A few weeks ago, we were told to be ready to go on an "excursion" this last Wednesday with the other members of the Institute for Public Communication. It was all very hush-hush, to the point where we didn't find out where we were going until we were on the bus. Even then, they mislead us into thinking we would be going to the construction site of the new Gotthard tunnel between Zurich and Milan (which would have been interesting, I guess). Anyways, we roll up to this strange building with a bunch of people dressed in camouflage in front of it.
The view from the mountain we had driven up was amazing.
They then tell us that we are actually at a military training base for the Swiss army. The entire day consisted of a tour of the base, an explanation of the role of the Swiss army, and a demonstration of your average medical intervention. The whole thing was mostly in Italian, with some French and a little bit of German so, I only understood about half of what was going on at any given time.
The demonstration was interesting, as some of the recruits were from the German- or French- speaking part of Switzerland, and communication took place in a mixture of the three.
They were very hospitable, offering us copious amount of the (in)famous military chocolate
After that, it was time to take our bus back home through the beautiful Ticino landscape. All in all, the experience was indicative of the multiculturality that constitutes a big part of the Swiss experience. It's probably not something I would have chosen to do, but I'm glad I did it.