Monday, March 30, 2009

Final Four!

I am so pleased. even though my brackets were terrible this year, and UNC is the only team I correctly called for the Final Four! oh well.

good weekend -- I spent some time at the baths, enjoyed singing at Danube, and of course watched Lost and basketball! but this week should be rough with yearbook deadlines looming....

This morning I was struck by the sudden appearance of spring, in the form of buds on our trees and a number of very fat earthworms wriggling on our driveway. And that reminded me that it's almost April, which is Poetry Month! Here's one to start your celebrations. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009


I'm helping lead worship tomorrow at Danube again; they wanted to do a bluegrass-inspired worship session, and they needed my NC roots! I find this ironic, given my intense hatred of bluegrass as a child.... but it should be fun.

Here's a non-bluegrass song we're singing that I really love. Enjoy.

late night again tonight to cheer on the Heels!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Remember the girl from the Alpha course who couldn't finish the prayer?

She finished it. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

hungarian rock 'n roll

Here's a song from the movie we saw last night. It's about a kid who left Hungary after the revolution in '56 but returned in the early 60s with a love of Jerry Lee Lewis and the American lifestyle. It was interesting to see a glimpse of Communist Hungary, and I thought you'd enjoy hearing some Hungarian rock!

The best part, though, was that we saw it in the neighborhood where it was filmed, and we got to hear a Q&A session with the directors, actors, and producer -- all for about $3. pretty sweet.

March Madness starts tonight -- Tarheels to win it all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

crazy global warming...

It's been beautiful here for the past few days -- all sunny and springlike.

and then we began to have insane amounts of wind. This wouldn't be a big deal for students spending the day inside,you would think... except you would be wrong. You see, here at ICSB, the wind creates this eerie howling noise. The first time I heard it in the building late at night I was terrified! So all day long today I taught with the sound of whistling --nay, screaming! -- winds. not fun.

And then midway through the day my students looked outside to see... snow! Huge flakes being driven by near gale-force winds.

You know, I love snow. in winter. not so much in mid-March! We should be seeing buttercups and tulips everywhere! I should be able to wear skirts with no tights! It didn't last, and it certainly didn't stick. But man, it's jarring to see snow when all you really want is spring.

The good thing about the crazy wind, I suppose, is that it does make for fantastic views out my window. Because the weather's changing so quickly, the sky has been utterly gorgeous all afternoon. I'm not getting anything productive done because I've been staring at clouds racing over Diosd. :)

I haven't updated in a while because I've been frantically grading. I hate the end of the quarter, when I check our online program and realize I haven't entered any grades for the last month or so. So I spent this weekend grading away, while watching some basketball online! I was sad about Carolina's exit from the ACC tournament, but I realize that saving Ty Lawson was necessary for the REAL tournament. Let duke have a win; they know we swept them this year, and that's what really matters!

I did have some fun this weekend, however. Some of us went to Vapiano's, a pasta place I love, so that was a nice treat. The real highlight, though, was Friday. We had a day off from school, so Heidi, Audrey, Lisa, and I had our Indian cooking lessons! Ashmita was an amazing teacher; we were there for four hours, and we left with full bellies and 16 delicious recipes. 16! I can't wait to make some chicken masala on my own now. :)

Tonight I'm going with Heidi and Audrey into the city to watch a Hungarian movie screening and Q&A with the director, which is pretty exciting. I don't know much about the movie other than it's somewhat like a Hungarian version of Grease -- and given how much Europeans love Grease, it's sure to be entertaining!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This made me laugh.

(Heather, it made me think of you! Please use the phrase Javalujah at least once today, thanks.)

Monday, March 09, 2009


So here's a fact you may not know --- The US and Europe have daylight savings time changes on different days. Why is this important?

Well, I was waiting for the game to start at 10 (4 EST + 6 hour difference). Little did I know that I was missing the ENTIRE FIRST HALF. I had no idea the time changed back home. but I did get to sleep a little earlier than planned, I guess.

not quite as funny as the last game, though, where espn360 wasn't working yet, so for a while I tapped into an illegal stream of the game via ESPNChina. Yes, I have now watched Carolina and Duke play with Chinese commentary. much less annoying than Dick Vitale.

Anyway, it all ended well, and I was able to watch most of the second half, including the important part at the end, where we swept them. I love victory.

since I couldn't find clips from last night yet, here's a fun one with highlights from the rivalry, including some really old footage I don't think I've ever seen. (Mom and others who don't exactly love rap may want to turn the volume down.)

We weren't able to meet with the girl from the Alpha course, but it was still a good weekend. Kim and I caught up on the past three episodes of Lost, which were of course amazing. And I got to help celebrate Audrey's birthday yesterday! I thought it was interesting that we sang Happy Birthday in Hungarian while we were in a Mexican restaurant in a group composed of Americans, Hungarians, a German, and a Canadian -- truly multicultural!
Most importantly, it feels like spring outside, and the sun is shining. I am beyond thrilled. :)

Friday, March 06, 2009

recession. sigh.

I thought this was interesting. Note that my hometown of Rocky Mount (Nash, Edgecombe Counties) is categorized with the second-highest levels of unemployment rates in the nation -- and Edgecombe's percentage of increase over the last year puts it in the top level in the nation. Sobering.

For me, the upside, if it can be called that, is that the economy here is much worse. Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic have seen the values of their currency drop dramatically. In July, $1 = 141 forint. Today, $1 = 249 forint. That's a massive difference. Filling up my car last year cost nearly $100. This week, I spent less than $50. Amazing. It's like everything's on sale!

I am so grateful that I can literally stretch my dollars a bit, especially since my support has dropped pretty drastically. And yet, I feel such mixed emotions, considering the troubles of my host country.

But I am far more grateful for the people who continue to support me! And it is both a call to prayer and reminder of how important it is be a good steward of our finances. Living on a missionary salary has made me even more aware of the uncertainty of life and the need for utter dependence on the Lord to meet our needs.

In Alpha related news, last night's talk was really frustrating, when we ascertained that most of them didn't believe in the concept of evil. One of them believed that God created Satan so the two of them could compete and God wouldn't be bored. yikes. Some of us are going out to eat Saturday night, so be praying.

I've been in a grouchy mood all day, so I share with you this video. It never fails to make me laugh.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Alpha weekend

Although I really did miss the basketball tournament, I was so encouraged by the weekend away with some of the Hungarians who've been attending our Alpha course. Not everyone was able to attend, but I am confident that those who did were blessed. They had some really great questions, and I think we gave them plenty to think about. One told us later that he would like to have us pray with him, but he is scared of what will happen, and he is not ready for that yet. Another woman agreed with him, and I think that seemed to be the common theme of the weekend. They are drawn to Christianity for sure -- but they haven't quite been able to take the initial step of faith. One woman was visibly moved during a prayer time, and when two of the women on our team prayed with her, she wanted to pray the sinner's prayer and started to pray-- but she couldn't say a phrase about surrendering her life to the Lord. She later said that she realizes the importance of that, but based on our conversation on the way home, she's still struggling with what that may mean.
So please pray for our guests as they struggle with questions and new ideas. We're all excited to see God work, and I was really thrilled to have been a part of this weekend!