London Montage

On the first weekend of May, I traveled to London with three friends from the program and stayed in a youth hostel for three nights. We did so much during our visit, and by the end of the trip, we were so exhausted!

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(King’s Cross Station, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Borough’s Market, Harry Potter Studio Tour, HMS Belfast, London Bridge, Tower of London, The Globe Theatre, M&M World, Brass Rubbing, The Eye, Heide Park)

My New Swiss Obsession

There is a television program called “Un Air De Famille” (A Family Resemblance) that comes on every Saturday evening. It’s more or less similar to American Idol/The Voice/any competitive show that involves singing. Oh but the twist is interesting. Instead of one singer or an organized group, family members get together to perform on stage (in Geneva)! The family who receives the most votes wins…well…I’m still trying to figure out what the grand prize is.

Notes on Yvoire

23 April 2013

SIT organized an excursion to Yvoire, France: an old medieval city situated in Haute-Savoie department, in the region of Rhône-Alpes in south-eastern France.  It’s only a 20-minute boat ride across Lac Leman, so we gathered at the dock around 14:00 and boarded!Image

This medieval village, which celebrated its 700 years in 2006, must be visited by foot!

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Yvoire is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of France and is well known for its medieval buildings and beautiful flower decorations!

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Upon disembarking, we noticed that Yvoire is actually very small, so we covered the entire village in less than a few hours!Image

My friends and I really enjoyed the scenery – everything was so calm and peaceful.

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After an afternoon of walking, my friends and I plopped down at this spot to nibble on deliciously overpriced gelato — that nutella scoop was worth it.

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We left Yvoire around 17:00, and I waved my little Swiss flag the whole way!

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Meeting the President

A few weeks ago, my friends and I went to Nyon to observe “Les Sept Sages.” The 7 ministers of Switzerland’s Conseil Federal (including the President of the Confederation, Ueli Maurer) visited Nyon. They were welcomed with an aperitif and music at noon at the Place du Chateau, and then held an open dialog with Nyonnais in a town meeting format.  There was security in the area, but the event was open to the public. My friends and I were expecting to watch the parade and listen to the president’s speech. Little did we know we would do so much more than that!

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We arrived before the rest of the crowd. As you can see, the area surrounding the Nyon Chateau was empty, but not for long!

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There were event volunteers handing out Swiss flags, and my friend Ojaswi (left) and Deanna (center) were very eager to take one home (^_^)

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As more people started to gather around the castle, a band started playing cheerful, patriotic music to set the tone.

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When the president was announced and started speaking, we were very much surprised to find ourselves at the very front of the crowd! His speech was all in French, so I didn’t understand everything (-__-)

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After the speech, I was expecting the president to leave right away with a team of bodyguards, but instead he stepped down and started approaching people who attracted his attention. My friends and I thought this was a great opportunity to talk to him, and he is seen here talking to Deanna.

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After had a brief conversation with the president, we posed for a photo!

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Which then made the front page!

Cooking Class

Just a few weeks ago, SIT organized a cooking class for all of the students in the program. Since we are living in the French part of Switzerland, we learned how to prepare a French three-course meal! Image

The chef who guided us, was quite the expert. Here she is with one of my friends from the program, showing us how to cook the duck.

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The first dish was asparagus flan and crisp prosciutto with bread. The salty prosciutto really complemented the more subtle and creamy asparagus flan. Also, this was surprisingly easy to make!

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The plat principal – or main dish – was duck with spring vegetables and potatoes salted with sea salt. In French, potatoes are called “pommes de terre,” which means “apples of the earth/ground!

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Dessert was my absolute favorite part of the meal: fruit millefeuille! This was slightly difficult to make because the presentation was very precise. Needless to say, the time it took to prepare this treat was infinitely longer than the time it took to devour it!

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Thus concludes our French cooking experience! I’m not sure if I can recreate everything that we had that day without the rest of the team, but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to try someday (^_^)