Tuesday, September 04, 2007
From Switzerland: family, beauty, and unfortunately one parasite
This blog post comes from Wengen (near Interlaken)...a mountainside hamlet of chalets tucked into a craggy alpine valley, with nothing in view but snow-covered peaks, fir-green pines, blazing geranium porch-boxes . . . Truly stunning.
We successfully hooked up with the rest of the family in the airport as they arrived, and somehow managed to steer 13 of us (age range 4 to 75 years) and about 2 dozen suitcases, backpacks, coats, carry-ons through the punctual Swiss train system. Connecting to four different trains within four hours for the total journey without losing a kid or even a bag was a minor miracle. The last leg was on a tiny three-car train that carried us up to our village (at 4100 ft.), then a ten minute walk to our chalet. The cousins have been delighted to tumble and laugh and run and play together again, which is a relief to see when they’ve been apart for so long. The order of the day seems to be hikes, with every direction being nothing but spectacular post-card scenery, cowbells tinkling, and the mountain face changing as clouds pass over and the sunlight fades from white to yellow to pink.
The only drawback so far is that after almost 14 years I came down with my first case of malaria, in Switzerland of all places. Who would have thought. It was brewing en route and I pretty much collapsed as soon as we made it to our chalet. Thankfully we had a test and some treatment. I’m emerging, but the experience has given me new respect for the disease. I felt like a plug had been opened in my foot and my energy was completely drained out of my body, wearing a fleece and under four layers of down comforter and still chilling. Not something I want to repeat. I’m still getting daily injections (we used all the Artenam tablets on a colleague at our retreat in Jinja).
But as Luke likes to say, no matter the weather, our moods, disputes, even illness...we are in Switzerland with family. God is good.