Regional President Jan and Members Visit to Geneva and the United Nations
Jan Hemlin announced her intention to organise a visit to Geneva when she became President of Midland Arden Region and finally on Monday 29th April our visit began.
There were 27 Midland Arden Soroptimists, 6 Soroptimisters, and 20 Soroptimists from Scotland. We had all arranged our own travel and accommodation but it was good to see the majority of the Midland Arden group on the flight our from Birmingham.
On arrival in Geneva, our group from SI Kidderminster travelled by train from the airport together with another Midland Arden Group. Being a little shell shocked after the flight, we were pleased to be taken to our hotel by a delightful young man who wanted to demonstrate that Swiss people can be friendly and helpful. Apparently they have a reputation for being a little cold and reserved. I have to say that everyone we came into contact with was very helpful and friendly.
So what were the highlights of our trip?
- The restaurant that stayed open to feed us on our first night.
- The walk around Old Geneva organised by one of the clubs from Geneva. Starting at Reformation Wall which commemorated important events and people from the Reformation including John Knox and Oliver Cromwell, we then went on to visit sites relating to 6 women from history who had had an impact during their lives.
- Fondue evening hosted by Geneva Soroptimists.
- Discovering that Sopotimisters are Frerops in Switzerland!
- Visit to the United Nations. It was fascinating to see the sheer scale and beauty of the building and also to learn about how the United Nations operates.
- May Day in Geneva! It was also Denise’s birthday. Our group spent the day getting to know Geneva and made use of our free travel passes to catch a bus to the Botanic Gardens which were delightful. Three of us even went on the beautiful carousel in the gardens.
As it was May Day we encountered the demonstrations of various groups including women’s groups who were calling for equal pay and for the end to Domestic violence.
Sadly we discovered that one of the Scottish members had fallen in the Botanical Gardens and had broken her hip. We wish her all the best for her recovery.
We spent our last few hours on Friday gently wandering around the city centre before catching the afternoon plane back home.
What a super few days having fellowship and fun whilst learning about the UN and Geneva.
Can’t wait for the next trip? Where to next?