Here Goes.

Well. I’ve been holding off distributing this news widely until everything was firmed up. But I think my family ought to know, and since one or two of them drop in here now and then, my blog seemed like a good place to start. So sit tight and read carefully.

For months now, I have been babysitting for our friends the Tedders every Wednesday. We have been friends with them since long before they had children, and even though I’m not a huge fan of babysitting in general, I really do like their kids. Several weeks ago, Mrs. Tedder mentioned to me that she and Mr. have friends who would like a nanny to watch their two- and five-year-old boys this summer. Despite the fact that they have other babysitters, the Tedders thought of me, which was very nice of them. As I already implied, normally I would balk at the notion of weeks of babysitting, but here’s the catch- the couple live in Zurich.
Zurich, Switzerland. They are Americans working for an American company, living in Switzerland. And they want an American nanny that they know for certain is reliable. According to the Tedders I fall into that category.
When I first heard about the idea, I didn’t think it was remotely possible. But the couple, the Swopes, emailed us with details, and it began to look very good. Here are some quotes:
As far as expenses, we will cover her airfare, meals at home and abroad, and hotel costs when we travel.  Also, we will cover the incidentals needed while she is here, like tram/train tickets, toiletries, etc, — maybe we could just keep a running grocery list so that she could add to the list things that she wants or needs.”
Yes, when we travel, because:
A couple 2-3 night trips to adjoining countries (northern Italy, southern Germany, western Austria, eastern France)…Probably 1 day-trip per week to some destination within Switzerland (which may or may not involve a single overnight stay in a hotel).  Cities we can see are Luzern, Berne, Basel, Interlaken, Berner Oberland region (foothills of the Alps), Lake Constance area, and even Liechtenstein.  There are some great things to see in these nearby towns – the largest waterfall in Europe, a perfectly preserved Medieval town, incredible churches & art, and breath-taking natural scenery.  We are open to any suggestions Hannah has.
We may also take a few days in the Alps in Zermatt to see the Matterhorn and/or an overnight trip down to Geneva.”
Concerning travel-(now my font is stuck blue, sorry) I would share a hotel room with the boys, but night duty would be mine only on trips. As if all of the above wasn’t enough to make me want to go, they kept saying things like this:
“Before anything else, we want you to know that we’re easy going, the boys are easy to care for, and our intention is for all of us to have an enjoyable summer and, hopefully, for Hannah to return home with some great stories and memories of Europe.”
We also have 5 little playgrounds within a block or two of our home.  There are also loads of walking paths through the hills and woods around our house.”
“We want this Summer to be fun.”
“And we really think Hannah will have a great experience if she decides to join us for the Summer. ”
The family prayed, and we exchanged several more emails with the Swopes. They are willing to help me get to church- there are both German-speaking and English-speaking protestant congregations in the area- they understand that I will need a little free time, and overall, they seem to want me to enjoy myself as well as take care of the boys. I would not be a slave for the summer.
After a lot of prayer, we decided to go for it. I will be spending this summer in Zurich. I had planned on getting a job and starting to save for college this summer, but when this opportunity came up, it changed things quite a bit. I honestly don’t think I’ll look back ten years from now and say, “Dang. I wish I hadn’t gone to Europe. The two hundred dollars I could’ve earned working that summer would have been waay better than traveling around overseas.”
There is one piece left that I haven’t typed yet. When Mrs. T first told me about the opportunity, all I could think of was a certain person residing in Europe. And yes, after much negotiation, it’s decided that I will also spend two weeks with my good friend Mire, in Denmark. In fact, when the Swopes heard about the idea, they offered to pay for airfare there if I would stay with them for six weeks, which I intend to do.

So there you have it. I will miss my family this summer..and it will be sad not to see my cousins and extended family. I’ll also miss Peniel, and one of my last summers home with Than before college. But I think this will be an incredible experience. Not necessarily easy, or always fun, but very good. I’m flat out terrified, of course, but also excited.

I’d rather people outside of the family didn’t know yet- I think it would be more exciting to tell them closer to the time I leave. Krissy and Sonja were some of the first to know. :) I am leaving June 26th, I think, and returning mid-August. I will keep a travel blog while I am there, and I hope lots of people will drop by. ;) I should have a camera with me.
Thanks for reading this. Have a nice day, everyone.

7 Comments

  1. sonja Said,

    March 24, 2007 @ 11:55 am

    Hannah! When you go to Austria, see if they would be willing to take you to Vienna. Its such a huge place for music. I some friends from Luther visit there this January, and they said Vienna is amazing! And apparently you can get standing room to go see the opera for very cheep.
    Yyyyyyaaaaaayyyyy I’m still sooooooo excited for you. You are going to have the most amazing summer. I just know it. =D !

  2. Aunt Joni Said,

    March 25, 2007 @ 8:34 am

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Aunt Joni Said,

    March 25, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

    Hannah, a trip to Europe is an education in itself. Remember – it will all count as school. Be sure to bring your journal – I lost the one I kept when I went to France :-( . This is such a wonderful opportunity. I look forward to hearing all about it when you get home.

  4. Hannah Said,

    March 25, 2007 @ 8:34 pm

    Thank you, Aunt Joni- I’m really excited. I write in a journal every night and will most definitely keep one there. I’ll have to be careful not to lose it.

    (I’m wearing a huge and very nifty Civil War dress right now. I think I’d better get off, I don’t fit in the computer chair.)

  5. Krissy Said,

    March 26, 2007 @ 8:57 pm

    Cool! Did you make the dress? =)
    Yay! I’m so happy for you, It’s going to be an amazing summer. =D

  6. Ted Said,

    March 27, 2007 @ 6:04 am

    Lucky you….

  7. Hannah Said,

    March 27, 2007 @ 10:34 am

    Assuming that wasn’t sarcasm, you’re welcome to stow away in one of my suitcases, Ted!

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