Thursday, February 28, 2008

my new hair!

ok, so this isn't really what my hair looks like. but today is Crazy Hair Day of Spirit Week! The basketball tournament begins tonight, so this is our attempt to cheer on the bulldogs.
Really, it's my attempt to be lazy, as this is what my hair does when I do nothing but blowdry it on a high setting! Plus, green hairspray was about 50 cents at Tesco.
And I don't have a picture, but Lisa put her newly-green hair in pigtails through party hats bobby-pinned to her head. Needless to say, the three of us gave the neighbors a lot to talk about this morning as we left the house.... crazy Amerikai lanyok! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

is it spring yet?

because it really feels like it.
Since Saturday, I haven't needed even a light jacket.
The sun has been out full force with temperatures around the mid60s.
And right now I'm typing with bare feet, bare arms, and open windows in my classroom.

I love it.

So in honor of a fresh start, last night Heather and I both got our hair cut. Actually, cut isn't quite the correct word. I believe a word with a better connotation might be chopped. My hair was almost to my butt at this time yesterday; now, the bottom layer isn't even to my shoulders. I'll try to post a picture soon! I've gotten a lot of compliments but it's way too different for me to say I love it right now. It'll take some getting used to...

It was an interesting experience, as it was pretty impulsive. We didn't have appointments for the English-speaking stylist most of the community uses, so we just walked in the szalon down the street. Heather did actually have the foresight to have someone translate instructions beforehand, but we primarily relied on gestures and extremely basic language skills. But the woman was great -- she spent almost two hours. on each one of us.

This weekend was good, too. One of the benefits of living in a major city is the cosmopolitan nature of the place. On Saturday, for instance, we met some Irish guys who were visiting and had a great time talking to them, and on Sunday we tried out Hannah's suggestion of a quick (and cheap!) Indian restaurant. But the whole time we've been here, we've been desperately searching for a Mexican restaurant. We have one that's good -- but you have to have reservations and it can get a little pricey. And the fast-food version (Speedy Burrito!) is less than exciting, since it only mildly resembles anything Mexican. And that's why the highlight of my weekend was finding an authentic Mexican place. I read a review online for a fast-food place opened by someone who was actually part-Mexican and knew I had to try it. Heather and I stood in awe at the menu -- quesadillas! taquitos! burritos! guacamole! It was really good, it was cheaper than McDonald's, and it was actually more than I could eat. I think I've found my new addiction. and so have a lot of other people, apparently. The American girl behind us in line also couldn't stop gushing about her excitement. I think the Hungarians are pretty amused by us -- but we do love our chips and salsa!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm so bad at this.

Time has certainly slipped by... I've been so slack about updating lately. I hope you filled the long wait by watching Speak's video repeatedly. Seriously, it only gets funnier (and for the record, Hungarians find him hilarious, too -- I'm not mocking my host country or anything!)

It's Spiritual Emphasis Week right now, and we have a pastor from Texas and his two sons leading worship and speaking to our students. We have chapel daily instead of once a week, so the routine is bit off, but I think it's been good. And - praise Jesus - next week is a three day week! The basketball tournament is next weekend, so I won't get to sleep late or anything, but at least I won't have to worry about planning for a few days :)

I've also been spending a lot of time on the yearbook -- we're getting close to our deadline, and I find myself really missing my Hungarian-speaking editor from last year. I got an email from our publishing company that was pretty cryptic:
Please send some test pages which are runner, like in the previous
yearbook pagenumber 4 and 5.
From the sent pages we don't know and help in all mistakes.
waiting for the new pages.
I think you understand me,
Well, I think you are mistaken, Amy, as I have no idea what runner pages are. I wish I could speak this language. Anyway, please be praying for me to get all this done on time. I'm really overwhelmed right now, quite frankly. I've been having a hard time sleeping - although that came in handy last night when I realized that I could watch the Carolina game instead of lying sleeplessly on my bed! (is it wrong that I chose to watch basketball instead of grade the papers I've been putting off for almost two weeks?) Sadly, I didn't get to watch Duke lose their second straight.... :)

all right -- it's time for a shortened AP class. We have just enough time for them to read the villanelles they wrote, and then they're off to do homeless ministry at one of the train stations. I love that these kids are taught how to really help others; it's one of my favorite things about being here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


This video has been making the rounds in Hungary for a while. It's pretty amazing. and hilarious. I can't tell you how many times I've watched this video

I think I frightened Lisa by screaming with delight when I saw online that Speak, Hungarian rapper extraordinaire, would be performing live on Saturday. I mean, how often does one get the opportunity to hear a Hungarian rapper? That just can't be missed.

It should have been the highlight of a really great weekend, in which Heather and I were able to help Whittington celebrate her birthday, courtesy of her very generous parents. We stayed at the Marriott and toured the city -- in a taxi, and not on public transportation! Even though we were still in Budapest, it was great to play tourist and just hang out together for a while. Awesome.

But alas, Speak abandoned his faithful fans -- all, oh, 20 of us. One of his friends was there, and he even called him on our behalf! But Speak could not be persuaded. He refused to lower his standards and perform without his crucial backup tape.

That's ok, Speak. I'm still a die-hard fan. And for future reference, I would be more than happy to be a backup singer. You just say the word.

Yee, come on.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

weird realization

Even though I'm overseas, I've been following politics fairly closely. I've read news coverage from a variety of national and international sources; I've watched the delegate counts; I've waded through blog posts and updates galore.

And yet -- it didn't hit me until about twenty minutes ago how isolated I am from the US. I feel relatively connected most of the time. I can email, call, and even text message across the ocean. I can download movies, music, and tv shows. Thanks to the magic of the internet, last night I watched a basketball game in real time while I talked to my family. But politics is another story altogether. Today I clicked on a video of Obama at a rally, and was surprised that his voice sounded different. Then I realized I had never heard his voice. at all. I've not seen one political ad; I've never watched any campaign videos. If I wanted to, I could completely separate myself from what was going on politically back home. Weird.

I've decided this is a good thing, if only for the obvious benefit of no vote-for-me commercials or signboards. It's nice to know that I'm in control of exactly how much I want to be exposed to -- but it's mind-boggling all the same.

Oh, and about that game -- don't get too cocky, dook fans. March 8, with Lawson healthy -- we'll get that win back.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

i don't wanna work -- it's a high holy day for UNC fans!

Progress reports are due tomorrow, and naturally that means I have a stack of papers I haven't graded yet. I've managed to grade everything except poetry presentations and one set of essays -- but I just can't make myself do it yet.

So instead I'm listening to Sigur Ros and reading injury reports for Lawson on the internet. It's so disappointing to have such an important game without a full roster. And yet, at 3 am, I have every intention of sitting on my couch, watching the game online ( I LOVE technology) , and trying not to wake my roommates up when I yell. I expect tomorrow to be a very long day!

Fortunately, tomorrow is a special day in Hungary. Restaurants all over the country offer their food and drinks for half price! So Lisa, Heather, and I made reservations for after ELL class at this relatively pricey 20s-themed restaurant with live music. I love eating out -- especially when it's 50% off. Now, let's just hope it's a celebratory dinner.... Go Heels!

Monday, February 04, 2008


You know, I don't really feel all that sick, but I do feel drained, in spite of the fact that I took a five hour nap yesterday (does that even count as a nap?). I kind of miss last year, when I lived two minutes away from school and could go home and sleep during my planning period. ah, the good old days!

I am sad to report that I was unable to win anything at the senior auction, although I did get to laugh heartily at my senior students dressed as superheroes. Heather and I aggressively bid on a variety of objects, at one point willing to pay over $20 for a gift basket that included Fritos and Campbell's soup -- but alas, we were beaten every single time. These missionaries are vicious! I was most disappointed about a big item, though. Lisa, Heather, Austin, Whittington, and I went in together to get a day with the Gyori family, who agreed to take the winners to their cottage in the countryside for horseback riding, shooting, and authentic Hungarian stew cooked over an open fire. We saved up for that one, outbidding everyone -- until one family raised a paddle just as we reached our limit. d'oh. Fortunately, we went to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Gyori after the auction -- and they invited us to come anyway! We don't have a date yet, but I'm really excited. They're such a great family. They are strong believers and fiercely proud of being Hungarian, so it's always interesting to talk to them.

I suppose I should probably get ready to teach... really wish today could be a movie day! :)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

the aftermath

9 = 5th grade girls in our house last night
3= continents represented
19 = hours from the first arrival until departure time
10 = stuffed animals
3= ridiculous movies watched
9 = pairs of eyes covered when Troy and Gabriella kissed in High School Musical 2
11= pizzas made
2 = packs of pepperoni
1= pack of ham
4= jars of sauce
2= pounds of cheese
5= pizza crusts leftover after eating only the good parts
2= bags of popcorn
1= box of Raffaelo coconut candies
1= bag of chocolate candy
1 = piece of chocolate candy found smashed under a sleeping bag
1 = pint of ice cream
1 = tray of Korean kimbab
4 = bags of chips
1 = box of imported Oreos
2 = cartons of eggs
2 = packs of muffin mix
2 = boxes of cereal
5 = two liters of juice, tea, and Coke
2 = cartons of juice
2 = boxes of milk
1 = bag of hot chocolate mix
3 = drinks spilled
5 = dance routines performed
1 = hour trapped in a kitchen to avoid seeing the dance routines before completion
2 = imaginary boyfriends 30 seconds late for a date
1= injury from a pillow fight
1= missing sock
27 = times shhhh was uttered
28 = times I'm not tired was shouted back
21 = rounds of Truth or Dare [sample dare: put your toe in your mouth --- ewwwww!!!!! sample truth: Who do you like in the class -- a boy?!]
$2,000,000 = amount of allowance given in a skit
3 = bags of garbage
3 = rolls of toilet paper used
unable to be counted= screams, giggles, times "Nicest boy in 5th grade" was discussed
4.5= hours of sleep
18 = poor, poor parents :)