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.

Elvész a Nyom

So I’m trying to find an English copy of one of Albert Wass’ books. The Hungarian title is “Elvész a Nyom.” The English version was titled “The Trail Perishes.” We’re going to read it in Hungarian with some friends, but it would be awesome to have it in English.  I’ve looked everywhere that I can think of.  Does anyone have any tips for finding the English copy?

ezen a napon

Az idő szokatlanul szép volt ezen a napon.  Amikor felmentünk ezzel a mozgólépcsővel a HÉV végénél, láthattuk a kék éget.  Miután összetalálkoztam néhány ismerősömmel, gondoltam, hogy alkamas lefényképezni a Batthyányi tér környezetét és a napi munkát végző embereket, akik elsuhantak mellettem.  Talán többet kellene magyarul írnom.  🙂

new year, new hope

Happy New Year!  I hope you are leaping into 2008 with eager expectation.  For the new year I’d like to carve out three 45 minute slots per week for swimming and possibly swim the 5 Kilometer race across lake Balaton in the summer.  Never thought I would enjoy swimming for exercise, but it has really grown on me while living in the water polo capital of the world.   

I’m also adding a couple new components to my journaling this year.  Journaling has been so helpful for me over the years with the inward, outward, and upward journey.  I’m also really glad moleskin notebooks are back in business!!

Thirdly, I’d like to create more integration between this blog and our present communities, our work with Nexus, and our spiritual and family journey here in Budapest.  I’ve mapped out a plan for this, and I’m going to give it a try for a month and see if the plan needs adjusting. 

Fourthly, we of course still have some concrete goals for working hard on the Hungarian language. 

I’ve heard that 46% of us are still keeping our resolutions after six months.  That sounds conservative to me.  So here is a helpful acronym for goal planning from the project management world- S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific – goals should be specific and clear as opposed to general.
  • Measurable – goals need to be capable of being measured in some fashion.
  • Adjustable – there needs to be a way to adjust your goals according to your rate of progress…if it is faster or slower than originally anticipated. 
  • Realistic – goals can be set beyond you present ability but are attainable over the present length of time.  Research says that difficult goals usually lead to improved performance as long as those goals do not exceed your ability to attain them. 
  • Time-based – there should be a clear time-frame (short-term, intermediate-term, long-term.)  There should be clear target dates set from the beginning.  

And you know, thinking of goals in positive terms instead of negative terms is always more effective.  And process goals are usually better than outcome goals (improving effort or performance vs. winning a competition).  And finally, most goals deserve a good strategy.

With our minds we plan our ways,
But God directs our steps.
-Proverbs 16:9

through language

There is no end to language learning.  But language learning is not an end in and of itself.  The purpose of language is relationship by the sharing of meaning through story.  Through language we can corporately remember our story, and through story we can ask, “what is this meaning that we share?” 


I recently read a languistic study comparing the number of syllables Hungarians vs. Americans could recall.  Hungarians can recall 19 to 24 syllalbes with accuracy, while Americans can recall 13 syllables.  Of course the average Hungarian word is much longer than the average English word.  This might have something to do with it.  Who knows?


Most gyakorolom írni magyarul egy kiscit.  Szabad érezzed az írásom jávitani kérem szépen.  Próbálom használni néhány új szólások. 

Amikor mi pihentünk a Horvátországban két hét ez ellöt, akartunk elmenni a Pagra.  Pag van egy kisci mediterén város a hátsó véghöz egy hosszu félszigeten.  Hát, csütörtökön elmentünk találni azt helyet. 

Indultuk a szálodánk kora reggelben, és ezallat utazásánk mi megnéztük a kép tenger mellet van az elképzelhetetlenül szép hegyekkel.  A földrajza hihetetlen volt.  Mi nagy örömére, tudtuk számolni tizenegy különbözö országok rendszámait.  Egy órát után megérkeztünk a Pagnál.  Meglepetésünkre, egy nagy gyermek park a Pagban.