Ending 2012…

Today is the last day of 2012 and 2013 is just a few hours away now… what better way to look back on 2012 than a quick summary which is our annual Christmas letter… (i have put in links to different blog posts for more details if you wish to read more about a certain event/happening.)

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HiHi

How are you? Hoping this finds you and your loved ones well and enjoying the Christmas season. It looks like we will be having a green Christmas over here this year; temps have been above 10 degrees Celsius over the last few days. All the snow we had has already melted. But Christmas doesn’t depend on snow, we have Christmas because of Christ.

2012 has been a year of unexpected and pleasant happenings for us.

Last year Sandra closed her book business and faced the frustrating issue of not having her driver’s license recognised. This year, on 6th November, she passed her Swiss Driver’s test. So it is official and legal, she can now drive in Switzerland.

If you have followed us/Sandra on Facebook, you would have seen some postings from our new blog (trippingdifferently.com) and you have also seen postings about the advocate ministry Sandra is now involved in; advocating, building awareness and fundraising for special needs orphans in Eastern Europe, Latin American and Asia. Thank you all who have been such wonderful support for this ministry. If you would like to find out more, please contact Sandra on Facebook or email.

She is also still involved with the Day Away Association for Women and attends the weekly BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). Her German lesson are also a regular weekly feature. She hopes to be able to take her B1 Level German exam in March and be done with German classes after that.

Tobias is in 2nd Grade and still loving school lots. He is doing well at school. At our last contact with his teacher, she said, “If you don’t hear from me, then all is well.” He has finished with swim classes, having gotten his 7th and final badge just before the summer holidays.

He continues with his Judo training and most recently took the yellow-belt test and passed. He is so happy about it. He also entered his first Judo competition in November, an internal one for his Dojo and came in 3rd in his category. We are very proud.

Music-wise, Tobias has started the violin and is very excited about it. Sandra joined him in classes and she is loving it too. The violin teacher is very pleased with their progress since August. They performed in a recital together, just before the end of the school term. So playing the guitar has taken a backseat for now.

Walter still travels a fair bit for work. This year’s travels featured a lot of Africa. Thankfully there are low periods too. The recent Oct/Nov months was a busy time and he was gone most of those months. But he managed to squeeze in a 5-day trip to Singapore to help oversee some stuff at his parents’ place. He still plays as much as he can for worship at church.

Our family travels this year, of course, included our annual trip back to Singapore, where we enjoyed fabulous food and the company of family and friends. In February, we did our ski week in Wengen and had some friends come over for a day, another friend joined us for 2 days and another one was with us the whole time. It was great.

For this year’s farmstay, Tobias wanted his best friend to come along. So it was Sandra, Tobias and Sebi helping out on a farm, not far from the city of Bern, for 3 days, 2 nights. We stayed with a lovely Christian family who also had boys about the same ages. The boys had a blast. So much so, Tobias is wanting to go back for 4 nights next time!

We do have one sad news. One of our Gerbils (they came to live with us September 2011) passed away. We will miss our beloved Nox. But we still have Puddles and hope she will be with us at least another couple of years.

Daddy, Son, Mummy... i love...
Daddy, Son, Mummy… i love…

That’s pretty much covers 2012 for us. How was your year? Do drop us an email/letter and let us know.

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a Wonderful 2013.

With love,

walter, sandra & tobias.

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Looking back, it has been a year of learning and i look forward to putting all that knowledge and new skills into good use in 2013.

Hoping that 2013 would be an amazing year of dreams come true for you and your loved ones.

God Bless You All.

syc

Resolutions Anyone?

It is a tradition – well, almost a tradition, depending on where you stand on making New Year’s Resolutions…

i’m not one for making resolutions; i used to, but i found myself disappointed with myself rather too quickly at not being able to keep them.

However, i found myself thinking about it when the clock chimed 12 midnight on 31st Dec and 2011 became 2012. And then again yesterday in the car, on the way to church.

Reflections

i look back on 2011 and am very grateful for it, even the low points. But i realised that there was something missing – something which i have always missed since moving to a country where the lingua franca is not my mother tongue. i missed having meaningful conversations – conversations which moved me and the other person in deeper ways than just a chitchat about the weather or the children’s school day or where they were going for the next holiday. i want to be able to speak about matters which makes my heart beat and my mind soar; to share my strange ideas with another person besides my husband, who has been wonderful about listening to me jabber away but is a man of few words, which is not a bad thing; he has taught me to listen more and speak when it truly does matter. Nevertheless, i am a woman who loves to talk so that’s what i miss; someone to share insane thoughts with, to discuss issues with, to laugh about the stresses of the day with – to have meaningful conversations. Not just once in a few months but at least weekly.

Please do not be mistaken and think that i do not have friends here. i do and i do have good friends but they live a fair distance away and we don’t see each other very often. And the women i got to know who do live in my neighbourhood all speak either Swiss or German or Italian or French; and culturally we seem to have such different reference points that an eloquent, substantial exchange is just not easy. It is just not the same expressing myself in a foreign tongue. True, i do speak enough of the language now but still that level of communication i desire is not yet within reach.

So that’s my resolution for 2012 – to have more meaningful conversations with the women who live in my neighbourhood. This is not something i feel i can do by myself so i ask that God would help me to have these meaningful conversations in 2012. It may not sound like a resolution when i’m asking for divine help – of course i will work at it but i just know i need that little exact hand so God help me here. Thanks.

What are your new year resolutions?

syc

2012…A New Year…

A New Beginning

Old Blog - Wir Sind Auslandern

The blog previously known as  ‘Wir sind Ausländern!! – regarding the misadventures of a Singaporean family in Switzerland’ is relaunched as…

trippingdifferently… 

Here’s a little about the transitition.

Why trippingdifferently?

1st of all, living away from our home country has really brought differences & the meaning of being different to the forefront of our thoughts.

2nd, tripping as defined by dictionary.com:
1. light and quick, as a step or pace,
2. proceeding with a light, easy movement or rhythm.

There are days when it seems that life is like this – smooth & carefree.

Tripping comes from the noun ‘trip’ which is defined as:
1. a journey or voyage

Which is something we are all on – everyday trips, life’s journey.

but it is also defined as:
5. a stumble; misstep.

Far too often, the feeling of constantly falling over one’s feet overtakes us as we try to make sense of the things/situations/people we face daily.

As with all travels, there are ups & downs, there are laughs & tears… we hope to share some of these from our daily life in a different country, different culture; share about our loves & joys, sorrows & dislikes; share about being different & appreciating (or lamenting) those differences.

So come tripping along 😉

Here’s wishing all of you a very Blessed New Year & have a Fulfilling 2012. May it be a wonderful year filled with big and small surprises & good times with family & friends & good health.

syc