travel to many other countries in Europe. A few problems though:

  • my list of 100 places I want to see (outside of Switzerland) is hard to narrow down to just a few.
  • now that we have an apartment to pay for, we have little money to travel.
  • time – we are getting busy with everyday activities…
  • I have another list of 100 places I want to see in Switzerland alone!

But I am content just to hang out in Switzerland. I cannot get over how beautiful Switzerland is. I mean, I just go by bike around my house and I am blown away. On Friday, we headed out to Schinznach (your favourite, Simon!) to a thermalbad and ‘kurhotel’. Royalty used to come from far and wide to soak in the thermal water. We also went for a walk along the Aare River, seeing snow covered mountains and castles in the distance was so cool. Part of the coolness of it all is the way the Swiss look after their country, with beautiful gardens and fields and walking / biking tracks absolutely everywhere for all to use. And I love all the history too.

Thank you God for allowing us to experience this beautiful country.

Why is he black?

That is the question Toby asked me today, very loudly on the tram home from Aarau after seeing an African lady sitting at the tram station (Toby says everyone is a he!). It is the first time he has ever mentioned anything about race. I am kinda surprised since he was practically the only white kid in our church and street in NZ.  I am glad that he noticed though, out of his own accord. I found it hard to explain without feeling like I was making him racist. I casually told him that God made us all different but equal. Some of us are boys, some are girls, some are white skinned, some are brown, some are from NZ some are from Africa. Hmmm.

It is definitely noticeable, coming from NZ to Switzerland, the lack of foreigners, although, the Swiss would say there are heaps of foreigners here (and I don’t think they like them much either, although, it was suggested to me that perhaps they are scared of foreigners, being so country-proud / nationalists). But I am treading on dangerous ground…

Back to something a bit more lighthearted…. Toby just said something funny. When questioning ‘what is that?’ to my tummy (when I bent over, I had a bit of an overhang of skin, a result of a big dinner and two kids!). I replied that it was because I had two babies. Toby said ‘but mama, you only had one baby – Noah’. I then asked him “then where do you think you came from?’. He quickly answered, laughing, ‘I am too big to fit in your tummy’.

An apartment for us

We have signed the contract to move into our very own apartment on the 16 October. Very exciting. It is on the 7th storey in a largish apartment block in Aarau. Quite a small apartment but big enough for us and has a playground for the kids in the ‘back yard’. It is about a 2-minute walk to Aarau and to the Bahnhof as well but still close enough to all the rellies back in Oberentfelden. That will cut down Daniel’s travelling time to and from work by about 40 minutes a day. Also a pretty good view from up there. Now we just have to buy a whole heap of stuff. Watch out, here I come Ikea and the local Brocki.

You can check it out here:

A more bigger map

A trip to the doctor

I thought I would give the Swiss health system a try. Not that there is anything really wrong with me, just needed to sort out some stuff I started in NZ. I was very impressed by the service and quality of the health system. I made an appointment – easy. Arrived at the beautiful, new, fresh and clean office. Was escorted to a waiting room with coffee, tea, water and a selection of magazines available. Waited about 5 minutes until the doctor saw me. Expecting my appointment to be a maximum of 15 minutes (that is all the time allowed in NZ), i was surprised to have the doctor take her time to ask me lots of questions. And then, instead of having to go somewhere else to do a blood test or ultrasound, she did it right there and there. AND… got the results straight away. So great. About 45 minutes I walked out of there. Easy!

But then, you do pay a fair bit for health insurance here. I had health insurance in NZ but that doesn’t mean you get better service, it just costs a bit less. Not that I like comparing Switzerland with NZ but somehow I always end up down that track.

Speaking of health. I read an interesting article on the BBC NEWS website (got the link from Jessica’s blog). Switzerland are considered the second happiest country in the world. And it is very much linked with health levels. Switzerland has also the fifth highest life expectancy age. Maybe it is all because of a good health care system?! And their fitness and eating habits seems pretty good too! Check out how happy you are (should be!)

28_07_06_happiness_map

But whether we have good health or bad, are happy or sad, poor or rich, fat or thin, I am so thankful to know for sure that when God takes me off this earth, that I will be with Him, in heaven where there is no sadness or bad health. We are so sad to hear about Russell Killip from Covenant church in NZ passing away today from a brain tumour he was diagnosed with only three weeks ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Killip family.