Wednesday, July 11th
Another fabulous, yet crazy busy and exhausting day in Europe. haha! How awesome is that? To be able to say I'm in Europe...so crazy.
Anyhow, today started off with a very long and tiring walk to the breakfast hall (my feet have never hurt so badly in my entire life), where along the way I stopped to take a picture with a very sweet older man.
The very sweet and silent older man.
After breakfast, we divided into a bunch of smaller groups. One group of guys got ready to go to the US Open, a group of about 15 of us girls got in a group to go to a women's shelter, and the first group got ready for the boat tour of Geneva. The rest of us would have an opportunity to go on the boat tour after our volunteer work.
Those of us who were a part of the volunteer work at the women's shelter were put in the Sayer's group, which was a benefit due to their language fluency and connection to the lady who runs the shelter. The shelter we went to was called ASFAG, which stands for: Association Solidarite des Femmes Africaines.
Ok, so in English: African Women's Solidarity Association. It's a women's shelter for African women of all walks of life. Those who have come from abusive relationships are welcome there, and refugees are welcome there. The things that they do for women in horrible situations is really quite amazing and wonderful. Unfortunately, I really didn't get any pictures inside of the facility. The lady in charge (I have forgotten her name) asked us if we could help her out by cleaning the facilities from top to bottom. Apparently, the facilities really only get cleaned once a year and she can't do it by herself. We said, "Of course we will help!". She wouldn't let us begin work until we had some refreshments. She made us some homemade beignets, which are essentially really doughy donuts that are deep fried in vegetable oil, and she offered us an option of Hibiscus juice or Ginger juice. The beignets were absolutely delicious. I tried the hibiscus juice, but because it is a flower, it did have a bit of a grassy and weird aftertaste. Overall, I still enjoyed it.
|These are the Beignets|
|ASFAG group picture|
Oh-and I saw swans for the first time! No biggie!
After the tour, our group was finally able to eat lunch. We went to this Pizza-Kebab place that had the most delicious food ever. My New York buddy Sarah and I shared a Margarita Pizza, which was nom-nom for sure! After we ate, it was back to work for our group. We stopped in front of the United Nations to sing and hand out some more fliers. Little did we know, while we were working our bums off, the rest of the groups went souvenir shopping! We were so mad when we found out. Now that we were full and upset, it was time to meet the rest of the AYC team for dinner. Dinner was at a fancy restaurant, but I will admit that the food was not so "nom-nom", it was gross. After the yucky dinner, we took to the streets for what was dubbed "Pillar of Fire" by Bro. Tony Puckett. Basically, all seventy-something of us reunited and took to singing in one giant group and we walked throughout the streets. We ended up in front of a giant Catholic church that is now a museum, and we sang a concert as an organized group. People walked over to see what we were doing. Some were moved, some asked for prayer, some stopped to watch, and others just laughed and walked away. Overall, it was awesome.
After this impromptu concert, we headed to another location known as the "Parc de Bastions" which featured the Reformation Wall with statues of four influential Catholic influences in Switzerland. One of the statues was of John Calvin, and another was John Knox. We had another concert there. The funny part, is that as we began to sing there, a random guy in the audience stood up and started dancing to our voices. He was doing a mix of ballet and interpretative dance. I found him to be immensely entertaining.
|Reformation Wall in the Parc de Bastions|
When we got back to the hotel, I hung out with Melinda, Danita, Kayla, and Natalie in their room. I stayed until everyone except Melinda and I were asleep. Since everyone else was fading, Melinda and I decided to eat a whole box of her gourmet Swiss Chocolate.
It was divine.