Good Share Day: Cooking with and for Friends

A lot of things change. Our hairstyles, our fashion choices. The media we so enjoy shifts and morphs with every passing year into something different. Change is ironically the thing that really doesn’t. But something that never changes, is the joy in preparing and then sharing a good meal.

Michel, Nihad and Mirsadi all joined forces to prepare some Khinkali dumplings, a favourite in Azerbaijani cuisine and a recipe taught to Nihad by his grandmother.


Three of our boys knuckled down and prepared a favourite of theirs for the pleasure of our boarders and CDL community.

The ‘khinkali’ dumplings are knotted dough sacks stuffed with minced meat, vegetables and spices and then boiled to cook.

Nihad shows off a khinkali that’s ready to be cooked.


Michel fills the sacks with mince and spices and then binds them to seal them when cooking to retain the juices. While Mirsadi flattens and rolls out the dough for Michel. An efficient operation to say the least!


Nihad boils the khinkali to perfection!


And with hard work and dedication, Nihad, Michel and Mirsadi produced enough for the day after! Preserving them in the fridge for later consumption.

Leo enjoys some Khinkalis!


Mr. Xavier is thrilled at the opportunity to share some fine Azerbaijani cooking while Nihad adds the finishing touch to a delicious meal.


Cooking together and eating together. Since the dawn of time. The hottest hearth used to be the centre of our first villages. Where the fire is the warmest, so are the hearts. And if the kitchen in Olympus isn’t our heart, then we don’t know what is.

Boris gets in on the cooking by preparing a juicy pair of steaks for himself and for Mr. Xavier.


We’re proud to say that all of our boarders share food. If there’s somebody cooking on the stove, you bet they’re asking around if there’s anybody who wants some. And there almost always is. We don’t use the smaller pots and pans here at Olympus. Because we’re always ready to share.

Come on by and we’ll be sure to show you we mean business!

Best wishes and appetites from Olympus Boarding House!

Snow Place Like Home

Gabriel, Nihad, Mirsadi and Nikita experience a gorgeous volley of Alpine snow on our very own crepuscular campus.


Just a quiet night-time drop-in from your friends at the Olympus Boarding House with a few notes on the winter season that careens towards us at break-neck speed. Simultaneously welcomed and…braced for.

Despite being after our curfew, we couldn’t resist letting our boys out for some extra time to shove each other into snowbanks, drop ice down each others shirts and in the case of Gabriel, be kidnapped by Hawaiian Aliens and dropped back to earth through a Christmas Display at Globus.

We all celebrate the winter season differently. Deeper in European regions, Christmas is very much in the Christian tradition. Christ’s birthday is the centre-piece of the season. But with our international campus, we all celebrate some semblance of the holiday. Often divorced from the original religious significance of the season, but very much a celebration of family, community and cheery, charitable spirit. For so many, the burning hearth is a symbol of this season. And I have always interpreted the stoking of the flames as the kindness that we do unto each other, stoking the hearths in each others hearts.

For when the night is at its darkest and at its longest and at its coldest, we crowd closer to the fire. And in spirit, closer to each other in the harshest time of the year.

So we wish you all the best from Olympus. And as much as we’d love to trust the boys with fire, we’ll have to stick with our central heating. And crowd around the warm communal spirit we’re so lucky to have firmly at the heart of our boarding house.

Warm winter-time wishes from Olympus!

KING OF THE HILL: The Olympus House Competition

Hercules, Hector, Perseus, Jason (2021) illustrated by Mr. Jakob


The Alpine crown weighs heavy on the head of Switzerland. It’s a great honour to have so many high, high mounts of such quality. There’s nowhere in the world quite like it. The peaks that mark the border between land and sky in our beautiful country are as famous as our heroes.

At C.D.L, the buildings that stud our campus are named after these summits. Eiger, Cervin, Saleve, Mont Blanc…


‘Olymp.’ the golden mount. The landing of the Gods. Zeus, Hera, Athena, Poseidon, Hermes, in all their glory and immeasurable violence ruled over the Greek Isles with irresponsible wrath and questionable logic. Unlike the proud sentinels of C.D.L’s mount Olympus, whose rule is fair and only somewhat irresponsible.

Mount Olympus was scaled by many. But only the Greek Heroes were able to heave themselves atop the marble platform. And proceed onwards into the annals of Elysium as legends. And this thirst for championhood is something we encourage at Olympus, accomplishing it through the inter-grade House Competition!

Raking together points through good deeds and victory in glorious combat, our grades compete to scale the mountain and reach the top. Those who penetrate Zeus’ temple at the summit, get to ask favour of the Gods at the activities committee and secure funds for an Olympus-related adventure like no other.

Mr. Tom can be seen waving in the background as the imposing wooden slab of mount Olympus can be seen in the foreground, mapping out the progress of the different grades within the boarding house and their proximity to sweet victory.

Bringing up the rear, Grade 12 (Hercules). In fourth, Grade 11 (Jason) close behind third place occupied by Grade 09 (Perseus) and leading the way, Grade 10 (Hector)


Only the truest champions can labour their way to Godhood.

May the best win and may the fall from the top break only your bones. Saving your spirit for the day you try once more.

All the best from Olympus Boarding House!


An Introduction to Unity: Wellbeing and Diversity at C.D.L

If there’s something that needn’t be said, it’s that Collège du Léman is a very diverse environment. No kidding, one might say, correctly. An international school doesn’t earn the name out of nothing. We have students from all over the world who come here for an education and for a community like no other. Populated by young people from the edges of the globe, there can be a lot of home-sickness when one takes their first steps into this community. It’s one like no other. And it can take some humility to understand that everyone has their own way of doing things. But it also takes some courage to carry your customs with you. And respecting that and working together is what makes C.D.L such a valuable forum for collaborative effort. We bring our best, to represent and do proud our roots. And in an effort of synthesis, do each other proud with respect and being open to any opportunity to learn about how others live, love and grow in their own ways.

C.D.L promotes this valuable environment in many ways. Holding a myriad of events that have students present their origins to each other and encourage discussion and networking.


Olympus Boarder Mark can be seen here with a display on Language Diversity at CDL’s wonderful exhibition highlighting the diverse backgrounds and native origins of our wonderful students to share, strengthen and fascinate our academic community.


Our staff are as diverse as our students! And here at Olympus, we use this to our advantage in bonding as a house. Recently, we covered Diversity as a topic in our Wellbeing meetings.

Mr. Jakob demonstrates the community we have here as he is joined in the assembly by some of Olympus’ best.


And a project we developed for our Olympus community, was a survey that asked our boys to submit three things they thought set them apart from everyone else at Olympus and three things that they were sure they shared with the others in Olympus. And using this data, we believed that the boys could find a lot they thought made them different, can be shared with at least a few other people in this community.

A computer-generated ‘Word Cloud’ we produced for our Community Project featuring all the commonly utilised terms for the values our boarding community holds dear.


As much as some entities seek to convince that diversity leads to difficult rule and even more difficult progress, obviously doesn’t see the tremendous worth that putting in the work, yields. We are all different. And sometimes, that can be a difficult thing to work with. But through understanding and through humility, the keys to the kingdom lie within our respect for each other and our forgiveness.

In the rule-book of those who seek to destroy, “Divide and Conquer” is -and always will be- the flag they fly the highest.

Unity is the way. And our proud community will whole-heartedly demonstrate that, whenever and wherever people might need or want to be reminded.

Wishing you all the best from Olympus Boarding House

A Cup Of Xocolatl ☕ To Fight The Cold Weather.

Weekends in Olympus are great time to share experiences, stories and also old recipes from home. In this occasion we were able to taste a cup of Cocoa 100% Natural. Cocoa was considered a drink for gods in the ancient Aztec civilization.

Slowly heated and mixed with a traditional “Molino”, patience is needed to get the best texture and bubbles.

Nihad took his time to practice and get the perfect mix.

Time to enjoy the incredible taste of Xocolatl.

The Great Indoors and Outdoors: Weekend 19th-21st of November

Ladies and Gentlemen, another weekend washes over Olympus with refreshing mirth. After five days of back-to-back learning, we are ready to relax a little. By getting in some rigorous exercise, apparently.

Yes, we’ve all gone mad yet again. Below, we can see our boy Davyd running eight whole kilometres of his own free will. Persevering despite the bitter cold that has our region under its thumb at the moment.

Jokes aside, the running club has a wonderful advantage in the surroundings of C.D.L. The back-roads feed seamlessly into quiet stretches of farmland with few cars to speak of and forgiving elevation that provides a unique relaxation in efforts of endurance.

Davyd powers on through the golden leaves of fall, pushing on like Father Time himself!

And while some occupy themselves with steeling their nerves against the unforgiving yet fabulous outdoors, others cluster indoors for their physical activity. They partake in a variety of activities including the ‘Boxercise’ club! An abominable Frankenstein’s monster of cardiovascular activities such as running combined with the adrenaline-inducing art of punching those hand-pad thingies while wearing boxing gloves. A blur of jabs and hooks and belting it around the basketball courts and break-neck speeds. And I should add that I know this because I was there. Believe it or not, I was drafted into this activity by simply being there in its second half. Pulled in by the alluring vortex that is Boxercise. Soon, I was wearing gloves like them, unable to text for help. I was throwing punches, which is something I thought I would be able to do, but turns out punching is very different to how I imagined it and suffice it to say, I discovered that my footwork is and has always been terrible.

I conducted the club with Olympus boarder Rayan, who can be seen on the far left in the photograph below, which is the only proof to me that he was in fact there as at all other times, he was a blur of boxing gloves and squeaking trainers. Unlike me, who people mistook as a recording of someone flailing their arms and stumbling around, being played in slow motion.

Rayan, Mr. James, Alana, Myself and Miss Maria-Sofia square off for the camera.


It looks like we’re much bigger here, but we are just closer to the camera.

We don’t know how you get your exercise, but don’t hesitate to go and get it. It’s good for you and I assure you, it’s at least partially survivable.

Wishing you all the best from the Olympus Boarding House!

For Whom The Bell Tolls: Victory Rings Loud at Olympus

Mirsadi and his team destroyed. Eviscerated. Left no survivors (in an academic sense) at the SWISSLearning Global Leadership Challenge. As a part of a crack team, Mirsadi became an emissary for Olympus and came home a champion, carrying with him an extremely loud and often annoying prize that fills us with pride just the same:

The Bell. Its loud and obnoxious tune is as gratuitous as an Olympus Victory deserves.


Two of the victors who made up CDL’s fabulous team. Handsome. Intelligent. Peak physical and cerebral splendour. Unverifiabley flawless golf game.


Our victor on the field of battle.


What Olympus might suffer from in sore losers, we make up for by being abysmal winners as well and all houses will hear the ring of our bell of victory soon enough.

As much as we’d like to claim all the credit for Olympus, we absolutely do. All Hail Olympus and All Hail Mirsadi, champion of champions in the game of games.

Best Wishes from the house of champions.

Cleaning Up Our Acts at Olympus and Beyond

We all make mistakes. That’s inevitable. More often than not, we have a larger hand in those mistakes than we’d like. Even to blame, might say.

But one of the most valuable lessons that we embody here in Olympus is that messing up is one thing, but making up for it, is an art of its own. Blame and responsibility is only one portion of the aftermath. How one handles failure is often just as important. Because admitting a mistake or allowing oneself to accept guilt takes a surprising amount of strength and maturity. To set shame aside and take up responsibility shows that we can all be bigger than our mistakes.

And though we won’t amplify our pride in our boys just too loudly for their misgivings, we have to admit that they handle their mistakes with a deft hand and are always willing to set things right.

Kirill, Nikkita, Bruno and Rayan cleaning up their acts as well as the environment!


And displayed here, four of our Olympus boys paid a little back to the community for their misgivings and did so with poise, minimal complaining and reasonable style.

We mean no offence when we say we hope to never see them here again, but are heartened that they came down and were willing to put themselves to work and earn back some of our trust.

Wishing you all the best from Olympus Boarding House!


Charitable Spirit at Olympus Boarding

It’s not uncommon for communities to organise charitable action. There’s a lot of unity to be had in everyone rallying for a cause. It feels good and does good to chip in ‘together’. And that’s no different at Olympus.

But there’s also a lot to be said about appreciating charity. To understand that it means a whole lot more than raising some cash. One of the most important gifts that charity can give to more than just the needy recipients, is an empathetic connection to those same people.
So often can it turn into a routine. To remember to donate and send the funds off into the ether. A good thing. But a waste of a lesson. Truly understanding a cause can get lost.

The gift box project is something that ads so much to the charitable experience. Raising some money is followed by the purchase and further donation of gifts that are packaged together and sent to those less fortunate over the season. Food, small gifts and trinkets. Materialism is something that we talk a lot about at CDL. To be wary of it. But there are times when it can mean so much to receive a gift. For so many, it can feel like the world has forgotten them somewhat. And in a small gift, they can find a totem in trying times. Just a thought, a reminder that we still think of them, though we’ll likely never meet.

Mirsadi, Nihad and Michel were in charge of rustling together some change from students and staff alike. And with their strong charitable spirit, they were able to raise a solid amount for the initiative. And the three of them take great pride in the task of knocking on doors and shaking up everyone’s feelings to get to doing a wonderful thing for some wonderful people.

Nihad, Mirsadi and Michel pose with their plentiful collection


And the next stage in the project will of course be about our charitable boys selecting and putting together some gifts by hand. A personal touch for a very personal experience.

If you’re reading this today, consider donating to a charitable organisation of your choice. Money or clothes or unwanted items. Sometimes it takes so little to do so much.

Wishing everyone the best from Olympus Boarding House.

Laughing Out Loud @ League Of Legends: World Championships 2021

Dear All,

I have to confess something. This is Mr. Jakob, from Olympus Boarding House. And I should elaborate that my secret identity on this blog as the equally fabulous and beloved Mr. Xavier, is simply a mistake of computing and not the subject of my confession.

My confession lies within my intense ignorance of League of Legends. Massive, Multiplayer Online Extravaganza featuring PVP gameplay informed by strategy and intense combat involving the selection and optimisation of hundreds of unique playable heroes and villains. It’s big. It’s popular. And it’s played competitively to an international degree.

And over this weekend, I was lucky enough to accompany some passionate fans to the live-streaming of the World Championship Finals this weekend at the Balexert Pathé cinemaplex. And I have to tell you that I had no idea what was going on. But the enthusiasm of Ivan, Gary, Richard, Alexandre and Imanali was enough to tell me that this was a big deal. Underdog heroes Edward Gaming International vs. Reigning Champions Damwon Kia. An intense match ending in the champions being knocked from their thrones and down into an early retirement, leaving the stage clear for our new reigning champions. Maybe I still don’t exactly understand who Jinx is or what ‘Poking’ is, but hot damn do I feel the passion that so many have for a sport that’s all Greek to me. But then again, it’s far from about me. It’s about the wonderful time our boys had yelling at the top of their lungs in a crowded cinema filled with people as passionate as them watching an intense moment in e-sports history.

A Very Good Photo

Here they are, along with some other fans from Villa du Lac and Concha who were just as excited to be there.

Till next year.

G.G. everybody.

All the best from Olympus Boarding House.