Hévíz & Keszthely

For the second year in a row, Joanna has made it possible for Laura and I to getaway for a long weekend (she kept the kids).  THANK YOU JOANNA!!!!!  You have REALLY blessed us.  It was a MUCH NEEDED getaway, and we had a great great time.  We truly feel refreshed and refocused.  It was amazing how much I slept on the first day.  I think I hit a wall or something…finally allowing my self to relax.

We can all relate to the constant “outward pull” of life, and it was great to have some extra time to focus on our inner lives together.  Henri Nouwen says, “to reach the inner sanctum where God’s voice and direction can be heard and boeyed is not easy if you are always called outward.”  It was good, not only to have some time to relax, but to have some extra time for “inner renewal” as Nouwen calls it.

We went to the second largest thermal lake in the world in Hévíz, an amazing place which we’ve heard our friend Magdi talk about for three years.  Here’s some quotes from the Hévíz brochure:

“Did you know that Lake Hévíz is the world’s only naturally occuring peat bed medicinal lake that is fit for swimming?”

“The lake of Hévíz is a geological rarity.  Unlike other hot-water lakes of the world located generally on volcanic ground, the spring lake of Hévíz lies in a turf basin.  It is filled with calcium- and magnesium-containing hydrogen-carbonate medicinal water.”

“Enjoy watching the snow-covered landscape through a soft steam curtain while relaxing in the water of a the lake that is as hot in winter as in the summer.  The constant steaming of the water clears the air at the lake all the time, providing opportunity to relax in a dustless and allergen-free milieu for bathers and provides complete recreation for body and mind to people who are simply weary.”


We made a couple outings to the surrounding area (Badacsony and Keszthely).  On Saturday afternoon, we saw the farsang parade in Keszthely, which was a awesome cultural experience.  Here’s a few favorite pictures:

A view of the “soft steam curtain” rising from the “calcium- and magnesium-containing hydrogen-carbonate medicinal” waters of lake Hévíz.

A view of the volcanic hills and Lake Balaton from the 13th century Szigliget castle.

The church sitting below Szigliget castle at the south western end of Lake Balaton.

The beginning of the parade.

Hmmm.  I’ve seen these masks a lot over the last three years.  Can someone educate me?

The drum line was awesome!

The end of the parade.  🙂


We get to spend time with some really great students through the English Club and the Outdoor Club at Corvinus University. One of our friends, Norbi, invited us to visit his home in Slovakia for a few days. So this past week, we spent a couple days in and around Kassa (Kosice) Slovakia with Norbi’s family. We had such a great time. Their family lives in a small village 40 minutes outside of the big city (250,000), and the kids loved being in the countryside for a while, eating home-grown vegetables, picking grapes, and chasing chickens. Standing in the backyard are grape vines, apple trees, a giant walnut tree, a vegetable garden, a chicken house, and an outhouse which hasn’t been used for a long time. The outhouse, for me, was the coolest. Seth was a bit bummed that we couldn’t use it. Me too. It was a cool imprint from an earlier time, and I’m glad they haven’t torn it down. The kids loved the chickens, and I’m thinking that we are going to have to get a few pet chickens soon. Thanks Norbi for hosting us!!

more than gold

Tomorrow is the final day of the Olympics, and there are at least two things to keep your eye on.  At 15.40 on Sunday, Beijing time, Hungary will play the United States for the gold medal in waterpolo.  Hungary has won 8 gold medals in the sport since 1932.

The other thing to watch is the men’s marathon at 07.30 Beijing time (01:30 Budapest time / 19.30 Saturday Virginia time).  I’ve been waiting for this for the the last two weeks (though I’ll have to just catch the highlights on youtube).  Ryan Hall is the USA hope for gold.  Though Ryan has only competed in 3 official marathons, he holds the fastest olympic qualifying time for an American.  If I remember correctly, in London recently, he ran the marathon in 2:06:17.  Whoa.  That is not far off of the world record.  But there are three Kenyons who are running the same speed right now, so Ryan will be up against the fastest group in history.

But Ryan is running for more than a gold medal.  Ryan will be running in the memory of one of his best friends, Ryan Shay, who collapsed and died at the fifth mile of the olympic trials.  Ryan also talks a lot about letting go of all of the lofty goals of running a faster time or winning first place.  He talks a lot about the joy of simply running for God.  This is what he calls being “free to run.”  You can see his training video here.

Hungarian Fish Soup

In this post, I would like introduce you to one of Hungary’s finest foods…Fish Soup.  Here are the instructions.

1) Find some good Hungarian friends who know how to make it:

2) Chop red onions and get them started in the “bogrács.”

3) Add a handful of fish pieces, a liter of water, and several spoons of paprika:

4) Scoop the fish and liquid into a puree device and press the liquid through with some of the fish, and then remove the left over fish chunks and bones:

5) Stop for a moment to watch Seth yo-yo while jumping on a trampoline:

6) Put the soup base back over the fire:

7) Add new fish chunks, some “Fish Milk,” more paprika, spicy peppers, and let it cook:

8) The cooking process should take 2-3 hours.  After enjoying the awesome fish soup, eat some turos testa (dry cottage cheese pasta), and then have some ice-cream!


On Monday I turned 35.
That’s almost 40…
Half way to 70…
A quarter of the way to 140…
Seven times the age of my middlest son….
1/27th of Methuselah
But it feels good too.
This was a special year because my birthday came the day after Easter.
Easter Monday.
Thoughts about birth and resurrection…
In Hungary Easter Monday is the day when boys spray girls with perfume/water, and the girls reward the boys with a coin or an Easter egg.
Laura has a special role of being the only girl in our house  🙂
She got sprayed.
It was a great day!