On Sunday, I was the soon-departing and thus honored guest at a "So Long, Switzerland" party at Diana's house. I've had more than my fair share of parties thrown for me while living here, and I'm honestly surprised and flattered that people keep showing up for them! I would have boycotted a long time ago if I were anyone else. On the up side for everyone, these events invariably include really good cakes.
Diana asked me a few weeks ago if there was anything from this area that I still wanted to buy before leaving, or that I wished I had been able to get. I already have some stuff--a fondue pot painted with pictues from the story Schellen-Ursli, books and cds in Swiss German, prints from an artist in the Alsace. But I have always really liked the black on white Scherenschnitte (here's an example), which are maticulously cut out by hand, and I said I regretted that I wouldn't be able to take one of those home. She shared that little bit of information with about 25 of my friends, and they gave me TWO on Sunday as a collective going away gift! two! I am really delighted with them.
Monday night I went indoor rock climbing for the first time ever with Raphael, Valda, Elaine, and other friends. I am still trying to find something I'm better at than Raph, but I was smart enough to concede ahead of time that it wasn't going to be rock climbing and he could just consider this a freebie. I wouldn't try to beat him. Well, he was disgustingingly good at it, naturally, though I am pleased to report he fell off a wall and I didn't. He fell off the same wall last night when we went again, and, once again, I sucessfully made it to the top of all my climbs. We just won't talk about the fact that his routes are a full grade more difficult, include some overhangs, and I tend to cheat by using holds that aren't actually on my color route. Yup. But now that I am feeling comfortable with the whole idea of scaling 30 foot walls, next time I'll try to be a bit more serious about sticking to a route and grade that's right for me without using the other holds that happen to be there.
I am off to deliver an apple pie. Later dudes.