This past Christmas I went home to Switzerland. My family is originally Swiss. We flew from Springfield to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Z-rich. I could remember myself feeling excited on board Delta Flight sixty-seven. After about four hours I was starting to wonder when I would finally be there, the world felt so big. As I arrived in Z-rich I felt like I was home when I heard people talking German or French. While Coca-Cola Products were for sale and the McDonald’s had a very American menu. Technology has really made the world smaller as I can now write e-mail my cousins in Switzerland, New Zealand, and England any time I want to.
We met Mike who drove us to his house. Mike and his wife, Elsbeth, are friends of Jacob and Nelly Roth whose son Emanuel had came to visit us in 2000. Emanuel and his uncle Ernst at that time bought a farm an hour from us. Four years ago when Emanuel had gotten married to Leslie; Jacob, Nelly, Mike, and Elsbeth had come for the wedding. A year later, Mike and Elsbeth had gone to New Zealand. They visited the office of Marlies, where they saw my family’s Christmas card on the wall. After asking her if it was from the Buff’s in Missouri, Marlies told them it was and wondered how they knew my family.
We left Mike’s house after lunch and went to my Aunt’s house in Männedorf. The next day we saw my family in Zizers. In Zizers I had lunch with my dad’s family some whom I had never met before, including my dad’s cousin Ernest and his wife Nga. Nga, whom is originally Vietnamese and now lives in Switzerland. Nga related a story about her sister whom she met recently. Nga’s sister Swa was brought to an orphanage at a young age. Nga had never met her until Nga ran into another Asian in Switzerland, and they felt that they shared certain characteristics. Nga’s parents told her about her sister’s birthmark. Swa had the same birthmark as her parents described. She was her sister! Swa had fallen in love with a Swiss man near the orphanage. Later she had married him and they moved to Switzerland. It is really remarkable how two sisters who have never met each other can just run into each other in a foreign country after both being married to Swiss men.
Later that day we went into the mountains to where my Grandmother lives. I was finally home. Davos-Laret looked just like I pictured it. This was the first time I had been back in winter for 11½ years. The mountains were covered in more snow than during the summer and the field in front of the house was all white. The roofs were covered with snow. It was going to be one of the best Christmas Ever. After New Years Day it was time for me to say good bye to Switzerland.