Bernadette’s Take #6

Women from the Swiss canton of Appenzell rock!

Susanna Niederer from Calgary

Susanna_Niederer - Copy (Photo Copyright Susanna Niederer)

We had a minister and member of the government from that area when women were still rare in the Bundesrat (Swiss government): Ruth Metzler-Arnold.

Today there are lots of female ministers in Switzerland.

Susanna Niederer is from the canton of Appenzell, too – a power woman!

She is a shining example from the species Helveticus Internationalensis (I just invented this name). For people like her, the world is their oyster.

Susanna was a delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross from 2002 to 2009 and worked  as their Administrative Coordinator in DR Congo, India, Iran, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Sudan.

No job for nervous lilies, I can tell you!

Recently she completed an assignment in operations management in Libya and an employee benefit analysis in Washington D.C.

It would not have surprised me if the Obama administration had wanted to keep her there but she ventured for a much more exciting place: Calgary!

Susanna works as a consultant/ business developer and  – I am sure of it – infuses the place with her energy and never ending stream of great ideas!

Dear Susanna, in Calgary, you can literally take the bull by the horns! J

At last, the Can-Swiss Quiz with Susanna Niederer:

What gift do you bring home from Canada (or Switzerland)?

To Canada: goat cheese and Appenzell cheese as well as pantli (salami from the canton of Appenzell)

To Switzerland: magazines on adventure and wilderness trips, maple syrup and First Nations` artifacts

What product(s) do you miss most in Canada (or in Switzerland)?

As a country girl from the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, I miss the Appenzeller Alpenbitter (a liquor made from 42 herbs), Biberli (a gingerbread speciality from Appenzell) and snuff tobacco!

Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Swiss men or women?

Environmental consciousness, reliability and reliability

Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Canadian men or women?

Canadians, especially in the west, are down to earth and very community oriented – you cannot get away with no volunteering engagement.

Canadians are huggers, and if you like getting hugs this is the place to be!

What triggered a culture shock for you in Switzerland or Canada (in one sentence, please)?

For both countries I did not undergo a cultural but a spatial shock as they could not be more opposite of the spatial equation!

Which Canadian or Swiss personality do fascinate you?

The three extraordinary Canadians I admire the most are Stephen Lewis, David Suzuki and Naomi Klein.

My current three Swiss favorites are Mathis Wackernagel (co-founder of Global Footprint Network), Bertrand Piccard and, as a former ICRC Delegate, Henry Dunant.


Look at these beautiful pictures that Susanna sent to us!

My magic place in Switzerland:Magik Rehetobel 1-1 - Copy(Photo Copyright Susanna Niederer)

Susanna writes: “My magic place in Switzerland is the village of Rehetobel in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.

Here are my roots, a place where I feel safe and free from care.”

My magic place in Canada:Magik Whaleback AB - Copy(Photo Copyright Susanna Niederer)

Susanna writes: “This is my magic place in Alberta, Canada: Whaleback, AB.

The Whaleback region is situated in southwest Alberta approximately 140 km south of the City of Calgary, just north of the Oldman River and west of the Porcupine Hills.
This is the region with 1000 year old trees and real cowboys – a truly magic place that put a spell on me.”


Have a look at Susanna’s website:

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