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Julie Milne – Switzerland – Part 1

Julie Milne – Switzerland – Part 1
Julie Milne - Switzerland

Arrival date: June 20th

What a month it has been! I have lived in a house built in 1730, milked in a parlor for the first time, swam in the Rhein River, and been exposed by the question “Ah, Canadian! Parlez vous Francais?” a few to many times.

I have been in situations that would never have happened if I hadn’t ignored my mother when she said, “You have only been in junior farmers 1 year, it is unlikely you will get to be a delegate.”

So here is one of my favorite situations so far.

On July 18th I moved to my second host family, I was more nervous about this move than I was when I left Pearson Airport. I had felt like I had just gotten comfortable at Hagenbacher Hof, and now I had to go and start again with a new family. All I knew was their names and that they have 2 boys (10 and 12 years old). I think the last time I interacted with a 12 year old was when I was 14…. And there wasn’t a language barrier back then!

Evelin, my new host mother came to pick me up and we drove about an hour to her home in Canton Zurich where her and her husband Thomas run a horse stable, home to 36 horses.

Shortly after arriving her boys took me on a tour. The youngest has been taking English in school for 2 years and we have no trouble communicating!

They introduced me to their 4 kittens, 3 turtles, 1 dog and 3 goats. (10 days later and the turtles’ names still evade me). Then they asked if I wanted to go for a walk with the goats. I hesitantly agree, and they pull out leashes and collars for the goats!

We proceed to go on a walk around their home with a view of the alps at sunset! I didn’t think this walk could get any better. But they had another question for me.

“Do you want to sprint through the field with the goats?”

I didn’t know what to do with that. Are we allowed to do this? Am I the adult in this situation? Are they serious?

But as I have learnt, while on exchange the correct answer is always. “Yes”

I hope you all get to experience the joy of hurdling straw windrows with 2 laughing kids and 3 goats.

I left all my nervousness somewhere in that field.

Next time I will tell you about how I ended up drinking coffee out of a bowl with homemade schnapps in the alps. (spoiler alert: I don’t really know how I ended up in that situation, everyone was speaking Swiss-German. But I am glad I did).

All the Best,

Julie Milne

Follow me on Twitter: @J_Milbrae

PTBO County Junior farmers


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