Jött a Mikulás

On December 5th, the night Mikulás comes to put candy in all of the children’s boots (at least the ones which the kids clean and put by the window), we had a special appearance of Mikulás himself. He came with his helpers, the krampuszok (no, elves are not a part of the Santa story here in Hungary). Mikulás surprised the kids with bags of candy, and the boys immediately spread all of it out on the floor to make sure they had equal amounts. Before long, Santa and the krampuszok rode off in their sleigh.

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New Job

Some of you know that recently I started a new job at Corvinus University.  I love it so far, and the people I am working with are really great.  I’m working in the Gazdálkodástudományi Kar (Faculty of Business Administrations), and I’m helping the International Study Programs and the Correspondence Program with some administration, some student coaching, and some teaching.  Our NC friends stopped by for a visit, and here’s a picture of the office.

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!

Seth’s Thoughts from First Grade in Hungarian School

Here are some of Seth’s thoughts from his first two weeks in the first grade at Dr. Szent-Györgyi Albert Általános Iskola.


“Hi, this is Seth.  I am in first grade.  I have some letters and words that I am learning how to write and read in Hungarian.  For example, ‘kék’ means ‘blue,’ and ‘faházak’ means ‘tree houses.’  Some of the letters I am learning to write are V, Á, A, Z, í, K, F, É, E, H, and I.  Everyday I have házifeladat (homework).  I have a magic box with magic sticks and beans in it.  What I do with it is I use it to spell words (see the picture).  The magic box in Hungarian is called a ‘varázsdoboz.’

“In the morning, I go to the closet in the hallway, and I hang my hat up, and I get my inside shoes on, and I go sit at my desk in the classroom.  Then the teacher comes in, and all my friends arrive.  My teacher tells me what to do.  First I have Hungarian class and then math.  We also have torna (phys. ed.), an English class, and drawing.  We go to the play ground and come back to eat a snack.  Mom and Dad pick me up from school.

“My favorite parts of the day is when I have torna, drawing, swimming, and snack time.  I also like lunch, math  and Hungarian class.  When I go to Hungarian school, everybody speaks Hungarian.  I speak Hungarian to them too.  I have some friends who I talk to.  We talk in Hungarian about things like animals.  Some of my favorite animal names are kutya (dog), hal (fish), and technősbéka (turtle).  In class I understand everything, but some things I don’t.

“I have some friends in class.  There names are Kinga, Bendegusz, Jenő, Dani, Márk, Benedet, Patrik, and there are a couple others, but I can’t remember their names.”

-Seth Whitfield Newell