philsquest

the adventure I find myself in / das Abenteuer in dem ich mich finde

Month: July 2008

A journey to the past

This last week has been an emotional roller coaster. I don’t mean this negative, even though there are some sad memories attached to my journey. It is just very exhausting to be confronted with my past nearly thirty years.

To travel to Switzerland every two years is always very emotionally draining to me. Even though we have a great time here we first go into culture shock, then into being confronted with an old life that we left behind, even though it seems to still be here. Then usually the sadness sets in. A feeling of loss. Then I start to evaluate my life. I ask myself if it is time to come back and settle into a "normal" swiss life where nothing seems to change. After all this we leave for Asia for another two years.

Last week was special. I was at my brothers Birthday party and we watched pictures from the time I was in my teens. It was all about the YMCA boyscout where I became a Christian and which was my community or church till I was twenty. We had a good laugh and I felt connected again to many people I haven’t seen for a long time. I dived into nostalgia for a moment.

The day before we went to go through our "stuff" we stored when we left over nine years ago. We threw away alot to make space. We reduced our "stuff" to 50 %. I couldn’t believe the things we kept. This was before we had a computer and so we stored a vast amount of papers. At the end I held a big box with all the exam papers and study books from my theology studies in my hands and said: "this is ten years of my life". I got rid of this as well. It felt good to clean up. In the evening we were emotionally exhausted. I felt alot of sadness. It was another big chapter of my life that passed through my hands.

On Sunday I went to the Vineyard church. After being away for more then nine years away from Berne I realized that I moved on and changed. I am a visitor in a church where I invested ten years of my life and where I learned alot of things that helped me on my way and at the same time brought alot of pain to my life (perhaps I will write about this another time). It is always very precious to meet people I haven’t seen for a long time. After the service we sat around for two hours chatting. It was very nice. Relationships are a very precious thing.

So to recover from the emotional ups and downs I will go down to the river Aare reviving my soul by jogging my heart out while listening to the lamenting music of "the black Peppercorns".

Two weeks in Switzerland

This morning I went down to the river Aare jogging four kilometers. In Chiang Mai I would have collapsed of the heat. It is sooo beautiful here. The air is clean and dry. The river, the trees. I think we Swiss sometimes forget the blessing we have here living in the most stable, rich and beautiful country of the world. There are countless possibilities and opportunities here.

I sometimes find myself thinking about coming back and leave Thailand behind. Many people also ask us how long we are going to stay in Asia, most difficult to answer. Our place is still there though, but every two years we come back to visit there is a tension of being in two cultures and countries. The most difficult I guess is relationships. Living oversees is a coming and going of people, making friends and loosing them again (at least geographically) It is draining.

This year here is more relaxing and we are taking alot more time as a family. Tomorrow we will spend the whole day in the museum for transportation in Luzern.

Still Raining

Monday morning in Switzerland and the rain hasn’t stopped. It is kind of cold even though I got quite used to the cold here. We are talking about 17 degrees here 🙂
We had our last meeting where we shared about the lahu work in Brienz on Saturday evening. It was a great week. We met many old and new friends and interesting people. I am glad that we have now time to relax though. Our "official" work is done. The rest of our time here we will spend letting our kids experience Switzerland. We will meat alot more people in the next four weeks. It is the only chance where we can see people every two years and there are many relationships I would like to refresh. My only stress is not to be able to do that.

a Saturday with rain

Today is a rainy day in Switzerland. On our schedule we have a stop in Interlaken to meet my mother and then in Brienz in the evening for our last presentation.
The meeting Yesterday evening went well and we met alot of nice people who were very interested in the work we do.

I think my soul finally has arrived. I feel alot more comfortable. Still it is a strange thing to live in two worlds. Our lives are quite different from the Swiss live. But it is difficult to explain. We learned over the years that it is more important to understand then to be understood. Understanding seems to have to do with experience or also with maturity that comes with experience. The thing is that the soul wants to be understood and craves for it. To let that desire go and to put that need on the bench for a while helps to speed up the process of integration. Still I believe that people who lived oversees for a long time lost some of their identity back in the other culture and will hardly be the same. I know I ramble on here and I don’t know if it makes any sense. Thanks for bearing with me.

A sunny day in Emmental

Yesterday afternoon we spent time with friends in the "deep" Emmental where the famous cheese with holes comes comes from. In a small village called Affoltern there is a "Käserei" (cheesmaker) where they show you how to make the cheese.

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In the evening we had our fourth presentation of our work in Thailand. It went well. It is very nice to see that there is so much interest about the ministry with the Lahu. Two more evenings where we share what we do with people here in Switzerland.
Time will pass quick. Specially when I think of all the people I would like to meet. Well I have to live with the thought of having to meet some people in two years from now.

Touch down

We touched down in Zurich and finished the last leg of our journey to Bern. It is 14 degrees Celsius here and it feels like being in a under cooled office. I guess Switzerland is such a rich country that it can cool the whole country and not just a building. At least that is what I say to the Thai people.

I had a nap and a shower and feel ready to go and do stuff… kind of like having a energy induced flash. Honestly after drinking all this coffee and having my first few "Schoggistängeli" (swiss praline chocolate in form of a stick)

On another note. I was informed that Roger Federer lost against Nadal at Wimbledon. I know he won so many times and some people don’t really care, but Switzerland has not to many heroes and I think in sports Federer is one of them.

At Singapore Airport

We finished the first leg of our journey to Switzerland. We arrived in Singapore. Federer is placing Nadal at Wimbledon and we saw our first huge display of Swiss chocolate. There was even chocolate fondue for the microwave. All this Swiss culture/inheritance even before touching down in Zurich.

Schweiz hier wir kommen!!!!!!!!!

Bye, bye Thailand

Soon we will be on our way. Last Post on Thai soil for a while. Switzerland here we come. I really look foreward to breath swiss air and cullture, eat lot’s of chocolate and cheese.

….have to go back to packing….

Going to Switzerland

Like every two years the whole family will travel to Switzerland. We will be gone for five weeks. Mainly to reconnect to our home country. My children need this even more than I. But to be honest I miss my family and my friends. I also need a doses of western culture again. I am very tired and kind of overworked. Overworked is maybe the wrong term. Perhaps more like an overdose of the cross-cultural setting. We will fly Sunday evening over Singapore and I really look foreword to it. If there <wouldn’t be all those things to be done before we leave.

I haven’t written for a while because I was so busy in the office and at home. There was also an outreach team with the villages in the mountains. I was busy here with Visa preparations, re-entry permits, finishing a video for the presentations, managing a project crisis in the mountains and saying goodbye to many friends  leaving Chiang Mai. Again I feel like my soul is dragging behind like a camel.

I was checking my stat-counter and saw that over 80% of the people reading this blog are from Switzerland. Plus 2% from Germany. Now I am thinking of changing from writing in English to German. But I am not sure yet. I guess I could increase the amount of people reading the blog. Still I would have to write more often.

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