Into the mountains…

Today I head 1,000m up the hill to a small village called Anzere, where I will be spending the next two months working as a camp counsellor at a spring outdoor education residential camp run by Village Camps. Internet access is limited, as is time off during the camp.

Updates to this site for the duration of camp will be weekly updates.

Therefore, there has never been a better time to subscribe by to my blog by email, using the form on the front page of this website.

My contact details for the duration of the camp have been updated on the contact page. The Gillioz family that I have been staying with this past week kindly lent me a mobile telephone for the duration of my stay in Switzerland. A 20 CHF sim card later, and I have my own telephone number here in Switzerland.

My French is coming along nicely. I can now say ‘lots of snow’ and ‘I am not Mexican’. If you want to learn French, watch the lessons I have been watching online on Youtube here.

Last but not least, a massive thank you to Dominique and Jena-Richard Gillioz for welcoming me into their home for this week. I have met more people than I can remember the names of, eaten way too much fantastic food, and thanks to you got a great headstart on finding my way around the area. Thank you again for your kindness and generosity.

J’ne pas Mexicain.

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8 thoughts on “Into the mountains…

  • carl w.

    french phrases I have always found very handy.

    Sorry to all french people for the spelling we never did get round to leanring that…

    Je traison, ou e le piscine, dans la tab and regarde mon poisson/ poulette.


    "I'm thirteen" "where is the swimming pool" "on the table" and best of all "look at my chicken/ fish"

    You'd be surpirsed how useful these phrases have proved over the years…

    whats even better I tried to explain the flat tyre I had, in french my god the chap thought he dealing with a nutter..

    and on getting stopped for speeding had a brilliant conversation in french with the coppers. No idea what they where talking about but I stuck to my thinking.. and we got on fine and dandy. Best was when I asked for directions to Holland considering I was near the Spanish Border hehehehehe!

  • satoshi

    Bonsoir Rob

    Ça bouge?

    I think you will find this audio dictionary very useful as you never know which letters are actually silent fromspelling until you are familiar with the rules:

    The French spoken in Switzerland is almost identical to the mainstream one in France if a tad slower, with some exceptions like some words such as Chamonix – in Switzerland (not sure if young people do though) they pronounce X and it sounds Shamonicks.

    I think it's also a very good opportunity to learn other official and non-official but widely used language – Swiss German – used on the other side of Rösti Ditch. When you learn phrases like "I would like 500g of Emmenthal please", You can learn French as well as German he he he he.

    I am purchasing a Czech and Hungarian phrasebook so that I can learn how to say "hey babe you got gorgeous eyes" or something as useful 🙂

  • Joe Palolo

    I looked at the activities page for the camp and my guess is that you will be the resident expert in "mountain hut overnight".

  • Caroline

    You forgot another word which you know in French : Sacre bleu to the full monthy film 😉

    Benefit well from Anzère and good luck

    Caroline (the cousin of Vanina)

  • neil

    Hey Rob,

    Hope Anzere works out well.

    "Serv-eeeesssss" (Service) is the Valaisane swiss-french phrase I remember most- its like "you are welcome", and said mostly TO you not by you, when paying for something. Anyway, like you needed to know that!

    I love Swiss French – like the Belgians, they have sorted out their numbers, none of this 4 twenties and ten franco nonsense for ninety – its nenante! Cool.

    Take it easy.


    PS: Most valuable French Phrase ever "Une Pression!" or "Une Demi Pression SVP".

    Walk into a bar, (say Bonjour/bonsoir – see below, Smile…)and say "une pression svp" and smile at the result.

    But seriously, IMHO the Most Valuable piece of language advice in French speaking Switzerland – open every conversation, EVERY ONE, with bonjour monsieur/madame, or bonsoir – it makes a big difference.

    here endeth the lesson!! 😉

  • Murdo

    I would insist you to try out Neil's suggestion of "Une Pression", forget the "Demi" nonsense ;-)! You won't be disappointed mate.

    Best of luck in the mountains!


  • Aunty Les

    Did you learn French at school? By the time you get back to NZ you'll have a few languages under your belt – or do I mean on your tongue?