Thursday, May 27, 2010


Here's an excerpt from my current blog.

Many days, I miss my little Olean. Mon petit poisson.

After I graduated, instead of going off to college, I went to Switzerland to become the nanny for this little girl and her brother, Alex.

Hours were spent together and I really did love that little girl.

I had to leave suddenly. I told her I would stay for a year. I told her we would celebrate her birthday together.

How do you explain visas and being illegal to a six year old? How could I explain to her that the reason I had to leave was because the government of Switzerland didn't want me there and if I stayed more than three months, there could be some serious consequences?

I wonder what she remembers of me? Does she think back far enough to afternoons in the grass, throwing a ball around. Does she remember skipping down the road together singing "Jingle Bells" in French or listening to "Bad Day" when she came home seeming a bit blue?

Does she understand how much it would hurt me to see her in pain, some days, when I couldn't make her feel better because of the language barrier? I would just want to make it all better but I couldn't. All I could ask was, "Ça va?" like a blimmin' idiot.

Does she remember races to the door? Chocolat chaud? Grilled cheese sandwhiches?

What I wouldn't give to go lay in the grass with her for an afternoon, hunting for rainbows or playing with bugs.

Friday, November 27, 2009

[thanksgiving adventures]

Flying was smooth.

I got up at 6:00 AM to leave the house by 6:30 for Geneva.

Left Geneva for Frankfurt.

Then Frankfurt to Vancouver - that flight was 10 hours long. My poor energetic body wanted to move.

Anyways, it was Vancouver that gave me grief.

Dear Canada,
I do not wish to get my checked baggage, drage it around the airport, and then check it in a second time.

No love for Canada from me,


Anyways, I had to wait some 30 minutes for my checked baggage to arrive so I could transfer flights. After getting it, I was ready to get on my final flight home. I knew I would be home in less than two hours.

That's when the lady informed me that it was too late for that flight.

I was frustrated, I had gone as fast as possible.

You also need to see that I was quite sleep deprived at that moment. I had been traveling for 15 hours or so by then and was ready for my turkey dinner. I was ready to see my family. It was Thanksgiving.

Well, here I am right now, when I should be eating that meal, or at least pumpkin pie. I should be. But, alas, I am in Vancouver on a laptop.

I just drank my Thanksgiving meal - Odwalla. That delicious, thick green goo. How I love it.
After the lady told me I would have to wait 3-4 hours, I felt very emotional. I was so ready to be home at that moment and not ready to just chill in an airport again when it wasn't my fault.

I took a lot of deep breaths, controlled breathing is my friend! I got it together and told her I was sorry I wasn't smiling. I thanked her for getting me a new boarding pass. I moved on through security.

The next step was checking in my baggage with the three guys who stood their ground. They were amusing and asked me where my parents were.

In fact, I got that question a lot. Where are my parents? My parents? Ummm.... not here.

They asked how old I was.
I said 19.
They said they had thought I was 15.]
I chuckled.

In security, they had to wipe down my laptop with a cloth on a stick. They then put the cloth in a machine. The only word I could read on the little screen was "explosive." I explained to the man that my laptop was very friendly and not my mothers. He then tightened the screws on one part that has been loose for the past month.

I am glad my laptop is not a bomb.

While waiting, I got to talk to my dad for around 52 minutes and I applied for three jobs - including one as the wait staff in the galley of a boat for 60 days. That would be cool if that one worked out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I think I'm getting good at this.

Good byes. I hate them, I really do. But I've had a lot of practice.

Just like I couldn't ride my bike well the first time I got on, I couldn't say good bye well my first time either.

These aren't the, "I'll see you later" good byes that I'm talking about. These are the "I don't know when exactly I'll see you again" good byes.

The ones that make you ache all over.
The ones that fill you with longing for just 24 more hours.
The ones that never really hit you till it's over.
Where you just can't believe that it's the end.

Anyways, I've had experience with them now. I think I'm getting a bit better, but I bet I just look like an unemotional, cold au pair.

Oleann. Alex. I honestly do love you guys. Maybe not like your parents, but I absolutely adore you both. I'm going to miss you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

[natation synchronisée]

I was swimming on my back when heard this strange voice speaking to me from under the water. It was calm and relaxing, like one of those voices on the therapeutic tapes.
"Raise your leg, and twirl, and under."
It was creepy and soothing.
Then the music started. I couldn't help but dance along with as I floated along on my back.
Last night, I discovered one of the most amazing experiences. Swimming at the same time as the synchronized swimmers. They are pretty fantastic kids, all spinning upside-down under the water together.
Me? I just learned to swim this summer with Monica and Caitie. I am glad that as an 18 year old, I can now sort of kind of swim. I like being in the water.
I couldn't help but laugh and singing along when the song Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head started playing. That has been one of my favourite songs, if not the favourite of songs, since I was 11 or so, I think. I was floating along. Laughing. Dancing. Swimming.
The music was so much clearer and better under the water. It felt surreal.
I like swimming at the same time as the synchro people... I just have to be sure I get in the showers before they do.

Monday, November 23, 2009


So the last post was a review on emtions on leaving Switzerland.

Now, how about coming home?

This will be my first time in Kenmore in which I will not be attending public school. Last time I came back, I came back to the exact same life as I had had before. I went back to high school and tried to learn to slip back into the rhythms that had been laid out before me.

Anyways. Another question I get a lot is, "Margaret, what are you going to do when you get back?" I do get that question, although no one here calls me Margaret. No one in this entire tiny country calls me by my real name.

What am I going to do? I don't really know. I have a list of plans. A list of potentials.
And now it's a new day, I never finished this blog and might not ever. Probably not. I'm jumping on that airplane in just 8 hours or so. Pretty crazy, that's what I think it is.
Can't wait to see everyone, if anyone is left. December shall be my experimenting month, see what I like in life. Do I want to work, study, study, or work, or volunteer?
See you soon Seattle.
I hear a turkey calling my name.


People have been asking me about how I feel about leaving and how I feel about leaving Switzerland a second time.

For those of you who didn't know me around July 2008, when I had come back from Switzerland, I was quite the messed up child. Coming back from Switzerland the first time was very difficult for me. I started having panic attacks and it would get so bad that sometimes I would have to go to the nurse during school. Anyways, that was then.

This time in coming home I am a lot more emotionally prepared than last time. Last time when I came back, I didn't do much to equip myself for coming back. I also was a lot more rooted into that Swiss life. My entire life, every aspect of it, had been rooted into the Swiss soil, every area. Leaving was like being uprooted.

In this blog I want to address leaving Switzerland, entering America will come in another blog.

First, I want to emphasize how much I loved it here. The family I lived with, the Coddron family, was fantastic. They were welcoming and accomidating. They treated me with respect and I have no complains. They gave me privacy, space, and told me exactly what they expected from me.

Working, or playing, with Oleann brought me so much joy. She is such a loving and giving child. She would always be giving me surprises or floweres she picked on the way home. We would skip down the street together, hand in hand, singing whatever song we could, even if it was Jingle Bells. We developed a lot of jokes together that I knew could make her smile from, "Bing bang," to our secret handshake, to porcupines, to Maggie's Boulangerie, to Puissance 4, to hot chocolate. She knew what I expected of her and in turn, I tried to make our times together enjoyable.

Alex was also awesome, although I did not spend as much time with him. He was always up for playing, always. I hope that part of him never leaves him. He also had one keen sense of humour and I wish I could have understood more.

Sometimes, I wish I had just two more months in Switzerland. I spend my weekends traveling the country and my weekdays taking care of Oleann, going to French course, playing badminton, going to youth group, and wandering when life calls for it.

I am going to miss the peace I have here. I have no worries in my life when I'm over here. I know what to expect each day and life is very routine. I have mornings to myself where I can wake up slowly and try and accomplish things.... or watch a movie.

I have to do just a hour or two of college work each day which keeps my brain moving and firm and toned.

A lovely hike is just outside my door. Nature is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Life here is simplicity. I don't even have to worry about finances. Room and board is taken care of and almost everything I invest in is optional. I have a job, but it is so doable and enjoyable.

So yes, I am sad to leave. I am going to miss it here.

But I am glad I came here. See, coming here gave me the closure I didn't get last time. In coming back, I am able to see what my old life was, live it a bit, and finally move on. You hear that? I can move on. I hope that this will release me more in America and give me more peace. Before my mind was stuck in Switzerland and I couldn't really get past the fact that I had left it.

Anyways, I can now leave Switzerland in peace.
The only thing I have to brace myself for is a stress filled, corrupted, money tight, overcrowded country.

Welcome to America!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

[avant et en arrière]

Things I Will Miss
  • My fantastic host family
  • Daily walks with Oleann to and from school
  • French class
  • Chillin' in the German part
  • Lovely au pairs
  • My huge bedroom
  • Beautiful train rides
  • Shopping in France
  • Rhubarb yogurt and beets
  • Living above the clouds
  • Badminton and swimming
  • Legal alcohol consumption
  • Abundance of cheese
  • Those exchange student people
  • Wandering and hiking

Things to Look Forward To
  • Seeing my family again
  • Seeing friends again
  • Making music
  • Going back to church
  • Square dancing
  • The 522
  • Clogging
  • The Burke Gillman and Gas Works
  • Curling, if it is possible
  • Baking and cooking for the Christmas season
  • Lovely walks
  • Seattle
  • Ethnic foods
  • King County Library System
  • Volunteering
  • Cheap prices on many a things
  • All sorts of new opportunities and adventures