Bernadette’s Take #32

A World Traveler and Bookworm

Therese Feldmann from Quesnel

Family summer11 (2) - CopyTherese Feldmann is in first row on the right, her husband Jürg in the second row on the right. Would you have guessed? And their children Martina, Andri and Flurin. (Photo Therese Feldmann)

It is surprising what Swiss immigrants in Canada are up to.

Take Jürg Feldmann for instance. I came across him by pure chance.

Jürg was a successful coach for Canadian athletes. Cyclists like mountain bikers to be exact.

I don`t really want to talk about him because Jürg does not really want to talk about himself. And he has retired from coaching since.
But I have to mention that you can read about him on his website if you don`t believe me:

Back to Therese Feldmann, his wife. In Switzerland, she was a secondary school teacher. But then she and Jürg emigrated to Canada in 1990, to have a change in lifestyle.

Be careful what you wish for.
Change they got. Lots.

But how on earth did they end up in Quesnel of all places?
It is simple. In the summer of 1989, they went to look at some property in Lake La Hache and drove to Quesnel for lunch. (I did not know that Quesnel was the place for dining, but here you go, I always learn new things.)

DSC02909 - CopyOne of the changes in the life of Therese Feldmann after she emigrated to Canada: two Bernese mountain dogs named Baeri and Balou. They had to be Bernese dogs because Therese speaks Bernese. (Photo Therese Feldmann)

From the restaurant, Jürg saw a hospital (a restaurant near the hospital, is that a good sign or a bad sign?). He decided at some point between the soup and the dessert to dropped in (the hospital, not the soup).
He learned that the hospital had been looking unsuccessfully for a physiotherapist for two years. Jürg thought: This is for me! He is a physiotherapist, you know. And a sports teacher. And a coach for cyclists. And Therese’s husband.
Ten months later, they started living in Quesnel on a 4-acre-property that is located on the shore of a lake.

home 2 2010 (2) - CopyThe Feldmanns have a lot of firewood! The winter must be quite cold in Quesnel, says the detective in me. (Photo Therese Feldmann)

Therese works in the office in Jürg’s physiotherapy clinic.

But there are significant differences between the two: Therese loves her two Bernese mountain dogs.

Jürg loves and raises goats.

Goat Whisperer2 (2) - CopyTherese calls her husband Jürg a ”goat whisperer”. I think it is the goat that is whispering something into Jürg’s ear. (Photo Therese Feldmann)

And when her husband does not want to talk to people, Therese does it for him.

What a great team!

They have chicken, and in the summer, they have turkeys.
In the winter, they have turkey, too, but in the oven.

Therese, a mother of two sons and a daughter, says she would not mind living in Switzerland again: “I am at home in both countries.”

She loves to travel and she reads a lot of books.
Therese, please read my books. Please, please, please.

Ausblick - CopyYou see, this is why the Feldmann’s have such a lot of firewood! (Photo Therese Feldmann)

Last but not least, the

Can-Swiss Quiz with Therese Feldmann:

What gift do you take to Switzerland from Canada?

Maple syrup, salmon in a wooden box, handicraft like soap from Quesnel, gold nuggets for ear hangers.

What gift do you bring home from Switzerland?

Aromat (a condiment), Le Parfait, liquid Cenovis, Ragusa and Frigor chocolate, Femina pralines from Cailler, Biberli from St. Gallen (gingerbread-style pastry), Vermicelles (chestnut paste), Stalden pudding, condiments for Raclette cheese, hard cheese, Morga vegetable bouillon, German books.

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

Raclette cheese with pepper from Migros, Vacherin-Gruyere cheese mix for fondue, a vast selection of good quality yoghurts, Field Salad (Nüsslisalat).

In Switzerland?

Meat for a reasonable price, low-cost sushi, East-Indian restaurants that are not so expensive.

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

Are less superficial, they maintain and cherish friendships, they have an excellent system of busses and trains (public transport)

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

Uncomplicated, not prejudiced, are happy about the success of others.

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

When I came to Canada, I was called by my first name in the bank. That really astonished me!

Which Canadian or Swiss personality fascinates me?

In Canada: Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Leonard Cohen

In Switzerland: the actress and comedienne Stephanie Glaser

baby goat 5 (2) - CopyThese goats would probably thrive on Nüsslisalat (field salad) but Therese cannot find Nüsslisalat in Canada. (Photo Therese Feldmann)

P.S. If you would like to fill in a Can-Swiss Quiz yourself, you are very welcome! Please send it to

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