What do you think of when you hear Switzerland? Cows, cheese, chocolate? Yes, it’s the fresh mountain air and the happy cows with their tinkling bells who graze on the sweet grass creating this atmosphere.

I was about ten years old the first time I visited Switzerland, the Berner Oberland, and I fell instantly and deeply in love. Later when I had the opportunity to study abroad for a year I was choosing between France where I could certainly improve upon my French or Switzerland where it would be very unlikely to be placed within a French speaking family. It would be most likely a Swiss German speaking family.

I chose Switzerland even though I spoke not a word of German. My host family (who turned out to be the best host family ever!) teased me for having a Heidi complex. I cannot deny it. I love Switzerland! So it’s extremely special to be able to introduce my son to family and friends from that year as well as the rest of the highly organized and esthetically and ecologically enlightened county. All the farm animals that he is constantly reading about he finally can meet just down the street from where we’re staying with friends on the hillside above Lake Geneva.

Here the region speaks French and alas my French is not so evolved. Instead Lake and I speak German together here. However his new words for today were Oof Da! and Au revoir!

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