It’s hard to believe there is just a little more than two weeks left of our Europe adventure together. This past week started in Rohrsdorf where the group spent some time drying out, catching up on assignments and enjoying many delicious oven-cooked meals. One of our highlights was getting to know Dani and Arno, the managers of the castle and permanent residents of the unique artist community that is there, who spent an evening sharing their story with us.
From there we moved on to Munich where we found more rain, a few slugs and great beer! Perhaps the most impacting stop was the trip to Dachau concentration camp, a memorial to the thousands of people who were imprisoned and killed there during the Nazi regime. This stop is always the hardest one on the trip, though worthwhile to see now only WHAT happened (and when), but more importantly WHY it happened (and how). The memorial site at Dachau moved us to tears and did much more than just exhibit the evils of the S.S. in these camps—it gave us resolve to never let it happen again, opened our eyes to injustice happening all over the world today and challenged us to never stay silent. Remember to ask our travels about their experience when they return!
Munich also gave us a chance to connect with SSU alumni, Ingo and Gisela who had a few of us leaders over for an amazing meal. It was great to see their familiar faces and see how much their two beautiful children have grown. They say ‘hi’ to everyone back in St. Stephen.
From Munich we drove to Zug, Switzerland where we are currently staying. The group is happy to be at this campground on the lake, perfect for swimming, playing volleyball, biking and enjoying the outdoors just as the Swiss do. For those who have been on this trip before–we are once again delighted by the company of Rolf, the campground manager who always treats us like gold here. He has become SSU’s biggest fan and looks forward to our visit every time. Yesterday we took a day trip to Zurich which has a rich history surrounding the reformation and Anabaptist movement. Kendall dazzled us with tales of Swiss banks and streets paved with gold. Yes, it’s true that this is one of the richest cities in Europe.
Last night we enjoyed yet another amazing meal from one of our cooking team, which was even more delicious when we found out that Julia Roberts walked 40 minutes to get salad dressing for it! Today was a non-program day filled with biking, hiking, swimming and LOTS of volleyball (and no rain!!). Tomorrow we are off the Swiss Alps!
Until next time,