Miskolc

We had a great weekend in Miskolc, and four friends from North Carolina were able to join us.  It was a great time sharing stories, thinking about Donnie’s questions, hanging out at the orphanage, soaking in the cave baths, riding the train.  Thanks Reni, Réka, Eliza, János, Zsolt, Dávid, and Kristóf for organizing everything!

Prickles

We had the opportunity to get away with several friends to Badacsony last weekend.  It is definitely one of my favorite places in Hungary.  Just a small vineyard covered village stuck between a handful of extinct volcanoes and Lake Balaton.  We were so glad to have two friends from Sweden, Rinus and Joke, join us for the weekend.  Rinus stirred up many conversations as he shared about the life and writings of William Faulkner.  Specifically, we took a look at the themes of alienation and wounded families.  Thanks Rinus for your contributions!

While in Badacsony, Kristof saw a hedgehog in the grass, I said, “let’s get it!,” and Oliver immediately picked it up without hesitation.  Oliver, you are a natural.  Needless to say, our boys had an awesome weekend playing with the hedgehog named Prickles.  Seth now has changed his daily request for a pet turtle to a daily request for a pet hedgehog.  I’d love a copy of the group photo from any of you who took one on Sunday!

Off to the Mountains

Hi everyone, Monday morning we will drive 7 hours west to the mountains of Slovenia.  Pray for safe and comfortable travel as we pack into our cars.  We’ll be camping at Kamp Koren in Kobari, Slovenia.  Google it!  Pictures coming next week!

Lately

Here’s some pictures from the last couple days….

Jet Lag.  We had three friends from California and Virginia visiting on Wed. & Thurs.  Below, Tom is experiencing the jet lag head-bob while riding the train from Vác to Budapest.

On the HÉV.

Meeting in the Parliament.  Thanks Kristof for giving us the insider tour!

Waiting at school for basketball practice at school:

Basketball Practice: (Seth in blue, Jacob in orange)

Go Team!  “egy….kettő…három….MACI!”

AngolEst:  Thursday Night English Club in the tea house.

Mario sang a song called Humble King. 

Tom shared some amazing stories about their work with street kids in Kiev Ukraine over the last 10 or so years.

Debrecen English Camp

We’ve just finished five amazing days.  Five friends from North Carolina came to help us with an English Camp.  A couple hours after landing in Budapest, this jet-lagged team was hanging out with university students at English Club.  Over the course of the weekend, Donnie shared 10 thoughts on how to live a better life.  Five of them are:

  • Be intentional with your thoughts
  • Be thankful
  • Be accountable to someone
  • Tell those you love that you love them
  • Be Quiet

We spent Saturday morning at an orphanage in Debrecen, and we almost had too much fun.  I’d say that was a pretty significant time for all of us.  A highlight for me was when one of the young girls found the courage to sing a song for all of us.  Wow. 

After Valéria’s awesome scavenger hunt in the city center, had a Hungarian lunch, some English small groups, life-story sharing, and lots of games.  I won’t mention what time people went to bed.  🙂  This was an outstanding group of Americans who came to visit.  They brought so much fun, they shared their hearts, and they were real with us.  (Thanks Adam, Jill, Amanda, Adrien, and Donnie!!!!).  Personally, I feel refreshed and excited about life.  Here’s some pictures:

links to understanding

In case you’re interested, here are some links related to Croatia, Vukovar, and the war.

Tomorrow night at AngolEst, a few of us will hear Chris’ thoughts on Vukovar and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I think this will be a good conversation. In the next few days, I’ll post some thoughts from Chris and our upcoming conversation.

Looking for Hamlet

“This Friday, we’re going to see an interesting production (with AngolEst)at the Merlin International Theater in Budapest called “Looking for Hamlet.” Apparently it is a humorous modern day spin to the questions with which Hamlet himself wrestled. “To be or not to be.” “What does it really mean, and more importantly what does it really mean to us, is it really a choice between life and death or something more existential?” – angol nyelvű előadás

“Just who do you think you are? The savvy navigator of cool? Maybe the professional climber out to make big? Or maybe at times an insecure loner that can’t understand the rudeness of the world?” – Merlin International Theater

I’m looking forward to seeing the play, and even more so, I’m looking forward to the conversations that will follow. Here’s the text from Hamlet’s soliloquy in case you’re interested!:

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. – Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d.”