Get the latest from Women's Hockey Life straight to your inbox

Playing Hockey and Living Life

Sometimes when I think about my life right now I can’t help but smile or even laugh. In some ways this is exactly where I expected myself to be and in other ways there are things in my life that I couldn’t have even imagined.

I’m in Switzerland, playing hockey and living life, and this is something I’ve been expecting and waiting for almost my whole life. You see, my dad is Swiss, and he came to the U.S. on a scholarship to do his masters and phd programs, and then after that he got a job, met my mom, and stayed in the Washington D.C. area. We visited Switzerland almost every year for vacation, to see my dad’s family and friends, and of course to do some good hiking. Growing up both of my sisters and I always thought it would be cool to actually live in Switzerland sometime instead of just spending a few weeks there at a time for vacation. So here I am, living in Switzerland, which is easier for me to do as a dual citizen, with both American and Swiss citizenship. While I always wanted to live in Switzerland, hockey is really the reason why I ended up coming here.

I’m playing this season with the DHC Langenthal, practicing a little bit extra with a boys team when I can, and have also been able to play a little bit with the Swiss National Team. As a Swiss citizen who has lived abroad my whole life, I will need to play two full, consecutive seasons in Switzerland and then I could potentially play officially with the Swiss National Team. We’ll see what happens!

A couple of things that I couldn’t have really imagined beforehand is where I am living and working. I decided I wanted to live with my older sister, who has been living here for 2 years already, in a town called Lyss. The bad part about that is that it takes me about an hour to get to practice in Langenthal. But, I get to live with my sister in a huge house with a total of 10 people living there. In German its called a Wohngemeinshaft, or in english a living community. There are people of all different ages, the youngest is 18, the oldest is probably about 50. Its pretty organized, we have chores that we are suppose to do once a week, breakfast and dinner are provided each day during the week, and so once a week it’s my job to prepare breakfast or dinner. The other thing that I definitely couldn’t have imagined and had no idea what to expect coming to Switzerland is what I would end up doing for work. I thought it would take me a while to improve my German before I could find a job but I was working after a month already. The first six weeks I was doing housework for a family that included cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, babysitting, etc. This family has a lady that usually does everything for them who was away for an operation but she’s back now. The dad of this same family owns a candle company and so now I am now working in the candle factory! I never expected myself to work in a factory but so far I really like it. I’m not sure if it’s my life calling yet but for now it’s a good job 🙂 First of all, it smells absolutely wonderful there and I find the whole candle making process really cool. Everything is done by hand, no machines, starting with liquid boiling wax to preparing and packaging the candles to be ready to ship out.

One funny story to finish this entry up. Back in September, we had a team training camp in Grindelwald, a kind of touristy city in the mountains. The same weekend there happened to be a cheese festival and a cheese competition. There were about 200 cheeses that were judged and anyone could sample them. A few teammates and I just couldn’t resist and went to taste all the cheeses. As we were tasting them someone from a radio station came up to us with a microphone and asked us how the cheese tasted, and the difference between two particular cheeses. One of my teammates told me to try to answer in German so I did. Two days later I was at work, where they always have the radio playing. Most of the time it’s too fast for me so I don’t understand anything unless I really concentrate. So I wasn’t really paying attention because it was going too fast but then all of a sudden I heard this broken German with an accent and I was like “OH MY GOSH, THATS ME!” That was really funny and as if I wasn’t famous enough playing women’s ice hockey, I think my couple of seconds on Swiss radio really increased my fame! Just kidding! Things like that you could never plan, it just happens, and its things like that, that make me smile or laugh.



More about Jaclyn Hawkins