There has been so much that has happened since I have been in Europe. I feel like a lot of different events occurred while in Arica, but it sure is fun to be in Europe. Definite honeymoon material!
We first arrived in Geneva where we had 4 hours to walk around the central part of the city right where the huge lake starts. This is a lake that starts from Geneva and goes almost to the other side of Switzerland. It is a HUGE lake. It was definitely a shock after coming from slightly developed Rwanda to fully developed Switzerland. I loved the difference in architecture once we reached Europe compared to any other place (says the girl who hasn't really been to any other developed country/continent outside of the USA).
We walked around the lake until we saw what looked to be the spire to an awesome looking cathedral. A group of us started heading that way, and while we walked we came across a court full of food trucks and fresh fruits and vegetables. The greatest part was when I heard this young women speaking spanish on her phone walking to a certain truck in particular. As I came up to the truck I felt like I was going to cry. There, right on the menu, was every Bolivian pastry I have ever loved! It had salteñas, empenadas, cuñape, tukamanas, and even had other foods that I wasn't so familiar with. It was the best day ever. Of course I bought a salteña from that food truck, and a friend joined me on it. It reminded me of the good old days. It was even more fun because I happened to be wearing my columbian jersey that day so many people saw me and started speaking in Spanish to me. Finally! A time where I can practice my Spanish.
Switzerland is so diverse. The languages they speak are French, German, and Italian. And in Geneva, there are so many immigrants that there are even more languages, but the main language is French. After walking around the catholic cathedral with my buddy Carly, enjoying our salteñas, we made a pit stop at a info tent by the lake where they had information for the kids and parents about their lake and how to keep it clean. They even had microscopes to see the little critters swimming in the lake. While we were looking through the microscopes this girl around our age started talking to us. When we told her where we were from, she mentioned how she had a friend working down in Hurricane, Utah working on restoring the state park roads. She also said how she met some mormon boys. That is when it hit her that maybe we were mormons. We had a great conversation with her about religion afterwards. Two return missionaries :) We had a great talk with her and because we had so much time left, we both very enjoyed it. I am now friends with her on facebook. Her name is Catherine. She might even come back to Utah. What a small world we live in!
While in Geneva, we saw the best rollerskaters I have ever seen! They were dancing not just skating. It was so fun to just sit there in the sun and watch them. Then this girl who was one of the rollerskaters came up to me and asked me where from Columbia I was. I then remembered it was from my shirt and I explained to her how I served a mission in Bolivia but was in Columbia for a while. The cool part is that she was from Columbia but living in Geneva. And all of this was happening in Spanish. I was so happy in Geneva.
We then drove all the way with our awesome bus driver from Czech Republic named David. We stopped to buy groceries in France, and that is where I realized that my card only works in a ATM, and I didn't have any euros to pay for the food I had ready to buy. Fortunately, one of my professors walked buy and paid for it. Don't worry...I payed him back.
We eventually arrived into the French Alps with only 15 mins left to spare before our driver, David, had to pull over and stop. He only has so many hours he can drive a day. We arrived before night fall and it was beautiful. Our chalet looked like a cabin and it even had a sauna, but we didn't have the key to turn it on :( It was just beautiful with a rushing river on one side and the luscious mountains on the other.