I'm back! I spent this weekend attending family events celebrating a branch of A's family. The main event was yesterday and brought around 150 (out of 250 invitees) together. It was quite possibly the single largest gathering I've ever taken part in and definitely the largest family reunion I've seen. My grandparents threw big family reunions together to celebrate my grandpa's 70th birthday in 1998 and their 50th wedding anniversary in 2002, but even those maybe only brought 20-25 people together. This was something else entirely.
(Keep Reading for pictures of the closest thing you'll get to me frolicking in the countryside. Also me being sentimental.)
The point of the event yesterday was to celebrate A's grandfather's work uncovering centuries of genealogy and specifically to bring together all of the living descendants of one branch of the family since 1828. Consequently, lots of time was spent looking at family trees and, specifically, at a book of family history. Because I'm with the biggest history nerd of the family, I also got to have an additional 500 discussions on Jaquemoz from the 16th century, and I think I now know more details about A's family than of my own. (At least in terms of family trees.) I'm not complaining.
My favorite part of all of this though was just feeling included. I tend to vaguely refer to how one side of my family fell apart, and, being the type who's always craved a strong family environment, that fact is kind of an ever-present sadness in my life. So, feeling welcome amongst a group of people I've come to care very much about over the past few years is a very wonderful feeling.
Of course, I'm still a very awkward person and my social anxiety has me scared to speak up in French as much as I want to, so no doubt the happiness that feeling gives me is a secret between me, A, and the thousands of you reading this.
Still. This family is a wonderful thing, and I'm happy to play even the smallest part in it. It's supportive and kind and intellectual and honest. And as a bonus that warms my heart, it has a twelve year old in it who was excited to tell me about reading and loving Jane Austen for the first time. So you know, it's pretty great.
The venue for the reunion was surrounded by fields... and I consequently got to see cows close up for what I believe was actually the first time in my life. Of course I've seen cows before, but only from car windows. Truly an experience for a lifelong city girl. (Also! I chopped off my hair! I'll be talking about that over on The Attic on Eighth later this week.)
The famous book.
Two shots of my favorite train view – of the Neuchâtel Castle – to end the post and the holiday weekend.
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I'm Olivia, a twenty-six year old grad student studying in Switzerland. This is where I share my thoughts on the academic journey, culture, travels, baking, and my daily life abroad. Read More.