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:

Africa, Blog, Debrecen

Wow, I think this is my fourth post in three weeks.  I’m on a roll!  I want to mention that my buddy Chris is going to Zimbabwe today.  You can read about his travels so far on his blog and then pray…it’s a bit dangerous. 

Also, I would to announce that this blog, utazni.com, is ranked the 2,910,025 th most popular blog on Technorati.com!!!   

5 friends from North Carolina are coming to Budapest today.  The next week is going to be full and fun.  We have a four day English Program starting today, and we’ll spend a couple days in Debrecen.  The forums and life-story times should be great, and everyone’s looking forward to our time at the orphanage on Saturday morning.  I’ll post some pictures and thoughts next week.

Fall

Ahhhh.  Here in Budapest you can feel Fall approaching.  Cool air, shorts and long-sleeve shirts, classes beginning again…I love this time of year! 

This morning we entered a new phase of life.  Seth, Jacob, and Nathan all went to kindergarten/preschool.  They are all in the same school, but three different classes.  So that means we’re juggling 9 teachers/helpers, 72 kids & their parents, and three sets of class meetings/activities/information.  Not sure if we could manage it without Tamás and Zita.  🙂  I’m just glad they are all in the same building. 

First year university students have started their registration and orientation this week.  You can see the excitement and energy. 

We have a new Outing Club at the University this year, which grew out of the English Club, and it seems to be coming together really really well.  Website is ready, just need a good address.  Thanks Dori, Balázs, Kristof, Jozsef, and Attila for your help!!  Some great events planned for the first semester.  The two biggest will be a camping trip Sept 28-30, and an English Camp Nov. 16-18. 

I grew a beard.  I love not shaving.

In less than two weeks, Laura’s sister and mom will be arriving for a 12 day visit.  We are all really excited, and we have a lot planned for them!

life

From August to November of 1991 the 87 day siege of Vukovar took place leaving nothing but ruins, hardly any building fully intact, and 100% of the inhabitants scarred by the atrocities of this war.  There is still a heaviness being carried by Vukovarians.

But there is also life, a continued story.  One thing I clearly recognized while in Vukovar this time is the impossibility of outsiders to come and feel, empathize, and make any sort of real impact.  I see our friends Laci and Keri who moved to Vukovar almost three years ago, or our new friend Charles who moved there in 1995.  By doing so they entered the story.  By entering the story they have become fellow journeyers, able and willing to share burdens, meaning, and hope. 

I love this picture of the flowers growing out of a partly destroyed building.  Maybe it is an appropriate metaphor for many us as people, especially our friends in Vukovar.  Impact, meaning, and hope are the fruits of a shared story.