7UB in Switzerland

Trip Start Apr 10, 2008
Trip End May 12, 2008

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

This morning, we left for the hall reserved for services about 10:15. It only took 15 minutes to arrive in Grassier a little village right on the French border. From the hall we were to use in the town-hall complex, we could see a team of the douane-vollante, literally the "flying customs agents." They don't actually fly, just move around from one minor border crossing point to another, trying to keep everyone honest about what is taken across the border. Most things are much more expensive in Switzerland than in France, so it is usually the Swiss who want to make sure people don't bring in goods worth more than the allowable limit without paying duty.
Services were set for 11:30, which is later than usual, but the Harpers were coming in on the 11:10 train to Nyon from Paris. Daniel Vernaud went to pick them up; they all arrived right at 11:30 so were able to start with Swiss punctuality. We were 14 all together. We had one person from Paris, one from Zurich (actually someone from the UK, South Africa and Down Under), two from farther north in the Jura Mountains, two from just across the border in France, as well as the Vernaud family from around Geneva. Mr. Giauque led hymns. I gave some announcements and announced the offering, during with we listened to a piece of recorded music by our musician church member Jean-Paul Gorisse, whom I had visited, with his wife, earlier in this trip.
After the service we had a break for a collation, a snack or light meal. We had crackers and wonderful French and Swiss cheeses, including Gruyeres (one of my favorites) and some fantastic goat cheese (another favorite), viande de Grisons (very thinly-sliced smoked beef - a Swiss specialty), fresh fruit, and of course several different kinds of Swiss chocolate. It was all delicious. At 2:30 we had our second service, which lasted a little over an hour, after which we took photos and ate some more! Mr. Gantelme had brought a bottle of Champagne for the occasion so we all had half a glass and toasted the occasion.
I showed a video of French-speaking areas and gave commentary while it was showing. Then we just enjoyed our fellowship. A little after 5:00 we formed a caravan or convoy to drive over the Vernauds' home where we sat in the back yard enjoying the sunshine and fairly warm temperatures. More food came out; and another bottle of Champagne, and a Chateauneuf-du-Pape for those who preferred red wine. We sat and talked. It was very pleasant to be together, which happens rather infrequently for church members in this area.
Around 6:30 I took my leave to start the drive back to Paris. We said our goodbyes until we would meet again, God willing, in the autumn in Collonges-la-Rouge for the Feast of Tabernacles.

Tomorrow the easy part of the trip ends. I will have covered 5000 km (3000 miles), enough to drove from New York to Los Angeles, in three countries Europe in a little over two weeks. Next destination: East Africa.
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