Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Calling for Wellness Warriors in Lugano

Anyone else feeling this zesty spring energy?! If you're ready for an 8 week boost, Courtenay and Amy are launching Wellness Warriors: a unique, total health program blending fitness & yoga with nutrition & healthy living to offer a new & complete approach to wellness.

Located at the new HORIZON club with stunning views over Lugano this 8-week course empowers you with the knowledge, motivation & support you need to enjoy life with ease & energy.

As a Wellness Warrior, you will receive:

- Free 20 minute phone consultation with Courtenay or Amy
- Welcome Pack
- Personalised Nutrition & Lifestyle Analysis
- 2hr weekly WELLNESS sessions with Courtenay & Amy
- Weekly Goal & Habit setting
- 8 weeks of home workouts & yoga practice
- Nutritional Guidance & Support
- 8 weeks of continual support & coaching in a powerful community

The Wellness Warrior Course begins Wednesday, April 6. What are you waiting for? Contact either Amy or Courtney for more details at: amyker@amykfit.com or courtenaymastain@gmail.com or click here to see the flyer. For more info check out: Mytree Yoga.

This is your chance to meet a fun community of like minded women! Namaste!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter weekend in Lugano

Voilà, the long Easter weekend is nearly here. Should you be staying in Lugano these days check out the city's programme filled with numerous intriguing and entertaining activities for big and small. Join the festive atmosphere.

25.03-28.03 / 10:00-18:30 / Piazza Manzoni
Street activities and itinerant game space with Ludobus Macramé. Hand-made playthings that stimulate kids’ creativity and dexterity.

25.03-28.03 / 13:30-18:00 / Centro Cittadino
Musical animation with Tacalà, Duo Nostranello, Tirabüscion and Bagiöö.

26.03 / 15:30 / Da Piazza Luini a Piazza Dante
Coro della Chiesa di Gesù Cristo dei Santi degli ultimi giorni
26.03 / 16:30 / Patio del Municipio
Filarmonica di Castagnola
28.03 / 17:00 / Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI
I Barocchisti

25.03-28.03 / 11:00-18:00 / Centro Cittadino
Over 100 stands with handicrafts, food and wine.

26.03-28.03 / 10:30 e 15:00 / Darsena / Parco Ciani
A special Easter egg hunt in the park for children of all ages on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 10:30 a.m. and at 3 p.m. Ciani Park dock. Easter snacks handed out to all participants!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day!

On World Water Day, people everywhere show that they care and that they have the power to make a difference. They get inspired by information and use it to take action and change things. This year many will focus on the power that water and jobs have to transform people’s lives. Nearly all jobs are related to water and those that ensure its safe delivery. But today, millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or even protected by basic labour rights. This needs to change.

World Water Day is an opportunity to learn more and be inspired to tell others. Read reports, watch videos and download teaching material from the international water community: http://www.unwater.org

Switzerland is often called "Europe's water reservoir". Want to learn more about the Swiss power of water?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Intelligence Services and Civil Liberties talk at FUS

Like many countries, Switzerland has an intelligence service, and has experienced the tensions that arise between its activities and civil liberties.

Internal "political" surveillance was established in Switzerland as early as the 1930s. It was only in 1989, however, that the activities of the Swiss "political police" came to the attention of the general public - to the dismay and outrage of a large part of the population, who found out that the political activities of many citizens had generally been monitored by the State for several years.

Prof. Kreis’ lecture will focus on the history of political surveillance in Switzerland, and on how the 1989 surveillance "scandal" led to changes in the way this activity is administered in the country.

Tickled your interest? Head to the Franklin University of Switzerland (FUS) tomorrow night and learn more.

The event is open to all and will be followed by a reception.

Venue: Intelligence Services and Civil Liberties talk at Franklin University
Where: FUS Nielsen Auditorium, Via Ponte Tresa 29, 6924 Sorengo
When: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
Time: 19:00

For more information on Prof. Kreis, see www.georgkreis.ch.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

You know you are in Switzerland when..

One step into Manor - Switzerland's leading department store with 61% of market share - and you'll know you are in the country of chocolate heaven. See for yourself:

Chocolate galore: where to start?

How many bunnies can I catch?

Latest novelty in the chocolate market by Favarger

A real Swiss secret: Ragusa

One of Switzerland's most recognised brands worldwide: Toblerone

A Swiss Easter classic by Lindt

The real thing: coloured eggs for the Easter egg hunt

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Did you know that Switzerland...?

Say “Switzerland” and a host of images come to mind: mountains, watches, chocolate, banks. There is something in all of these, though they tend to obscure the complex reality of Switzerland today.

Think you know all about Switzerland? Read on for an assortment of facts that goes beyond the clichés.

Here are some random facts:
- Switzerland is bordered by five countries: Italy, France, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein.
- Switzerland stretches 350km from east to west, and 220km north to south.
- The highest mountain in Switzerland is the Dufourspitze in canton Valais, which rises to 4,634m.
- Switzerland has three main topographical zones: the mountainous alpine region (60%), the central plateau (30%), and the Jura mountains (10%).
- Life expectancy has almost doubled for the Swiss since 1900. A man born today can expect to live 81 years, while a woman's life expectancy is now 85.2 years.
- Switzerland has the highest percentage (0.01%) of people over the age of 100 in Europe.
- The biggest Swiss private corporation is Nestlé. Set up by a German political refugee in 1866, it is now the biggest food company in the world. But most Swiss businesses are small or medium sized: more than 99% of enterprises have fewer than 250 full-time workers, but employ about two-thirds of the total work force.
- Switzerland is traditionally a Christian country, both Catholic and Protestant, and the Federal Constitution still begins by invoking the name of God.
- The Swiss national hero William Tell may never have existed, but like Robin Hood, he may have some basis in fact.
- One of the most influential philosophers of the 18th century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, was a citizen of Geneva.
- The Helvetii, a Celtic tribe who battled Julius Caesar, gave their name to the Swiss territory. The Latin name for the country, Helvetia, still appears on Swiss stamps. The letters CH appearing on Swiss cars and in internet addresses stand for the Latin words Confoederatio Helvetica, meaning Swiss Confederation.
- Helvetica is a widely used sans-serif typeface developed in Switzerland in 1957.
- Swiss women only got the vote at national level in 1971. In canton Appenzell Inner Rhodes they had to wait until 1990 before they could vote in cantonal elections.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Happy Sunday

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The origin of Women's Day

The origin of International Women's Day (IWD) is drawn from more than one historical event and began as an acknowledgement of women's struggle to make their workplaces better. Created out of protest and political action, it is a symbol for all those who honour women's struggles to improve their lives.

Originally the day of remembrance symbolised the efforts to end appalling working conditions endured by women.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, many women in industrially-developing countries entered the labour force taking jobs with low wages, poor working conditions and little or no chance of improvement. Such conditions led to industrial disputes, involving both unionised and non-unionised women workers. It was their struggle that created the global impetus for an International Women's Day.

Today, it is also seen as a day of celebration of women, all that they do, and the accomplishments they have made. Women and men celebrate International Women's Day to honour those who began the struggle and those who continue to work for change and recognition of all efforts to improve the lives of women, both locally and globally.

Did you know that back in 1789, during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" demanded women's suffrage for the first time as they marched to Versailles?

The first recorded organised action by working women anywhere in the world took place in New York on March 8, 1857, when hundreds of women in the garment and textile factories staged a strike in protest of low wages, long working hours, inadequate pay, inhumane working conditions and the lack of the right to vote.

In 1917 in Russia, International Women’s Day acquired great significance – it was the flashpoint for the Russian Revolution. On March 8th women workers in Petrograd held a mass strike and demonstration demanding Peace and Bread. The strike movement spread from factory to factory and effectively became an insurrection. In 1922, in honour of the women’s role on IWD in 1917, Lenin declared that March 8th should be designated officially as women’s day.

The United Nations involvement principally began in 1977 when the General Assembly passed a resolution inviting each country to proclaim, in accordance with its historical and national traditions and customs, any day of the year as United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace.

Over 150 countries have so far ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, (CEDAW) legally committing themselves to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.

Here is a list of famous influential women who changed the world to share with your children and which will provide endless hours of discussion. It includes women’s rights activists, female poets, musicians, politicians, humanitarians and scientists: http://www.biographyonline.net/people/women-who-changed-world.html

Happy Women's Day

Sunday, March 6, 2016

What is Culture shock?

Culture shock has been studied and defined by many different people over the years and it affects everyone differently.

Basically Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.

There is also reverse culture shock. This is when an individual has successfully adjusted to the new social or cultural group, and then returns to his or her home country, or original social or cultural group.  This can be due to over-idealizing one’s home country or culture, or expecting that nothing has changed while they were away, when it actually has.

To better understand the signs and symptoms of culture shock, one must understand the four basic stages:

Honeymoon Period:
This is when you first arrive in the new location, and everything is new and exciting.
Crisis Period:
This is when your feelings of disillusionment culminate, and you begin to cope.
This is when you gradually adapt, and learn to behave like the local culture/social group.
Function effectively, and perform day to day tasks secondhand

The signs and symptoms of culture shock are: 
- homesickness
- stereotyping or feelings of hostility towards hosts
- excessive boredom
- feelings of isolation
- boredom
- withdrawal

The fact of the matter is that once you know about culture shock, you can also learn how to prevent culture shock. Here are five tips:

1. Learn about your new location first, be open-minded and willing to learn!

2. Maintain a positive sense of humour. The ability to laugh at your mistakes, and smile at people makes a world of difference in the eyes of your hosts, no matter which part of the world.

3. Know before you leave that moving or traveling somewhere different is challenging, and that it is normal to go through an adjustment period.

4. Do not withdraw. Look for positive people, travel around, take part in cultural and/or school events.

5. Take a part of home with you. Food, photos and music all help when going through a rough spot. Stay connected and keep in touch with family and friends through Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime.

Last but not least my personal advice would be to start a journal (or a blog) of the new things you come across every day and your reactions to your new home. Writing things down will help you keep them in perspective, and are funny to look back on!

One more tip: Never confuse your ability to speak the new language with your intelligence; it is easy to feel stupid and get down on yourself, but there is no reason to. It takes everyone some time to adjust and become comfortable with a new language.

And remember: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A little thing called culture shock

When we go into culture shock, we are in free fall. Having exited from our comfort zone, we are stripped straight down to our core. Oftentimes we lose confidence in our ability to meet the most basic needs: What do I eat? Where do I sleep?  Who do I connect with? Where do I belong? Will I be safe?

Cognitive dissonance is a big part of the problem. Our ideas and the reality we find sur place don’t match—which can feel threatening.

But leaving our comfort zone also propels us into a moment of accelerated growth. As we slowly begin to make sense of all the new sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures—and interactions with others—we expand our minds to incorporate new perspectives. There is potential for us to learn compassion, kindness and gratitude. The experience may feel raw—but it can also be exhilarating.

5 tools for handling the culture shock:

1. Consider the benefits:
The term “culture shock” often evokes negative connotations. But let’s turn that on its head and pretend for a moment we don’t need a toolbox. Simply ask yourself:

How have challenging cultural transitions positively impacted my life?

2. Use food as an icebreaker:
Food is a great way to learn about a new country and connect with people over a shared need. Say, how about getting out those cooking tools? :)

3. Communicate:
“Please”, “Thank you”, and a smile go a long way in someone else’s culture. Learn some basic phrases in the new language before you take off. For sure, a small phrase book, pocket dictionary or app ought to be in your toolbox. While you won’t end up having an in-depth conversation about political or social issues right away, at least you’ve made a start. Also, given that most communication is nonverbal, don’t be afraid to use your hands and feet—always fun no matter how clumsy it might feel! Find out about body language. What’s the polite way to hail a cab? Beckon someone to come over? Is it rude or polite to look someone directly in the eyes? Observe.

4. Slow down:
Treat the fact that you are entering a new culture as an opportunity to slow down and take it easy. Take time to adapt and go of any preconceptions. Think of this tool as a pressure valve: open it up and let go all of that stress and pressure out. Don’t force yourself to visit as many sights as you can—even if you feel obliged to do so. The point is to enjoy yourself, isn’t it? Allow yourself time to fully experience this transition.

5. Practice the art of being grateful:
Seeing life from a different perspective is a wonderful way to learn to appreciate what we have been given, on the road as well as in the home we’ve left behind. Here are some of the things you might be grateful for:
• hot water
• clean water
• access to fresh food
• conversations you have with people you meet along the way
• kindness of strangers
• friends you make for life
• lessons you learn
• the privilege of having the opportunity to experience all this in the first place

So, use the tools you have at hand to open your mind to the good things that surround you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Creating the "Most Positive Day in the World"

You look lovely. Aren't you brave? Fantastic job!

Go ahead give your family, friends and colleagues - or even yourself - a compliment... it is World Compliment Day today after all.

After 10 successful editions of “National Compliment Day” in the Netherlands the initiators wonder why the event should not become a "World Compliment Day" and thus create The Most Positive Day in the World?

The initiative, is not commercially oriented, so everyone can afford to participate. "World Compliment Day" simply addresses the basic human need for recognition and appreciation. Nobody wins commercially, but everybody gains emotionally. And therein lies its power.

March 1st is just about consciously reflecting on what someone in your area does well and letting that person know he/she is sincerely appreciated for that. It should be done through words instead of gifts.

So go ahead, spread those compliments because a sincere and personal compliment costs nothing, but the impact on the recipient is huge. Nothing stimulates more, gives more energy, makes people happier and, as far as business is concerned, increases productivity and commitment faster than sincere appreciation.

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