Sorry for the lack of communication this week. I don't have internet currently at my new place in Switzerland, which is making everything a bit difficult. Until yesterday, I also hadn't found a way to get online here at school either, because I still don't have a student email account or login credentials...but, fortunately, I met a very nice graduate student studying English, who happened to know that jf you cut through a bookstore just past the main building, turn the corner onto an old cobblestone street, go through the huge wooden door marked with the year 1556 or something like that and up the spiral staircase to the English library, there is not only a splendid supply of American and British literature, but also some computers that dont require a student login ID. This works fine while I am here at school, as long as the department is open, but my communication will still be a bit sparse until I have internet at home.
My classes so far look as though they will be interesting! They're about great topics like land reform, mining, class relations in the industrial revolution, the idea of civil society and its application to Africa. I'm also taking epidemiology at the Swiss Tropical Institute with a bunch of science students and doctors (don't worry--it's an introduction to epidemiology), and I start my German class tomorrow.
The people in the program are really remarkably friendly, which is nice, and more than I expected. I've met 3 of the other 7 people who are new this semester, and I have a lot of classes with two of them particulary--Chantelle from London, and Andrea from Hungary. They both are nice, and Chantelle and I will both be learning German, so we have that in common too. And of course, we have our first language in common which is always a plus. There is one other American in the program that I know of. He's from Illinois, and he's given me some helpful tips about the tram, where to find things, etc.
My living situation looks like it will be ok, provided I get this internet situation worked out. I kind of wish it was closer--the tram is easy, but costs about 68 CHF per month, and if I lived a bit closer a bike could be a good alternative. Bikes aren't cheap either, but at least I'd only pay for it once. But then, who wants to ride a bike in bad weather...so I don't know what's best.
I still have some details to work out obviously, and I'm a bit frustrated about them, but I think it will be ok pretty soon. Please pray that we get internet access at home this week. My land lady is going on vacation next week and if they don't come to install it before then, it could be as late as the middle of October, which makes work, banking, downloading my reading assignments, keeping up with class notifications, etc., all very difficult.
love to you all,