Tonight my heart is a little bit sad. I am concluding a week of good-bye festivities. Not for me (don’t worry; you’re stuck hearing about my antics for quite a while longer), but for several dear friends. A few short term assignments (and one long one) are coming to an end, and with that means it’s time to leave Switzerland to go back home. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve met and said “good-bye” to A LOT of people in my first 10 months here. It’s the nature of this place. So many expats on all different types of assignments – some a quick 3 months…others 3 years or more. This group is probably my hardest good-bye yet, because they’ve been here for the past eight months – nearly the entire time I’ve been here.
The situation here is unique in that some colleagues quickly become good friends, and with several of these people, I really saw them as my Swiss family. We traveled together, enjoyed numerous meals together, celebrated birthdays, tried new things, and shared a life experience that we’ll never forget. Yes, there are still wonderful friends here, but with each departure, I find myself wondering, “who will come next to backfill these amazing people?” Of course, everyone knows that once you’ve entered my circle, it’s hard to escape, so it truly is “see you later,” not “good-bye.”
On Sunday night, the (mostly) North American crew said “see you later” over dinner to those who are departing soon.
On Tuesday, two friends popped into my office with a bag full of goodies to say, “Thanks for being our friend for the past eight months.” There were so many great things, but a few of my favorites are featured below. Some patriotic serving dishes to make sure I’m even more prepared for the 4th of July next year! They also found a cookbook in French full of American recipes! Now I can practice my French AND figure out how to make some of my favorites when there are missing ingredients! So much fun!
On Tuesday night, a few of us were supposed to get together to have a final good-bye hangout on the Vevey “beach,” but (of course!) it rained. So, our Canadian friend rose to the occasion and surprised us with some delicious matzo ball soup at her apartment! It was among my favorite night with these friends. We laughed and laughed at some outrageous stories and reminisced about some of our favorite memories together over the past eight months.
[Who doesn’t love Alphabet soup with their matzo balls?!]
[We got to watch a GORGEOUS sunset while we were eating!]
“Someone” went all out when he offered to bring dessert. Here, he is telling us about it…
Imagine our surprise when TWO cakes came out of these boxes! They were delicious.
Partway through the meal someone reminded me that this was the same group that traveled to Amsterdam back in March. I love that we had one final family dinner together…just the five of us.
And finally tonight, we had a happy hour for one of the girls who will go back to a different office in Lausanne. I will be sad to not see her in the office on a regular basis any more. She is a doll!
This was also the last night that I will see a few of my favorites before they fly home over the weekend.
As happens with every one of my moves, my circle expands. In this case, these friends live all over the world. And you know what that means…more new places to visit! Until the next rendezvous, I hope they know that they’ve been an important part of my first year here. I will cherish the memories we’ve made together and the laughs we’ve shared. Looking forward to making more memories together…wherever an whenever that might be!