Sunday, April 26, 2009

long time, huh?

I feel pretty bad about not updating recently -- but this past week has been insane! We're in the home stretch for yearbook, so basically all my waking hours will be spent on the computer for the next few days. I'm also in the middle of sophomore presentations, Senior Projects, grading research papers, and two weeks until the AP exam --which is why I'm showing a movie in class tomorrow!

Spring break was amazing. I cannot remember a more beautiful Easter morning. Before church (I love that the service I attend starts at noon!) I went to a little park Aaron told me about last year. The tulips were in bloom, and it was just incredible to sit there and soak up the beauty of creation for a little while. Spring is always my favorite time of the year, but it's been especially gorgeous this year! Heidi, Lisa, and I took advantage of it one day and went up into the hills of Buda. Nice little walk. Check out how tiny Parliament looks from Janos Hegy:

Let's see -- I sang at the Good Friday service, which was so much fun. I don't know that I'll ever get to sing in a church that nice again (the acoustics were unreal), so I really enjoyed it. I had several people tell me how they were touched by the song, so that was encouraging. Overall, it was a really meaningful service - a good reminder of the need to focus on the meaning of the Cross.

Over Easter weekend, I had some visitors from Amsterdam. It was really strange to end up playing tour guide for someone I knew when I was in middle school, but it was fun. Plus, they stayed in a really nice hotel, so I got to see how the other half lives! I used it as an extra chance to visit the baths. How I love them.

I also stayed at the Wingets house and took care of their sweet dog, Daisy. It came with some unusual benefits: 1) I was able to take advantage of their tv -- and I watched crappy American programming in Hungarian. Yes, I actually watched MTV shows such as Paris Hilton's new BFF and Pimp my Ride in another language. I understood quite a bit. I can't decide if that's more of a commentary on my growth in language, or on the level of vocabulary to be found on those shows... 2) I have now driven their monstrous van. the kind with the steering wheel that's almost parallel to the floor, and a stick shift that's behind the wheel. If you had told me a year ago that I'd be driving that thing, I would never have believed it. So I figure now that after the van and dear old Gellert, I can drive anything. Just don't ask me to parallel park!

I've been meeting with Csilla, a girl I met back at the outreach we did at a Hungarian college back at Thanksgiving. She's really eager to practice her English, so we've enjoyed talking about everything under the sun.

I was able to take advantage of a generous offer from the Swanson family, who allowed me and a few others to add boxes to their container being shipped to the States. It was kind of stressful (and my room is still more of a wreck than usual), but it's so good to know that all of my winter clothes, souvenirs, pottery, books, and DVDs are already on their way, and I don't have to worry about them anymore! Lisa and I are also getting ready to sell off a ton of stuff at our school rummage sale in a couple weeks, so we're definitely nearing the end!

It's a good thing we're so close to the end, because our car is dead. It began to do this really fun thing where we could drive it for about five minutes before it overheated. It has never taken so stinking long to get home. But on the positive side, we got friendly service at a number of gas stations along the way! I've learned that men love the opportunity to diagnose car problems, even in other languages. So ladies, if you want to meet men, drive a dying car into a gas station and look helpless. I promise. We had eleven different guys peer under the hood and try to rescue the poor American damsels in distress! We're awaiting word from the mechanic on whether poor Gellert will ever be driven again, but I'm not holding out much hope at this point. Fortunately, with the weather this nice, I don't mind walking to school.

And finally -- I'm really excited that my dear, dear friend Heather is engaged! and I get to be a bridesmaid! :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

UNC Pride (Hungarian style)

When Carolina won its last championship, I was there. Kathy and I went to the Dean Dome, cheered with a ridiculous number of people, and then joined the masses on Franklin Street.

This year, my experience was a bit different, to say the least. I was the lone Carolina fan watching in Diosd, I'm pretty sure! I watched alone online (thank you, my classroom [but Kathy and I did do a little trans-Atlantic text cheering], and when I left this morning, there was definitely no one out celebrating in the streets! It was 6:15 -- just enough time to run home, shower, take a quick nap, and come back to teach! It's much more fun to watch with people -- but the victory was still pretty sweet!

I'm so pleased.
Here's a timelapse video I found of the celebration on Franklin Street. I was there in spirit, anyway! :)

Timelapse: Franklin Street after the victory from The Daily Tar Heel on Vimeo.

It's going to be a long day, as I'm singing tonight for a special worship evening here at the school. But totally worth it.

and just for fun --

May this kid see many, many more wins!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Easter Week

Wow, am I tired after last night's tournament games. Here, they lasted from midnight to almost 6 in the morning -- and I watched it all.

Consequently, I did not make it to church today! oops. :)

However, today I did get to meet with a Hungarian girl, Csilla, whom I met at the Thanksgiving outreach I did with some of the Campus Crusade people. She contacted me recently wanting to practice her English, and I really enjoyed meeting with her.

And it is finally spring! I wish I had had a camera with me earlier today to capture all of the cherry and almond trees in bloom. Lovely.

I forgot to mention that I'm singing in a Good Friday service this week! I really like this song; here's a demo version from Indelible Grace so you can get an idea of how it sounds. But the lyrics are really what make this song memorable. Enjoy, and may your Easter week be meaningful!

O Come and Mourn with me awhile
O come near to the Savior’s side
O come together, let us mourn
Jesus our lord is crucified

Seven times he spoke
Seven words of love
And all three hours, his silence cried
For mercy on the souls of men
Jesus our Lord is crucified

O Love of God O sin of man
In this dread act your strength is tried
And victory remains with love
Jesus our lord is crucified

O break, O break hard heart of mind
My weak self love and guilty pride
His Pilate and his Judas were
Jesus our lord is crucified

O love of god o sin of man
In this dread act your strength is tried
And victory remains in love
Jesus our lord is crucified

A broken heart a fount of tears
Ask and they will not be denied
A broken heart love’s cradle is
Jesus our Lord is crucified

O love of God o sin of man
In this dread act your strength is tried
And victory remains with love
Jesus our lord is crucified

Friday, April 03, 2009

alpha wrap up

We had our last Alpha meeting last night. It was bittersweet -- a time of celebration, but also a reminder that I'm not going to be around for much longer.

I was so touched by the people who came each week; I didn't anticipate how quickly we would feel connected. When one of them was leaving last night, she apologized that everyone was so quiet during the discussion and explained it was because they were all so emotional. She also said, "Thank you for taking care of our souls." How sweet! Every single one of them said they were interested in meeting again. One of them said he wanted to continue our discussions, and another immediately added, "and go deeper!"

This gives me so much hope for the church our team eventually wants to plant there. The people genuinely want to know more. And they are such kind people!

I am so pleased I had this opportunity. Keep them in your prayers.

The picture is of the English speaking group -- from left to right: Tivadar, Chad, Mario, me, Kacie, Laci (yes, it looks like lacy, but it's a guy name!), Imre, Eva, Ina, Steve, Robyn.

I realized I never wrote about ACSI accreditation. After months of preparation, unit plans, and self study questions, we finally had the visiting team come. We passed with flying colors, and they were extremely complimentary of the school. It's such a great place to work.

And finally... (I really didn't mean to make a pun there, but I'll go with it)

This weekend. Final Four. YES.