The week of good-byes comes to a close with the departure of my oldest friend in Switzerland. He was present for the meatloaf dinner my very first Saturday in Vevey. (Every other person I met that night has moved back to the US already.)
The next day, he met me after church in Lausanne to take me on a walking tour – showing me everything from the cathedral down to the lake. Such a warm welcome!
Since that weekend, he’s been a constant in my world. He was present at nearly every event in Vevey and always up for an adventure! He helped ensure we were including all of the Americans in our plans, and he was a master at coordinating good-bye festivities for those that moved away before us. His laid back nature was refreshing to me when I was too wound up. I find myself repeating his signature statement, “It will all be ça va” any time I’m feeling overwhelmed.
In Switzerland, there were brinners, brunches, large group dinners, lunches, masquerades, and activities like paragliding and pumpkin carving. We went to movies (my first, and of course, Hunger Games) and watched football and Christmas parades. We celebrated so many birthdays – with birthday peels, hula hoops, surprises, burgers, and costumes. We said good-bye to friends (SO many times), welcomed babies, and attended weddings. We celebrated virtually every holiday – Fourth of July (both years), Halloween, Friendsgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Swiss National Day. He went with me two years in a row to rent skis for the season. We only skied twice both seasons, and every time was an adventure. Be it the first time, the shared lesson, or the cow boots! His departure confirms that I will not be attempting to ski again this winter. Instead, I’ll probably focus on sledding or snow shoeing – two other winter activities we did together. We also had some hiking adventures – hiking through mud and through beautiful scenery.
I will miss him, but I’m already looking forward to New Years 2017!