Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day Trip to Geneva

We've been residents of Switzerland over a year and still never been to Geneva. The American Women's Club sponsored a trip to visit the Red Cross Museum and tour the United Nations. I decided to sign up even though it would require an early start. Geneva is about 3 hours away by train.

statue group called "The Petrified"

I like the reflections of the banners

We received head sets and took our own pace through the museum. We learned that what we know as the Red Cross is known as the Red Crescent in the Muslim part of the world. Where the symbol of the cross is offensive, they requested an alternative.

oldest Red Cross flag

the challenges:   natural disasters, asylum seekers, conflicts/war
When prisoners or refugees are in Red Cross shelters, they are very thankful for the help they receive. They make gifts from what materials are at hand to express their gratitude. Many of their creations are on display.


supposedly a symbol of luck - from Turkey


It was impossible to capture the whole wall in a photo. The display went well beyond a normal ceiling height and nearly to the floor. Each is an individual child who'd been traumatized by the violence in their country. Many became non-verbal and the photos were used to try to match the children to family members.

rear of Red Cross building as seen from the United Nations building
I only saw this view of the UN building from the bus so had to buy a postcard. The chair represents solidarity with disabled people.

view of UN courtyard

This statue was made by a Swiss sculptor. Both the mother and child have no facial features to portray that the UN cares for all.
view from UN to Lake Geneva and the Alps - not bad!

At the UN, there are many works of art donated by various countries. Many are behind glass and difficult to capture in a photo. This display of hands was out in the open - and huge!  

ready for a press conference

hall for the conferences regarding civil rights - love the ceiling!
We were told that the colors are cleverly placed on the ceiling. Those in the "audience" see warm colors to help keep them calm. The speakers see brighter colors to inspire them to speak passionately. 

Touring the European headquarters of the UN was very similar to touring the UN in New York City. The gifts presented by member countries are beautiful. It was a long, but fun day. I came home very tired, but having made some new contacts. Next time I go to Geneva, I think I'll stay overnight.