Monday, March 23, 2015

Wow, wow and wow (big vocab)

Wow…what an amazing 3 weeks since I last blogged!  Literally confounded at how time is flying by.  So…that’s not too exciting but the past few weeks have been very exciting!

We started an English Club at the local Hungarian elementary school.  Wow, wow, and wow…it has been so great!  We pick a ‘theme’ each week…and we have vocabulary words, songs and games to go along with it all.  Today we did Easter – with a word search, puzzles of vocab words and pictures to match them…it was all very good.  Last week was St. Patrick’s Day so that was our theme…you kinda get where we are going with this?  The kids seem to enjoy it and now we won’t be there for two weeks since there is spring break coming up and a national holiday…the kids were bummed (at least they said and acted like it – I hope it’s true). I am truly bummedJ.

The shelter kids are just so awesome…we see them around town and they stop, say ‘hi’, wave, smile, whatever – I love it!  Last week we colored Easter eggs and this week we will do an egg hunt.  Should be really good and we get to share the story of Easter too – so that will be the best!

Romania…T minus five days until 25 of us head of to Sighsoara, Romania.  We will be doing English, basketball camps, and Kids Clubs in four different Roma-Gypsy villages.  These kids and villages are ‘looked down upon’ generally so we are definitely excited to hang out and love on some kidsJ.  We come home for Easter in Budapest.  I noticed the first trees budding yesterday – so by Easter it should be absolutely full of white, yellow, pink, and purple all over Budapest!  I can’t wait…He is Risen!

Last week I got involved with the musical that is being put on at the International Christian School of Budapest where Josh attends.  I had met the Director and saw her work last year when I was in town as well as this year and she is absolutely inspiring.  She does it all!  So I offered to help with some of the organization ‘stuff’ – and she took me up on it!  That was a pleasant surprise actually – so now I’m working with parent volunteers, doing communication and helping do some organization tasks with various teams such as sets, costumes, tickets, publicity etc.  Of course Josh is in the musical (West Side Story…he is Tony) so that is fun to be a part of work that he is doing as well!  I get to go to rehearsals once a week and it is keeping me busy – so May 8th and 9th will be very enjoyable…show time!

Later in April there is an anti-trafficking conference that a few of us are going to attend. It is in Bucharest, Romania – and there is a trafficking shelter that we partner with so we will actually be staying there throughout the conference.  Their webpage is if you would like to take a look.  I am looking forward to this – with somewhat of a heavy heart if you will.  I truly am interested in this very hurtful issue that is so prevalent and yet part of me wants to ‘hold back’.  Before I left Sacramento I learned that city was the second highest in trafficking in the state of California.  Crazy…Eastern Europe is also high on the list worldwide…Africa and Asia being the two highest.  So – lots to learn and I’m sure tears will be shed but that is good too.  To be looking, listening and learning of others – how?, why?, what can I do? That will be a goal of mine at the four-day conference.

That is it for now – we did have a weekend in Salzburg, which was absolutely majestic.  The mountains are amazing – I loved it!  We took a gondola up the mountain – took my breath away a few times with a bit of fear but it was soooo worth it!  See the side pic for a taste of Austria! Just reaffirmed that life is good but God is waaaaaayyyy better – hugs to you all!

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

A new 'favorite things' version:)

The 50th anniversary of Sound of Music was this week (movie released on March 2nd, 1965), which is awesome since we are headed to Salzburg next week.  I’m looking forward to the town being decked out for the celebration!  Actually they are having a gala and all kinds of events coming up in June but hoping to see some of the buildup when we are there.  We will be there for Josh’s last high school basketball games.  It’s a tournament and we are going to stay an extra night to get a chance to see some sites as well.  The Abbey and the house where they filmed the movie are on my list…we shall see!

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens
Wait, wait…a few changes to ‘MY’ favorite things!

Lights on the bridges and trams full of people
Boats on the river and churches with steeples
Hearing new words when I talk and even sing
These are a few of my favorite thingsJ

English in classrooms and kids at the shelter
Spreadsheets all over and a bit helter skelter
Working to balance far easier than it seems
These are a few of my favorite thingsJ

When the face scowls, when the eyes roll
When I’m feeling new
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so blue!

Wow – stretching the tune a bit but hopefully you get the idea!  The city of Budapest is absolutely beautiful and I am enjoying the work on a day-to-day basis as well.  Even online language lessons have been interesting.  Building up a bit of vocabulary – need help with pronunciation A LOT but hoping that will come.  Now to use what I learn…

Life is good; God is waaaay better and I was excited to start with English at the local Hungarian school this week!  Monday we had about 40 kids attending and we had a great time.  They did pretty well; and were willing to do activities, songs and all in English!  The teachers were great to talk to afterwards, as they are excited this is happening…WOW (again).

On other news…my phone took a cycle in the washing machine!  Not great news – and since the door is in the front of the machine – it took me a while to figure out how to stop it, drain the water so the door would unlock and I could rescue my phone. J  Woo hoo…actually my words were ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ at the time but the phone is sitting in a container of rice now and we shall see what happens in a mere 24-48 hours more.

So – that is it for now, I am enjoying hearing from many of you and ‘seeing’ you on Face Book as well.  Looking forward to being in the U.S for about 10 days in May…nephew graduation timeJ Much love to you all from Budapest!

Oh wait...!  there was a group of us (18 to be exact--see side pic) who made a weekend trip to Krakow and it was crazy how it made me a bit of home!  I lived there for about 2 months but it was just so 'familiar' to me...and I enjoyed going to familiar places and even exploring some new places too!  Anyway - it was awesome.  That is all (now).

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