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Volume 18, Issue 4

September 2013

WAC on Track

The Club is a multifunctional organisation whose purpose is to meet the social, educational and personal needs of its members. The Club is designed to encourage international friendship, support and sharing.

Women’s Activity Club Winterthurerstrasse 18 8610 Uster 043 305 9250 Page 1

WAC Board of Directors

2013-2014 Good communication between the board members and the membership of the WAC is important for the continued growth and improvement of the club. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact us. President Susan Mailley-Smith Oversees and promotes the welfare and goals of the Club Vice President Sima Xie Liaises with the School and arbitrator in case of disputes Secretary Swapna Patil

Manages all documentation, policies and procedures; records minutes of meetings Treasurer Judy Burkhardt Oversees Bookkeeper, WAC accounts and all outgoing payments Activities Chairperson Sirine EH Mignan Responsible for the library, playgroups and long-term courses Special Events Chairperson Louise Gooding Organises WAC special events, such as BBQ, Ha!oween and Christmas parties Marketing Chairperson Charlotte Stone Oversees marketing activities, including publications, website and advertising

Editor’s Note - Carol Conzelmann Welcome to our September edition of the WAC on Track. I hope you all had a great summer - we were in the UK for 2 weeks and for me it was a nostalgia trip, spending cool but sunny days on a Welsh beach. Luckily my children loved exploring rock pools, flying kites and building sandcastles as much as I used to, so we all had fun….. There’s lots going on in the weeks ahead, and this edition is packed with updates, adverts and tips. Check out Judy Burckhardt’s great ideas for visiting Geneva, a famously expensive city, on the cheap. Sharon Warthmann has some great websites if you’re stuck for weekend ideas, and Susan Junod has written about a website she’s found helpful for her children learning to read. If you have any of your own great excursion ideas or have come across something that just makes your life here easier, don’t keep it to yourself! Drop me an email with the details and you too can see your name in print in an upcoming edition of our monthly newsletter. The nights are already getting a little darker although there are still a few more Badi days left to (hopefully) enjoy. I love the seasonal changes in Switzerland so although it’s sad to say goodbye to long hot summer days, we have the joys of colourful pumpkins, great autumn food and the beautiful changing landscape just around the corner. Enjoy! Until next month, Carol Membership Chairperson Clare Taylor Manages WAC’s relationship with its members. Assigns volunteer resources where needed. Organises regular New Member meetings WAC Office & Learning Tree School Office Hours Monday - Friday, 9:00-12:00 Club Office Manager Jennifer Langkjaer 043 305 9250 School Director Ida Imbach 043 305 9250

Advertising, deadlines and contributions Advertising Rates Full page Half page Quarter page

CHF 150 CHF 80 CHF 50

Classifieds adverts are FREE for members, non-members pay CHF30 WAC Notice board :one month / max. size A5 / members: free. Please contact office for further information

“WAC on Track” Deadlines and Contributions We welcome input from our members! f you have a story to share, a recommendation, a recipe or anything else, please email it to: DEADLINE FOR OCTOBER 2013 ISSUE:

20 September 2013

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President’s Note - Sue Mailley-Smith A huge and happy welcome back to all our members after a super-sunny summer of fun! I hope you are all feeling recharged and ready to go, and that your children are all set for the new challenges that this school year has in store for them. We have plenty going on at the WAC to help keep you all busy this month! Why not sell some no-longer-needed bits and pieces at the Rummage Sale on Saturday 31st August, or sign the kids up for our first Movie Night of the new term, taking place on Friday 6th September?

Keep an eye on our website for more information about upcoming events, or sign up to our facebook page for plenty of chat and info from fellow WAC members. We have lots of NEW things for your children to get involved with this year! For our littlest ones and mums-to-be, a new Bumps and Babies Playgroup will be running on Monday mornings, whilst for our older children, there is a new Drama Club starting up, which we hope will be a great success and yet another fun out-of-school activity for our members to enjoy. Finally, please note that we are now asking everyone to please take home (or straight round the corner to the Sammelstelle) any recyclables that you bring in with you. We’ve tried to make more space in the kitchen area and hope that all members will do their bit to keep the area clean and tidy. Thanks very much in advance! I look forward to seeing you around the WAC. Have a great month, Sue

UPCOMING WAC EVENTS 30th August 31st August 6th September TBC - September 24-26th September 25th September 24th October

Readers Gone WACky Dinner Rummage Sale Movie Night Pot Luck Club - English First Aid on Children Course LTCS information Evening Dinner Club - Argentinian Steak House

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School News - Ida Imbach Welcome Back!

meantime, if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. We hope you all had a nice summer! We are also continuing with our sucIt’s so nice to see all the familiar faces cessful Lunch Club. It runs on Mondays, and all the newcomers! Together with Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. all the teachers, we welcome you to our There are still spaces available and if ’new’ schoolyear. We extend a very you are interested, please contact Jenspecial warm welcome to all the newnifer at or me. comers in our school. Karin Fankhauser will run our PTA This schoolyear we have added a morn- (Parent- Teacher Association) this ing Swiss Spielgruppe on Fridays led by school year. She is now looking for Loredana and Stephanie. All our other class reps and if anyone is interested, classes are running as before. If you please contact me. If you would like to have difficulty finding a suitable class help in any other way, please let us due to your child’s school schedule, know. please let us know and we will try and help you. So, we wish you all a fun year with Our Information Evening will be on us at the LTCS – a happy place to Wednesday, September 25. You will learn! meet the teachers and get to see the classrooms and resources that we will be using. We will let you know what our plans are for the year ahead. In the

SAVE THE DATE! School Information Evening Wednesday, September 25th

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Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at the Learning Tree Cooperative School Hi! My Name is Karin Zanin Fankhauser and I am going to run this year’s PTA (Parent Teacher Association) for the Learning Tree Cooperative School. I am Swiss/Belgian married to a Swiss. As most members of the WAC I used to live a bit here and there… I grew up in Switzerland, enjoyed the laid back Australian culture and loved Dubai’s heat! Two years ago, I moved back. Currently, I am a full-time mum of two kids aged four and two. Raya has just started Kindergarten in Egg at the community school after enjoying two years of pre-school at the WAC. Noel participates at the WAC’s preschool twice a week and can’t wait to go more often! During my rarely ever turning up spare time I like to read or do some sports. When Ida asked me to run this year’s PTA I was more than pleased to do so. First of all, it gives me the opportunity to get back one foot into school life (before being a mum I worked as a teacher in Switzerland, Australia and the UAE) and secondly, I like the school’s and WAC’s main philosophy very much – participate as little or much as you like, always keeping in mind that the WAC is of course such a great Club only because of its many, many volunteers and their hard work! And this is the part where I reach out to you, you and you! – If you are interested to become a class rep or if you have a splendid idea for our fantastic school, or if you would like to bring in your passion and special talent (e.g. photography… we are always on the lookout for volunteers taking class pictures) please don’t be shy and contact me! Your help will be very much appreciated. Of course if you do have some queries about the PTA or questions about living in Switzerland I am more than happy to help out as well! I can be contacted by email or by mobile 079 922 93 46.

I am looking forward to meeting many of you.

Fancy being a class rep? Have some great ideas or suggestions for our school? Give me a call!

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Girls’ Club News - Jana Parkin

Girls Club had a great end of the season camp out right before the summer holidays began. Our trip to Engelberg was perfect for some mother daughter bonding and getting to know new friends! The group house that we rented had great facilities, and loads of room for the girls to run and play. We began our adventures with a rainy hike to the local monastery to observe the cheese making. After, Mirjam Egli-Rohr was kind enough to teach us all how to bake Zopf, which turned out delicious, allowing the girls to earn their Cooking badge. The girls worked on writing short stories for the Writing badge, and we also had a lively discussion about making choices in difficult situations for their Decisions badge. During our awards ceremony, it was quite clear how hard our girls have been working this past year and have been able to earn so many accolades. The next day brought us to the top of mountain for some wonderful Swiss fun. First up was tobogganing with some lama’s at the Brunni ski resort. Following that we went on a barefoot trail around the Härzlisee, a chilling experience! A globi treasure hunt hike down the mountain finished off our fun. Many thanks go to all the Mom’s who joined us on our trip, everyone lent a hand during the meal preparation and cleaning up which made for a fantastic experience shared by all. As a new season of Girls Club is beginning look out for more fun in the future! Our next meeting will be weather dependent and taking place on August 24th. If your daughter is interested in joining us this season please contact Jana Parkin.

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ANNOUNCEMENT Happy 4th birthday to Isobel for the 5th September! Lots of love Mummy, Daddy and Zack Have a birthday, anniversary, house move, test result or other news you want to share? Email me at

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WAC PLAYGROUPS Zoom Zoom Zoom ! * Lots of singing and moving * Story time or theme discussion * Every Tuesday starting at 9:30-11:30 Come make some new friends! Interested? Ask Jana for more info.

ROCKIN’ RASCALS Rockin’ Rascals welcomes kids aged 0-4 and their mom-dad-caregiver Every Thursday from 9:15-11:15 for songs, playing, crafts and snack!

Hosted by Annie Forster, Bettina Ditzen and Louise Gooding For more information please contact Louise at: Disclaimer: Members, their families and guests are reminded that participation in WAC activities is entirely on their own discretion and/or risk. Neither the Women’s Activity Club nor its representatives shall be held responsible for damage, injury or loss incurred by the use of Club property or participation in club events.

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BUMPS AND BABIES PLAYGROUP The WAC is pleased to announce that the bumps and babies playgroup is going to take place on Mondays from 09.3011.30am. Come join us for a morning coffee and cake and meet new friends! Costs: CHF 2 for members, CHF 4 for non-members At the moment the playgroup has no regular host, but we will have a rota of volunteers to keep it going. If you would like to host the group on a week of your choice, please fill in the schedule sheet on the WAC notice board.

If you would like to host it on a regular basis, please send an email to

WAC DINNER CLUB The Dinner Club will be meeting next on Thursday 24th October We will be trying out the

Argentinian Steak House Schlossweg 4, 8610 Uster

The restaurant is up by the castle in Uster with a fantastic view over the Greifensee. This is a favourite with my husband and I, we usually take our families there when they come to stay. I have vegetarian friends who have been too and were well looked after with a good, imaginative vegetarian alternative, so the vegetarians among you, please don’t let the name put you off coming. Don’t forget to look out for the sign up sheet on the noticeboard nearer the time (or you can always sign up by email). Susan Junod

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Playgroup News - Annie Forster We've been having fun crafting bee hives, playing with goop, creating a washing line paper craft and we even had a badi meet up for the months of June and July. If you would also like to make a bubble wrap bee hive craft...

Bubble Wrap Bee Hive Craft What You Need:  a piece of paper or a piece of carton  bubble wrap  scissors  glue  paint (yellow/ orange)  print out of bees to colour (simply Google bumble bees colouring in)  colouring pencils (optional)  marker (optional)


Cut out your bubble wrap in the shape of a beehive. Paint the bubble wrap bubble side up. It's also interesting for the children to choose two colours e.g. orange and yellow to give the bee hive more dimension. Leave to dry. Once dried, glue the painted bubble wrap onto your paper/carton. If you are able to find pictures of bees for your child to colour, have them cut each bee and glue them to swarm the hive. Alternatively, your child can also dip their thumb into yellow paint to make a thumb print and create bees swarming the hive. Finish with markers to form wings and stripes on the bee. This project can also be embellished by older children eg. cutting out green tissue paper to form grass underneath the hive, instead of sticking the bubble wrap directly on the paper/carton, your child can press the painted bubble wrap on the paper/carton to form a hive pattern. The possibilities are endless! Original source: rhymetime4kids.blogspot and Bubble-Wrap-Bee-Hive/629

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Did you know….?

in our house.

If your children are learning to read you may be interested in the Oxford Owl. This is an on-line resource for reading books with over 250 titles to choose from. They are classified according to reading age, starting from age 34 and going up to age 9-10 and also by series and book type. The books are laid out on the screen exactly as the printed book and the children can click to turn the pages. The series include the reading with Biff, Chip and Kipper series which is a favourite

My two 6 year olds really enjoy reading these books. My son Thomas moans when it’s time for him to do his reading from a printed book but he actually enjoys reading on the computer and I get a ‘woopee’ when I suggest we go on the Oxford Owl so this is a real winner with him and with me! It’s also FREE, you just need to join by providing your email address and a password, well worth having a look at. Happy reading! Susan Junod

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Geneva on a Budget - Judy Burckhardt This summer I found out sur- of Ambilly looks a bit shabby, but we still felt safe walking around there prisingly that you can see when we went out or came back from Geneva for a lot less than dinner. (Our hotel was old, but newly most Swiss cities. For budg- renovated, so it was well maintained.) Money Saving Tip #2, afet conscience people, Geneva ter spending a full day in Gehas the HUGE advantage of neva, come back to France to being very close to the eat your dinner. French border. In Ambilly, we found 2 great inMoney Saving Tip #1: Stay in a hotel in France.

(For a family of 4, it saves about 100+ CHF/night.) The closest hotels to Geneva in France are in the towns of Ferney -Voltaire (10-15 minutes car drive closer to Zurich than the 2nd choice) or Ambilly/Annemasse (generally cheaper by 50 Euros/night). Both FerneyVoltaire or Ambilly/Annemasse are 515 minutes to Geneva by car (depending on where you are in those cities). We stayed at the Ibis Style Annemasse Geneve in Ambilly, France, in a small quadruple room for 96 Euros/ night (including great breakfasts with fresh croissants, freshly squeezed orange juice, muesli, ham, cheese, yogurts, bread, coffee, yummy hot cocoa, etc.). Bus #61 (with a bus stop within a half block of the hotel) ran every 15 minutes & took 20-30 minutes (depending on traffic) to reach Geneva Cornavin Train Station (Geneva’s Main Rail Station). This bus served many of the hotels in Ambilly & connected them conveniently to Geneva. The local area

expensive restaurants: Le Viand D’Arte and La Barca. Le Viand D’Arte (as the name suggests) specializes in meat (specifically grilled meats that you grill yourself on a mini grill which they set up on your table), but the restaurant also serves Raclette & Fondue for nonmeat eaters. Their Grill Meat Platter (26 Euros) comes with enough meat for 2 adults --- as well as some cooked vegetables, bread, French Fries, & a dessert. The tiny pizza shop, La Barca, makes delicious wood oven baked pizza just like in Italy in about 10 minutes & for 10 Euros. And the next time I’m in Ambilly, I want to try Monkeys Place, a Vietnamese place that was unfortunately closed the night we went there.

Money Saving Tip #3: the Geneva Pass. If you plan on visiting a lot of places in Geneva, it is a travel pass which you can purchase either on-line or at the Geneva Tourist Information Center in Geneva or the Geneva Airport (as well as a couple of Geneva hotels). Cost is 25 CHF/person for 24 hour, 35 CHF for 48 hours, & 45 CHF for 72 hours. This pass allows you free entry to many Geneva attractions including the Old Town Mini-Train Tour (a great way to see the main out door sites of Geneva with children), Mermaid Boat Tour (what Geneva Tourist Trip would be complete without a ride on Lake Geneva?), 30 minute Paddle Boat & 1 hour Canoe Rental, Geneve Plage (the main Geneva swim center), Red Cross Museum, Patek Phillipe

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Watch Museum, Chateau Prangins (a Swiss National Museum like Zurich’s Landesmuseum), and lots, lots more. For further information, see this link: (Note: If your children are young & won’t be doing much because they nap, I would only get the Geneva Pass for the adults in your party. Many museums are free for children & on a lot of other things, kids are half-price.)

daughter so she could X off all the places she visited as she saw them. She loved it.) In summer, Geneva employs “Tourist Angels” wearing bright orange T -shirts & milling around main Geneva Tourist Attractions. They are very friendly, give out free pamphlets & will take your group photo for free.

So, if you have ever wanted to see Geneva, do it. It won’t break your pocketbook!

Many thanks to Judy for this Last tip: start your tour of Geneva with a visit to Geneva’s excellent article, and to Sharon for her monthly tips (see below). very friendly Tourist Information Center. If you have your own travel (Address: Rue du Mont-Blanc 18, CH tips to share with fellow WAC 1211 Geneva. Open on Mondays 10 AM members, please email them to – 6 PM, Tuesday to Saturday 9 AM – 6 PM, Sundays & Holidays 10 AM – 4 PM.) Besides being a plethora of information, I’m also looking for contributhey also give out free Geneva maps. (I tions to our updated Excursion Book gave a Geneva pictorial map to my

SWISS TIPS - BY SHARON WARTHMANN Now that the lovely autumn months are ahead, with (hopefully) pleasant temperatures, I thought it would be helpful to pass on some websites that I have used in the past when searching for interesting family activities and outings. We have discovered numerous fantastic tips just sifting through these websites and have experienced some very interesting outings as a family. These websites are unfortunately in German L. But if you have a basic understanding, they are pretty easy to navigate and you can certainly pick up some wonderful ideas on what to do. They offer filters so that you can select the type of activity you want to do e.g. outdoor or indoor, in Canton Zurich or further away, buggy friendly or more adventurous, action and fun etc. etc. Did you know, that the WAC also offers its very own WAC Excursion Book? It was put together some years ago by WAC members who had been on various outings and decided it was worth to compile a helpful book for the benefit of other WAC members. This booklet is available in English J from the WAC office for Fr. 5.00. Many of the outings recommended in the above websites are also mentioned in the WAC booklet.

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id for Swiss Driver's License BLS


Swimming lessons for kids aged 3 and above take place every Tuesday afternoon at the Uster Hallenbad. As these classes are rather full, we would like to know if there is enough interest to open a second class on Friday afternoon (likely from 2-5pm). We would also like to know if there is enough interest to open a parenttot swimming class for children 0-36 months old and their parents. This would take place on Tuesday at 3.30pm. If you are interested in either option, please fill in the sheet on the WAC noticeboard or contact the office. For additional information about WAC swimming please contact

Potluck Club British Night in

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Lunch Club A Two Hour Supervised Lunch Break for you and your kids!

Mon-Tues-Thurs-Fri 11:45-13:45 Cost: 15chf per child/per day Parents are responsible for their own child’s sack lunch. Please fill in a registration form at the WAC or see our website for more info.


For information on renting the WAC‘s facilities, please contact:

COM 043 305 9250 Great rates for WAC members!

For all those excursions around Zurich and beyond, don‘t forget the WAC Excursion Book, listing great days out in and around the Zurich ar ea. Available from the office or library for just 5 SFr.

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“I hope she'll be a fool -- that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The Readers Gone WACky Special Event The Great Gatsby and more meeting At the Triangel Restaurant, Zumikon Friday August 30th 19:30 pm

The Readers Gone WACky will start off the new year of reading with dinner and a discussion of the Great Gatsby, as well as other current “Gatsby” best sellers. This special meeting will be a chance for long time, occasional and new members to relax over a fine meal, discuss a classic novel and plan meetings for the coming year. If you've already read The Great Gatsby here are additional books we will include in our discussion: Beautiful Fools by R Clifton Spargo Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler Call Me Zelda by Erica Robuck This is a special event, with a pre-dinner excursion so please contact Alice Knöpfel ( if you are planning to attend. The regular Readers Gone WACky meetings are held on Wednesday evenings at 8 PM at the WAC. New readers are very welcome! Please call or email Alice Knoepfel for more information (044 912 2326

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Library News - Jess Bachofen New Books

Welcome to Noisy Village! Go crayfishing in the summer at Nocken, "dipping in the pot" at Christmastime with Lisa and Karl, and join Britta and Anna who know the best way to go about "nutting" for the New Year. In this gently humorous tale, master storyteller Astrid Lindgren takes us through a year in the lives and customs of six Swedish children living on a group of three‌

When Katie and her cousin Jack visit London with Grandma, they don't think there's much to see and do. At Trafalgar Square they meet a talking stone lion, and he takes them on a wonderful tour of the city.

New Movies Oblivion is a 2013 American post-apocalyptic science fiction film based on Joseph Kosinski's Radical Comics-edited unpublished graphic novel of the same name. The film was co-written, produced and directed by Kosinski.[6][7][8] It stars Tom Cruise.[9][10] The film was released in the US on April 19, 2013.[11] According to Kosinski, Oblivion pays homage to science fiction films of the 1970s.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a 2013 American-German action-horror dark fantasy film with black comedy elements, co-written and directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola and filmed in 3D. It is a continuation to the German folk fairy tale "Hänsel and Gretel", which was recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812. The film stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in the title roles of a brother-and-sister duo of professional witch hunters. Famke Janssen stars as the deadly leader of a coven of evil witches that they seek out to destroy.

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September 2013 SUNDAY














9.15-11.15 Rockin Rascals Playgroup


9.30-11.30 Bumps & Babies playgroup

9.30-11.30 Zoom Zoom Zoom Playgroup

16.05-17.05 Advanced Kids‘ Ballet




9.30-11.30 Bumps & Babies playgroup



Zoom Zoom Zoom Playgroup

Beginners Kids‘ Ballet 18.00-20.00 Kids‘ Movie Night



9.15-11.15 Rockin Rascals Playgroup




9.15-11.15 Rockin Rascals Playgroup



Beginners Kids‘ Ballet

16.05-17.05 Advanced Kids‘ Ballet


16 9.30-11.30 Bumps & Babies playgroup



9.30-11.30 Zoom Zoom Zoom Playgroup


Beginners Kids‘ Ballet

16.05-17.05 Advanced Kids‘ Ballet


23 9.30-11.30 Bumps & Babies playgroup 16.05-17.05 Advanced Kids‘ Ballet







18.00-21.30 First Aid on Children Course

9.15-11.15 Rockin Rascals Playgroup


LTCS Parents‘ Information Evening

18.00-21.30 First Aid on Children Course

Zoom Zoom Zoom Playgroup 18.00-21.30 First Aid on Children Course


Beginners Kids‘ Ballet

30 9.30-11.30 Bumps & Babies playgroup 16.05-17.05 Advanced Kids‘ Ballet

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