Last Friday, the American International Women’s Club hosted its annual Christmas luncheon. This was my first time, and also sadly my last time as we’ll be leaving Geneva soon.
The AIWC (top floor) on the snowy day of the luncheon.
Anyhow, wanted to reflect on this wonderful organization and how lucky I’ve been to be a part of it during our time in Geneva.
I had researched and found the AIWC before moving from the States, so my first week in Geneva, when Gabe was traveling to Belgium for work, and I didn’t know a soul, I walked up to join. I was greeted by some friendly ladies, Shannon and Paige, who gave me English books and magazines and were so kind.
I took them home and read every word. A magazine in English!!! With activities !!!! And articles about living in Geneva!!! Joy!!
While the club started as an oasis for English-speaking, it became so much more. I joined the hiking group at first. Each and every Friday, I’d join up with several women to hike in nearby Geneva countryside. It was very comforting to have that time to look forward to, for connections and also to ask my silly questions…where do you go to get alterations in Geneva? Where do you buy vanilla extract in Geneva? Plus, it was amazing to not have to worry about getting lost, how to navigate, and to enjoy the amazing scenery:
Hiking with the Friday HIkes Group
As time moved on, I joined several other groups: the photography group, Traveling Gourmets, and of course, took weekly French lessons.
Shooting near Bellevue with the ladies from Photography Group
My Monday French class on E’s birthday
Traveling Gourmets Christmas party
And it broadened…I soon was able to put professional skills to use by writing for the organization’s magazine, helping with PR and communications, and working in teams.
Teaching a blogger class
What stands out to me most is the diversity of women that I now call my friends. The women vary in age from mid-twenties to 93. And I’ve truly become friends with a lot of women from every generation. Not to mention nationality. Since English is just the common denominator, there are at least 50 nationalities represented in the club. Typically, I can be the only American in the group. I’ve learned a ton about different cultures, methodologies, and traditions. It’s been priceless.
With my photography group leader, W, from The Netherlands
We are excited to go back at the beginning of the year to the USA and be closer to friends & family. But, sadly, I’ve made some great friends here in Geneva, and it makes it hard to leave. I’ll miss my time with them, learning and growing. I’m just thankful for such a great experience at the club.
Bon weekend, everyone.