As many of you know, I love travel, culture, hiking and of course photography. This past summer I returned to the beautiful Berner Oberland in the heart of Switzerland, home of the renowned Eigar, Jungfrau and Monch. One of the bergs I hiked to and spent the night at was the very scenic Obersteinberg. It was there that I met Vicki, a 57 year old American woman from Pennsylvania who is a cheese maker with her husband. The following is the first part of an interview accompanied by photos. Enjoy!
1. I believe you said you’d been into cheese making for 20 years. What were your biggest influences for entering this unusual career, especially a half world away?
VICKI: I’ve been ON THE ALP for 21 years. My husband makes the cheese; I only give it a salt-water bath every 3 days (for the first 3 months). I ended up here because I just had this sudden idea that I wanted to work with cows. I was always drawn to Switzerland and the mountains, even as a small child.
2. Your days are long and full of physical labor. What are your favorite parts and your least favorite parts?
VICKI: I like really all the jobs, even cleaning the stall. What I don’t like is when my age and/or health problems get in the way of my work—or when there’s stress that too much has to happen in too little time. And I’m always worrying about the animals. I have this old lady sickness that they’re really my friends, and I just want them to have it nice. Which I of course don’t really understand so well at the same time, what’s “good” for a cow.
PART II COMING SOON!