I don’t know what day/night day/time it is anymore – I slept for about half of my flight next to a guy from Tibet who was going home for the first time in a year and a half. I felt we bonded over the fact that he hasn't seen his family in a while and I won't be seeing mine for a while. I think I also may have tried to spoon him a couple times too. I can’t afford the internet in this super clean and sleek airport as it is 10 EURO an hour. My breakfast sandwich and coffee has already cost me half of my new salary. That being said my tiny and delicious coffee came with a free cookie. WHAT? SOMETHING FOR FREE? YES PLEASE.
Then I got to Geneva and tried to exist in the future on zero sleep... and I wrote this on the train to Zurich...
My travel to Europe took me just under twenty four hours I think… I left Edmonton early in the morning taking a flight to Toronto on WestJet. After a minor freak out, caused by a certain cousin who was also travelling on WestJet that day and updating his facebook status to anti-travel warnings, everything turned out ok. I arrived in Toronto in one of the three terminals. FYI Toronto has three terminals and if you don't have connecting flights you are pretty much hooped. I arrived in the one for local flights and had to get to the one for international flights (the third is for what I can only assume is for wizards -apperating, and floo networks). Thankfully, someone I knew met me there and dragged me and my 140 pounds of baggage to the next terminal (via clown car). Four hours later I left for Geneva via Brussels. The flight was great – there were a full selection of Bollywood movies and soothing Indian announcements and advertisements. Because our pilot was such a rockstar we arrived an hour early and I had three hours to kill in Brussels (see above). I finally got to Geneva on a sketchy and very LOUD plane. I saw the mountains as we landed and it was tres pretty.
The BVS European Coordinator, Kristin, picked me up at the airport and we stopped in at her apartment to drop off my stuff. I was allowed to change and shower but after that it was volunteer boot camp. We wandered the old part of the city and visited a very beautiful church that holds Calvin’s Chair. We walked around the lake, saw an Ikea Billy ad being filmed, went to the park where people play chess and looked at the giant creepy statues of the people Calvin was friends with. Around dinner time we headed back to her apartment ate some food and I was finally allowed to go to bed.
-Check it out... Old church!
Day two in Geneva was spent at the office where Kristin works. The BVS office is in the same building as the World Council of Churches and the Council of European Churches. For a church nerd such as myself this is a pretty big deal. I got to meet various people and interns working for both organizations as well as with the WSCF. I was introduced to a Canadian and it only took two minutes to find two people we both knew (For my American readership (BVSers): She was also a UCC geek this is not true of all Canadians).
That night we went for fondue with two interns in a cute little resteraunt near the office. This was probably the number one thing I would recommend you do in Geneva on your way to visit me. Fresh, white bread, giant pot of cheese, white wine... Need I say more?
I finally got to go to bed around 10 pm that night and slept until about 3 am… I woke up starving and WIDE AWAKE so I hung out all alone for about four hours until I was tired enough to fall asleep again.
My last day in Geneva was spent back at the office building – I got to meet with a WCC intern (yes a real live WCC intern!!! This of course is only interesting for church nerds who have seen these internship applications). I ate a huge pizza at the train station and then I was off to Budapest...