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!!


My brother Daniel returned to America on Tuesday.  Life hasn’t been the same in the Newell household.  One of Daniel’s great accomplishments during the last five weeks was to create three little aspiring decathletes.  Everyday the boys were testing their physical limits in some way.  They seem to be jumping over everything that stands in their path.  The long jump is the current challenge of choice these days.  Daniel, the video is coming soon.

Kobarid, Slovenia

Last week, 20 of us went to Kobarid, Slovenia to see a beautiful part of Central Europe, to have some adventure, and to enjoy some meaningful time and conversation with each other.  Our friends Stephan and Thea live in Vrsno, a small town above Kobarid and the Soca River.  Stephan and Thea showed us amazing places and enabled us to have some great adventures.

A quick overview of the week: 3 hour waterfall-hunting hike, rafting down the Soca river, cleaning/gutting and roasting fish over a fire, 7.5 hour hike to Krn mountain, jumping off of a 15 meter high bridge, a day of kayaking, searching for the Kozjak waterfall canyon at night, a half-day at Grado beach, and a wonderful final evening together in Vrsno hearing Stephan and Thea’s story.  For me, there were many “moments” and conversations that became highlights.  As one friend said, “I want to integrate these things into my life in Budapest and not stay the same.”

At the top of Krn Mountain

Launching Peaches 700 Meters Below

The Fish Gutting Team

Ready to Raft

The Leap

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!