Neighbourhood: Montreux

Text & photography by Nathan Williams (Kinfolk Magazine)

When I think of it now, it seems like a dream. We were situated on a mountaintop, overlooking Lake Geneva, yes—a real life fairytale. We’d go for a walk and joggers would pass and offer a friendly, bonjour, and actually look into our eyes. The houses hung to the side of the mountain, juxtaposed against the rock with their jovial red-gabled roofs weighting them into their precarious positions. Each home had its own name and a sign to prove it.

Neighbourhood: Montreux

It wouldn’t take long on our strolls before we’d hear the bells ringing from grazing animals nearby. Sheep and goats roamed freely on the dense, green mountainside. On days when we both had free time from our duties, my wife and I would ride the train or walk down the mountain and explore the streets of the town below. There often wasn’t many shops open as they would close for a holiday, long lunch, or perhaps the shop owner didn’t feel like coming in that day and opted to spend the day with family. To those of us from a fast-paced culture, there is something to admire in their leisure and priorities.

Neighbourhood: Montreux

Although life seemed idyllic, in the background of it all, our hearts were seized with the knowledge of the conditions in which others lived throughout the world—the real reason we were there. We had gathered with a group of global citizens, discussing the world’s fluctuating dynamics and problems, and powering up to be change-makers. We talked of poverty, human-security, conflict resolution, and let the reality of it all sink in. We left this haven in which we’d found community, and returned with ideas and tools to forge greater human connections—to contribute to our native community at home.

From N˚4: Flight.