Surviving the first 3 weeks

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September 3rd 2007
Published: September 3rd 2007
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Well, I'm not doing so great on keeping up with this blog. There is too much going on, and when I finally have time to sit and concentrate on this, I just want to go to sleep! My first three weeks in France have been a whirlwind. I've finally gotten used to the driving (for the most part), and my French classes start next Monday. I can't wait to be able to have actual conversations with people.

Since I've been watching Sofia all day during the week, things have been so hectic. We play a lot and trying to figure out how to fix the food that she eats has been fun. It's so easy of course, but it would be nice to be able to read the directions! One day we went to a place called TropicaLand, which was about 25 minutes from here. It is a large garden with exotic plants and animals. Sofia loves animals, and this is the closest thing to a zoo there is around here. It was surprising, however, to find out what is considered exotic! The first animals we saw were raccoons, which in the US, are more like road-kill than exotic. And when we came to the geese, I almost fainted. Of course there were some actual animals that seemed more exotic, and Sofia was thrilled to see them all.

On Friday, we took the tram into the city. It costs 3 Swiss Francs each way for an adult, so I think I'll be buying a monthly pass pretty soon. After treating ourselves to lunch at McDonalds (which is sooo expensive compared to the US!!!), we walked to the Natural History Museum, which I believe is the largest one of its kind in Switzerland. It was full of animal displays and Sofia loved showing me all of her favorites. We then decided to walk down to the lake and get a drink before taking a little tour on a train. The train ride went up and down one side of the lake and explained some of the history of Geneva and gave some info on the lake. It wasn't the most interesting ride, but I think any little children would love just getting to ride the train. By the end of the ride, we were both getting tired, so we decided to head back. But of course, when she spotted the carousel, she suddenly gained a ton of energy! Finally, after a ride, we headed back to the tram and came back home.

Even on the days that we stay home and play here, I'm exhausted by the end of the day. She's a very sweet little girl, but constantly coming up with fun and interesting activities to do can be very tiring. I've always known it's hard to raise kids, and now I'm getting a tiny glimpse of what it's like to have a child around all the time. And even though I'm really tired by the end of the day, it's a really fun job. However, she started school today, so now my schedule is drastically different...went from working 10-12 hours a day to picking her up from school and watching her for about 3. It'll be interesting to see how she likes her new teacher and classmates.

This weekend was the first weekend I got to go do an activity on my own. Two other au pairs and I went to Le Saleve, a small mountain nearby, with a group from Geneva. The hike up took about 2 hours, but the air was cool and crisp and it felt great to be outside. When we got to the top, we took a break and enjoyed the view before hiking another hour across to a cafe. I was amazed to see how farmers don't seem to mind hikers walking through their fields. The scenery was beautiful but I was so happy to see the cafe and order some food. After eating, we took a bus down to the cable cars (I think they bring you up about half way) and rode the cars down. The view was fantastic, and we saw a lot of paragliders taking off from the side of the mt..another idea for an activity, hopefully not so far in the future.

Additional photos below
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10th September 2007

good idea
This was a great idea. It is good to be able to go back and look at this as many times as I would like. Also good so mom and dad can come over and hear what is going on and see the beautiful places you are visiting. Don't stop.
14th September 2007

Hi From TX
Chava, I love reading your blog and seeing the pics. Your Mom and I talk all the time and I am so glad you are getting settled in and enjoying Geneva. The pics are just like we dream of! Have fun with your company :-)

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