Thursday, August 28, 2008

meleg viz!

Finally -- hot water! It's enough to make me giddy... still no internet access yet, but at least I don't have to take lukewarm showers in the school locker room!

now if we could just get rid of the mosquitoes... Window screens are pretty atypical in Hungary, and even though I'm careful to shut the windows before it gets dark, those pesky little things still find their way in. So I've spent more than one night wrapped up in a sheet like a mummy while I listen to mosquitoes buzz around me as they try to pierce the sheet. It's not exactly conducive to sleep. And I regularly sleep outdoors (no tent!) while camping, so you know this is pretty bad to keep me awake.

On a positive note, my classes are going great! I'm trying to decide what other activities to be involved with, though. So be praying for me to make wise choices! And tomorrow I start meeting with Izabella. We're meeting every Friday for an hour of English and an hour of Hungarian. Whew! Hopefully I'll be able to actually have conversations before long :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

multiculturalism and language milestones

Yesterday reminded me of how very international Budapest is. I spent the day exploring parts of Hungary I've never visited, including a rose garden which is home to an Islamic tomb/monument. Then Lisa called to say they were filming a commercial, so of course I had to meet her. When I got there, it was a commercial for Coke, being filmed in Budapest, which was made to look like New York (complete with American taxi and mail box), to air on Israeli television. Then we went to a gospel choir concert at our church, where the South African/Irish choir director led the group in African, American, Hungarian, and Polish songs.

I love living in a big city!

As for language, I had perhaps the most successful day I've ever had. For one thing, at church Sunday night, the service is all in Hungarian, and English speakers listen to translation through headsets. My headset definitely didn't work --- BUT I understood a lot of what was being said! I was really proud of myself. However, my greatest accomplishment thus far was yet to come... I sang, for the first time ever, the one song in Hungarian I've never been able to keep up with. ever. I spent the last two years with the personal goal of singing that song without stumbling. I came close once, only to lose it in the last line -- it's so dang fast! But last night, I finally sang it not once, not twice, but three times through!

I am so very proud :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

I feel old right now

because I just overheard two students discussing the greatest classic rock band of all time. I was expecting to hear them mention Led Zeppelin or something similar.... but no. They had a heated debate over their two favorites: Aerosmith and Guns and Roses. ha.

So we survived St Istvan's day with no storms, although we did walk for miles that day because of roads being closed off. Sadly, the water was too high for the planes to fly under the bridge, but the obstacle course was pretty cool -- and the fireworks were amazing.

And classes are going surprisingly smoothly. It's going to be a good year!

This is what happens when you move the camera while taking a picture! but I thought it looked pretty cool anyway...

my classroom

a few pics of the new place

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

getting settled...


So I went to our mission organization's retreat, left on Friday and drove straight to work, left work and began packing up, spent Saturday moving, went to church on Sunday and then continued to unpack, had a full workday yesterday, and still have tons to do in my classroom and my apartment. Oh, and school starts in two days. not fun.

Also not fun -- no internet access, and no hot water. That's right. I haven't had a shower in two days.

But it has been fun to catch up with some of the other teachers and meet all the new ones. We have a lot of new people this year, so somewhere in the midst of all the other craziness I've been able to go out to dinner and to the coffeeshop and just get to know them better. And I'm really excited about being closer to school this year; it's a nice little walk, so we don't have to rely on our car as much, or keep pouring $10 gallons of gas into it all the time! AND the forint has risen slightly since I've been back! Hallelujah.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to post again, since tomorrow is a holiday! It's St. Istvan's Day, the memorial day for the first king, who was the first to convert to Christianity and establish Hungary as a Christian nation. There's a cool air show where planes do stunts and fly under the bridges on the Danube, and then there's an amazing fireworks display. And then -- school starts the next morning!


Saturday, August 09, 2008


despite the long series of annoying travel problems, which include a) sleeping through my alarm in the morning (sorry Mom -- I really meant to clean up!) b) sitting on the runway for 2 and a half hours during storms and various mechanical problems before taking off c) giving up my window seat WITH NO ONE BESIDE ME so a Hungarian dad could sit with his daughter, in exchange for a middle seat. middle!

anyway, it wasn't horrible. just annoying. and long. It took me 25 hours from the time I left Nashville until the time I reached Budapest, and I probably got two hours of miserable, middle-of-the-row sleep.
Fortunately, I was able to nap when I got here, and for the first time ever, I didn't wake up from jetlag at some ungodly hour of the morning. I slept until 8:30!

It's good to be home.
It's also sad to leave home.
funny how both places are home to me now!

Just a quick wrap-up of summer in the States -- this was a truly great year at the lake. I got a little better at the wakeboard, and I was able to get in some good skiing on unnaturally calm water. I was even more thrilled to see family and friends who don't normally come, although it was sad not having Larry around.

So leaving from the lake was a good call -- a great way to end my summer. However, for future reference: sitting for hours in an airplane seat while sore and slightly sunburned is NOT FUN! Stretch and use lots of sunscreen, kids.