Celebrating First of August Abroad
Reported by Barbara Gasser Büchi

Nothing has changed. Is this good or bad? Let us say it is amazing! After seven years of having returned from Los Gatos to Switzerland , Felix and I joined the First of August Celebration of the Peninsula Swiss Club, where we were members for almost three years. Of course our kids, David, now 17, and Katja, 15, did not come. They do not like going back to Swiss people. They came to the States for a vacation because of the American Way of Life, and not to attend something like the First of August Celebration at a local Swiss Club. But Felix and I were glad to meet with those people who meant a lot to us while we were staying in the Bay area. First of all the family Gyger: Walter and Maya have not changed much, neither has Carola. But we hardly recognized Pascal. And there was Heidi, the former president. How nice to see her in such a good condition. And the Buhlers as well. Since they live in Los Gatos , we have had a special relationship with them. Angela and Werner were there too; we remember them very fondly. Let us not forget cook Joe. He is still the same, too. However, there were a lot of new people we did not know yet. And many small children! It was nice to watch them participate in the lampion parade around the backyard. I remember that this was always a special event not only for our kids but also for the grown-ups because it reminds them of their own youth, when they proudly walked around their village with lampions. It was kind of strange to be part of this year‘s celebration. Usually, we go to the First of August brunch in our little village and later on to watch the traditional fireworks. No fireworks in California of course, but the flags, the speeches and the buffet were quite authentic. Is that really what people who live abroad want to experience? It seems like it! Why else would there be so many families, couples and singles gathering for the celebration of our National Day? When you live in your own country such things are less meaningful; like doing something out of a sense of duty or just to be part of a community. That is even truer for those who live away from their native country, away from “home“. What is home anyway? Only when you do not live where you were born, raised, and spent some time of your adult life does it make a difference. Even more so when you have known both: living in your home country and then some time abroad, for example, in California . Felix and I enjoyed attending the Peninsula Swiss Club event. We remembered having a good time at the PSC events while we were still in Los Gatos . Now things are different, different from the American Way of Life, which for so many people still is a dream they would like to come true. Our dream came true! And we are fortunate that we can come back once in a while and live that dream over again—if only for a short time…

It was great to see you all! See you next time - whenever that might be…


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last updated: 12-Feb-2006 1:30 PM