A few weeks ago, we had the incredible chance to go back home to Neuch for Fête de Vendages to celebrate our 20 years since NJC. Arriving to Neuchâtel by train, we got so excited as we pulled into the station and walked through the “gare,” across the street and down the driveway of NJC. So much had changed, yet the school was pretty much the same! Memories came flooding back- what a magical year we had, some 20-odd years ago!
That evening, we met our classmates at the Cerf, a place where we had probably spent a bit too much time during our year at NJC. It was so incredible seeing our friends and slipping right back into easy conversations as we laughed, caught up and reminisced.
Friday morning we were warmly welcomed by NJC Head of School, Andrew Keleher who asked us about our time at NJC. We then had the opportunity to talk to the students about our time there, highlights, memories and advice. It was wonderful to talk to a group of people, who we know are about to embark upon an amazing journey, much the same as we had 20 years earlier. The staff and students were so kind as they asked us about our time there, we talked about our pensions, trips and teachers.
In the afternoon Andrew had organized an Apéro hour for our class. We were so touched to see our class photo and our yearbook, ready to welcome, and to spark some very funny memories. We socialized with the current staff, walked around the school, took pictures on the terrace and were even given a tour of the apartments by Andrew and Larissa. The memories came flooding back, and it was as though no time had passed at all. We all went to dinner together before going out to celebrate Fête. With all of the confetti, wine, music and food, it was certainly a lot bigger than our year there, but it was just as much fun!
On Saturday we joined the current students to go to DesAlpes. We had Raclette in a sweet little cave restaurant, heard the Alpen Horns and the charming cow bells and saw the parade of cows with flowers on their heads. It was just as magical and Swiss as it had been before, but it was so nice to see it as an adult, I dare say we were perhaps more appreciative of it this time too! We went for one last Fondue dinner before going out for our final night to celebrate together. It was so special walking around, drinking Swiss wines, and having the best time like we were still teenagers.
It is truly an incredible gift to go back, to be so warmly welcomed to the place that helped shape us. To reminisce and to laugh with amazing people. Ungros merci to Mr Keleher, all the NJC staff, and to our amazing classmates who made the trip- it was absolutely one for the books!