So, about a month ago (has it already been a month?!?) Rotary took all the exchange students in Switzerland to a weekend in Zermatt, Switzerland. There are over 100 exchange students, and about 10 Rotex (Swiss young adults who volunteer to help, because they enjoyed their exchange so much) there, so we definitely filled up Zermatt.
After about four hours of travelling, we all met in Zermatt, and moved our luggage to the Youth Hostel. Here is a quick snapshot we took of the Matterhorn along the way:
After getting situated, Rotex brought us all down to "down-town" Zermatt. This is a picture of all the exchange students in Switzerland
Then, Rotex told us we were going to do a Zermatt-style Scavenger Hunt. Let me just say, that Scavenger Hunt might be one of the top highlights of my exchange.
We all split into groups of 5, and then had to do ridiculous tasks in Zermatt. We had to find a stranger who would boil us an egg, get a picture with a bride and groom, and trade a pencil for something bigger. Some of the exchange students ended up trading their pencil for a TV, while I saw some others who ended up with a pair of skiis in the end. I dont think I have laughed that hard in my life...immagine 100 teenagers running around a little mountain village, trying to get someone to boil them a hard egg.
My team did not win, probably because we got a little distracted along the way. Kelsey and I FOUND ROOTBEER. Yes folks, I am telling the truth--we found Root Beer in Switzerland! Being the Americans we are, 4 months deprived of our favorite carbonated drink was damaging to our souls. Needless to say, we were very happy.
After our scavenger hunt, we got to go to a museum about the history of the Matterhorn. It probably would have been a lot more interesting, if we all weren't starving to death, and knew we were eating fondue afterwards.
Ah, finally! Fondue! Rotex took us on a 25 minute walk to get to our Restaurant (to burn calories? or just to be mean?) so when we finally got there, we were all starving! That meal is also probably one of the highlights of my exchange.
The room was glowing with candlelight, and toasty warm. Everyone was laughing and talking, and it was so noisy and wonderful. As I have said before, I can not explain in words how much I adore the other exchange students. Not only do they understand what I am going though, but they are all also some of the funniest, and kindest people I have ever met.
And I dont even know what is happening in this picture...something about our water bottle looking like a Gin bottle.
Then, Rotary brought us to a Rave! Well, I wouldnt call it that. More of a alcohol-free, Rotary sponsored dance. But it was still fun. Only exchange students could make a dance with Katy Perry music a fun night. When we all finally got back to the hostel, we konked out.
|Rotary Disco--hard core music like "Barbie Girl"|
This is just the first gondola, but look how hight we were! After all my freaking out, and a quick Wikipedia check, I found out the Matterhorn is just a little taller than Mt. Raineer! I think it is so funny that Switzerland is famous for its mountains, and our little mountain is as tall as the Matterhorn.
Once on top, we go to go to some ice caves, which were so cool! No pun intended! They were filled of ice sculptures, and tunnels. It was so beautiful.
Then, once we were finally on top, we got to see the wonderful view, and think how lucky we all are to be here. Being all there together, when we are all from so many different countries, was just such a great feeling. Standing on top of the Matterhorn with all my friends, holding my flag, and singing our anthem made me feel the most patriotic I ever have. You never realize how much you truly love your country, until you have to be separated from it for a while.
I never was one to say this back home, but now I shout it with pride: "God Bless the USA! Land of the free, and home of the brave!"