Local girl runs Polar race to raise funds for animal park in Le Vaud

If you think the weather is a bit chilly right now, imagine what it would be like at -30 °!  This is the possible temperature that local girl Rachel Frei Bandieri might encounter when she runs a 150km race in Finland in two weeks time to support the animal park of La Garenne, based in Le Vaud (read more about this animal park below).

To participate in the Rovaniemi 150 race, a 150km non-stop race on the 20 – 22nd February, runners must carry all their food and complete equipment (sleeping bag, camping gear etc) with them and manage their race to finish within the 42 hour time limit. It can be done on foot, ski or bike (on fat bike, a specific bike with wide tires to ride on snow). Rachel says; “I have chosen to do this race on foot, because I am definitely much more used to walking and running, than skiing for hours”.


This race is a dream for me! And I know it can bring a lot to the La Garenne animal park. Animals and nature hold a special place in my life, and I am very happy and proud to give my support in an original way to the proper functioning of the park. By the way: the wolf, which is one of their emblematic animals is also the logo of my personal training company!

The Animal Park of La Garenne in Le Vaud itself has four missions: to collect and take care of injured or rescued wild animals, to participate in the preservation and reintroduction of threatened species, to provide educational services to the environment and finally, to present European fauna to the public, so it seemed  an obvious choice of charity for me to support.

36 year old Rachel is an all-terrain athlete, animal and outdoors lover. Having developed an early taste for adventure and unconventionality, Rachel travelled around Australia for 6 months when she was just 18. The following year, she set off for a trek on horseback in Mongolia, a newly open-to-tourism country. In between studies and work commitments, she travelled the world, often on foot or in a 4 x 4 vehicle and says; “I always did this in a spirit of respect when meeting other cultures”.

Rachel Frei running

In 2006, she discovered trail running and fell in love with the discipline that combines sports adventure, surpassing oneself, friendship, authenticity and discovery and says “I enjoy pushing my limits and love the feeling of being in harmony with nature. After being the first to travel the 500km of the Alptrekking in solo in 2010, having led and coached a team at the 100km Charity Oxfam Trailwalker in England in 2012, I needed a new challenge, incorporating the notion of solidarity and support to a cause that is dear to me.


Growing up and working in the area, I followed the development of this very special zoo, I brought them small injured and rescued animals and have visited it on many occasions. Their work for local wildlife as well as their educational programmes is truly exciting and admirable and deserves to be supported”.

If you too would like to support Rachel in this fantastic adventure in the heart of the polar winter and play an important part in the success of this outdoor and charity project then you click here.

You can also follow Rachel’s progress on her training, follow her blog , see photos on her Facebook page here 

See You Tube Video here of  the start of last year’s Rovaniemi 150 race.







Big Bazaar in Nyon – Books in English, Sports Gear, Toys and Games, Christmas Decorations and more.

Every two years, the IWCN (International Women’s Club of Nyon) holds a big bazaar in the centre of Nyon and the next one will be on Saturday 25th October from 10:00 -16:00. The proceeds of this bazaar go to both local and international charities. The bazaar itself is a great opportunity to buy second hand English books, both non-fiction and fiction.  There will be stalls galore at the bazaar selling home made baking and Christmas decorations,  second hand sports gear, toys and games, jewellery, accessories and more. There will be a brocante, tombola, a chance to have a cuppa or a bite to eat at the “Bistro” on the day. Bring the children too, it’s a fun family day out and entry is free!  If you have any questions about the bazaar, contact Kay Bond: bond.kay@gmail.com

Not only is this a good chance to support local charities, but a chance to meet some new faces too!

Bazaar 2


Bazaar A


Bazaar Marina




IWCN Bazaar

Volunteer opportunities in Geneva and Nyon – from helping the homeless to organising conferences.

Volunteer opportunities in Geneva

Image above courtesy: Serve the City.

Living in Nyon receives many emails from readers asking if there any volunteering opportunities in the area. There are plenty!  From helping to clean up the lake, to volunteering in charity shops, we will be featuring more of these on this site in the future.

In the meantime, here are three possibilities. The first is with the local documentary film festival Visions du Réel.  Although their site is in French only, you will find that many people in this organisation speak English.

The second is with Serve the City Geneva (they work in Nyon too)

serve the city nyon

“Serve the City Nyon” volunteers – photo courtesy “Serve the City”

The third is with International Conference Volunteers (the Living in Nyon editor has volunteered with this latter organisation before, there are lots of way of helping here, particularly if you want to volunteer your administration, writing, interpreting or IT skills).

Volunteers wanted for film festival in Spring

Visions du Reél, Nyon’s documentary film festival which takes place from the 25th April to the 3rd of May 2014, is looking for volunteers. Help is required in welcoming film goers, professionals and members of the public to the festival and with logistics and transport. If you are interested in helping out in this fabulous film festival  See here   Next year, this film festival celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Visions du Reel 2009 007

Volunteer with Serve the City Geneva or Serve the City Nyon.

Looking for year round volunteering opportunities?  Take a look at Serve the City and the work they do around Geneva and Nyon. Many people from the international community volunteer their time with various temporary and permanent projects throughout the year with Serve the City. They are currently helping the Salvation Army shelter which houses 40 homeless seven nights a week. They serve breakfast and a hot dinner in the evening.  Their website is in English and French.     More info here and see video below.

International Conference Volunteers

ICVolunteers  is another organisation based in Geneva which offers many short- and long-term opportunities to volunteer in local, national and international settings.

According to their website, ICVolunteers provides “motivated individuals with unique short- and long-term opportunities to volunteer in local, national and international settings.volunteers offer their knowledge and experience to provide critical assistance to important humanitarian and other non-profit projects. At the same time, they also acquire new skills and grow both personally and professionally”.   There are lots of ways to volunteer with this association :

  • Conference Volunteering.  Work with other ICV volunteers to help plan, host, interpret and report on events for some of the most interesting and important local, national and international conferences.
  • CyberVolunteering. The CyberVolunteers Program recruits, trains and coordinates volunteers with skills in information and communication technology (ICT) for development. Volunteers participate in local, regional and international projects for a period of several weeks or months, offering their skills in areas such as web or software development, system administration and content generation.
  • Language services.  ICVolunteers recruits and coordinates volunteer translators and interpreters. We manage a network of community interpreters who accompany migrants (MigraLingua).
  • Communications and journalism.  Write and edit articles, interviews and other contributions for ICV publications, our website and other online forums.
  • Volunteering in different places around the world.  Volunteers can participate in local, regional and international projects for a period of several weeks or months in communications and journalism, information and communications technology, or conference services.
  • Other professional activities.  Individuals can apply their professional talents, including accounting, bookkeeping, computer maintenance, transportation services, and other important skills, to help our organization manage and build its programs.
  • Internships and ‘long-term’ volunteering with ICVolunteers.  We offer internships (unpaid) and long-term volunteer opportunities, be it in translation (from and to English, French and Spanish), event organization, writing and editing, Internet research, IT-related work (web, system and software development) and resource mobilization in Geneva (Switzerland). We are also looking for long-term volunteer for our offices in Canada, France, Mali, South Africa, Spain and are working with online volunteers.

Big Bazaar in Nyon Saturday, Second Hand books in English, Toys, Gifts, Brocante and More


Tomorrow Saturday 10th November, the  IWCN (International Women’s Club of Nyon) Big Charity Bazaar will take place in Nyon. This bi-annual event is a big fund raiser for local and international charities and a great opportunity for expats to meet over a bite to eat at the bistro at the bazaar, to buy second hand English books, toys, home made jams, and gifts, Christmas presents etc.

There’s a tombola too with lots of prizes too. The event will take place in the centre of Nyon at the Salle Communale from 10:00- 16:00 and makes for a fun morning or afternoon out for everyone.  See you there!


Photos above and below of previous bazaars.

More second hand English books this weekend in Geneva 

If you are in Geneva, you don’t need to miss out on the opportunity to buy second hand books as the English Library is also having their Autumn 2012 Book Sale which will take place over the next three days.  It begins on Friday from 10:00 -18:00, Saturday 10:00- 17:00 and from Sunday 12:00- 16:00.  Around 20,000 second-hand books in English will be on sale, fiction and non-fiction for children and adults, classified by subject including  special books and collectors’ items, DVDs and CDs. See site for details

Raising Multilingual Children workshop/ Paddy Ashdown speaker at Gala Dinner

Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, author of “Raising Multilingual Children” and five other books on the brain and learning, will be visiting various destinations in Switzerland in November to present her dynamic workshops.  These workshops organised by Know it All Passport are very popular so book early to avoid disappointment!   See details below.  Also coming up on the agenda, is a Gala Dinner on the 31st October organised by “Friends of India”. The guest speaker at this dinner will be Lord Paddy Ashdown, diplomat, humanitarian, international envoy and author. Details below.

Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children

by world-renowned specialist in education and neuroscience, Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, Ph.D.  Tracey is half Japanese-American, half Irish-Native American and is married to an Ecuadorian. Her 3 children aged 19, 17 and 15 speak fluent English, Spanish and German and some French.

Tracey says there are ten key factors which influence every student’s success with new languages:

1)   Timing 2)   Aptitude  3)   Motivation  4)   Strategy  5)   Consistency 6)   Opportunity 7)   Language Typology 8)   Siblings 9)   Gender 10) Hand-use.

Each person will combine these “ingredients” together in their own unique “recipe” for learning. This workshop will familiarise teachers and parents with the factors and suggest tools for enhancing those which are shaped in the school context. Tracey will also explain how children learn languages and answer your questions. For example:

* Is it OK to have 2, 3, 4 languages at the same time or is it better for children to learn languages consecutively?

* When should your children learn multi-literacy skills?

* Who should speak what in order to maximize the best language skills?

* Should you learn a foreign language alongside your children? * Raising your child multilingualy has worked so far, but now your child is growing up and you have different questions about identity, literacy, strategy, etc.

* Come with your own questions and be prepared to share your own concerns about the best way to raise multilingual children.

18:00 Registration and welcome drink

18h:30- 20:00 Ten key factors which influence every student’s success with new languages

20:00- 20:30 Break with drinks and food

20:00-21:45  How children learn languages and Q&A

22:00 End

The workshops will take place in the following locations.

VERBIER, November 13,  LAUSANNE, November 14,  GENEVA, November 15,  ZURICH, November 16

Reserve early as spaces are limited. See here 

Gala Dinner 31st October with Lord Paddy Ashdown as guest speaker, For full details see Friends of India