Friday, December 22, 2006

How old are you?

Every once in awhile, I get the pleasure of walking home with a little boy named David. He is in 4th grade, but is tiny, and looks like he is about 6 years old. He is very nice and occasionally stops by my flat and coaxes me into playing football with he and my neighbors.

Our conversations are all in Hungarian, since he is not my student and I don't know if he takes English, I think he is a German student. Anyway, for a year and a half, I have been walking with this kid. He asks me today, how old are you? I reply I am 27. He looks at me puzzled, and laughs to himself. I know I did not misunderstand the question, because that is the most common question asked by the students. I wonder about this and I hear, Hello, and he turns down his street.

On the rest of my walk home I wonder to myself. When do children realize that being foreign means that our communication is a little slower, and that we are not stupid. I think David is confused as to why I can barely talk with him yet be the old age of 27. One day he will look back at our walks and laugh at his innocent thoughts of my ignorance.

I love these daily interactions with the students. It is part of the reason why I am here, in a tiny village, to give students exposure to diversity. In some of these conversations, not only has it made my day, but also the day of one of the students either in my class or not.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Moving into the Unknown

As many of you know, my flat on of the perks of living in the tiny, but nice village of Hernadnemeti. I am in love with my balcony patio, and the flat is, lets face it, just cool. Well to my surprise on Thursday, I was informed that I am to move from this flat onto another. I will still be in the same building, so I am not worried I will have a bad experience.

A few things do worry me however. One, I am expected to move in to the new flat by the first of January. This means that my Winter Break will be somewhat disrupted. That makes me a little sad, but I can deal with it. The thing that worries me most is INTERNET. I just spent what little money I have on putting in a phone line, and after months of waiting finally received Internet in my flat. This is very important to me for several reasons. I have grown fond of talking with my sisters and nephews each and every day. Also my parents just joined into the online chatting world, so I can also talk to them every day. This is very important to maintaining my sanity. The second, and only important to me, is looking for a job online. I am sad to say this is my last year, for I do want to go home and be closer to my family. Without Internet this will be more difficult.

So not to sound like I am complaining, but I am a little bit. I don't mind moving, but I want the same perks as in this flat. I am happy with everything I have received her in Hernadnemeti and am very thankful. So here is to hoping the new flat is as wonderful as this one. I will miss you my beloved MTV Cribs of CETP!!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Meet my favorite band...

Just Leave Me Alone Now
This is a new band that just hit the Top Charts. With their number one single Just Leave Me Alone Now. They have been together for several months, but are just now seeing the fruits of their labor. Here is a close look into the new up and coming Punk Band.

Meet Amie, the manager. She is a great lead singer as well as the "team captain". She prepares all of the official road trips in her Chevy Trail Blazer. She coordinates gigs at such places as Air it up, Chucky Cheese (where she occasionally dresses up), and various Zoos. She is best known for her songs I Love My Children, and No No Don't Put That In Your Mouth.

Meet Collin, he is a rocker to the core. He plays the electric guitar (when he gets it for Christmas). He has a punk rockers screech which he is famous for. He also sings lyrics in I Want to Play With My Toys Now, and Now Why...What's That Do.

Meet Alex, the bass player. At the old age of One and a half, he has been strumming on the bass for about a year. He is a very innovative guitarist, and plays a solo in When Does My Mommy Come Home?

Meet Kade, the Drummer. He was born big, bad and ready to pound. He is a natural and has been hitting things since birth. He drums it out in OUCH, My Teeth Are Coming In, and Somebody Change Me!!

This is the fun stuff I miss. Oh well at least it is my wig!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fun In The Konyha...Kitchen!!

In the event that I did not feel like traveling this weekend, since I will be spending the majority of my Winter Break in Budapest playing play station, watching football, and hitting up the Christmas Market, I stayed home and tried some new recipes I saw on two different Cooking Shows. One show was off the web, and in English, always a bonus. The other was on the wonderful channel M1, which of course was in Hungarian, but helpful to me was the written ingredients on the screen, and it moved rather slow so I could understand it.

I first started the weekend off making a wonderful fresh squeezed orange juice to get rid of some oranges that would soon go bad. It was a very refreshing difference in the morning to go with my pancakes!!!

I then decided to start with the English show first and make sugar cut out cookies. The hardest part in this was converting measurements and finding all of the ingredients I take for granted in the United States. I still have not found cornstarch, I could only find corn meal so will undertake making corn bread this week which is one of my favorites.
I usually have a hard time with sugar cut outs, but this batch turned out marvelous!! I had no cookie cutters, and obtained a rolling pin from my fellow teacher Iren, who gave it to me as a Christmas gift knowing I cooked a lot. I decided not to pule{it was my word of the day from a dictionary thing I belong to :-)} over my misfortunes of not having and put my ever so useful Studio Art major to work and simply drew some of my own cut outs. This was fun because I could make what ever I wanted. I made a wonderful Santa face, a cool detailed snow flake, and some tools used by the elves. I also took the advice of my sister Amie and used her icing recipe, only adding chocolate since I also could not find any food coloring. Anyway it was fun and yummy!!

Onto the Hungarian home-made hot chocolate. It turned out wonderful, but very very sweet, so I improvised and watered it down a little. I also made some hot wine using the easy recipe written on the screen. Both turned out great, and unlike last year there was no sludge monster lurking at the bottom of the cup!! To say the least I had a very Yummy Weekend!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Funny Classroom Moments

Teaching English can be a fun and hilarious adventure. I often have moments in the classroom where I am laughing too hard to teach the students anything, but that is when the best learning happens because the students let their guard down and just speak.

What are you saying??
One day I was teaching verbs. Verbs can be fun because there are a lot of actions you can do with them. Plus some of them are the words the students want to learn so they can say more then the ABCs and count to you as you walk home. Anyway, some of the students will pronounce the English words with Hungarian pronunciation so that they can spell them correctly. I usually do not say anything about this because when it comes time to say them they pronounce it somewhat correctly.
Well we got to the word sit. The students were in pairs and they were using the verbs in several forms and tenses. The assignment was to come up with some sentences about their partners. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Hungarian language, the s in Hungarian is pronounced sh. So when Zoli stood up and stated rather confidently Zsofi is shitting on the chair, I had to laugh. I calmly stated Zoli it is sitting on the chair in my best English teacher pronunciation. We get to the next pair of students and Lina says Atilla loves shitting in sports cars. I had to stop the class and explain to them at that point what they were saying, they were a little embarrassed, but I have not heard that mistake again.

Morning Introductions
This one didn't happen in the classroom, but rather on my way home on day. I was walking my route to my flat and I can hear the pounding of shoes on the pavement behind me. I turn, because by now I know that it is a student who is hurrying to me probably to just say Good morning a dozen times even though it is not morning anymore. The student, who is not in my class, looks at me and states, Take your seats, and smiles. I ask tessek? What? And he boldly states Take your seats. I say OK, and give him a high five, to which he is satisfied and walks home. The next day I ask his English teacher why he would say this and she says Every morning when I walk in his classroom all the students are running around so I say Take your seats. I laugh and realize that this student must think this is the mornings greeting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Preparing for a trip to Budapest.

Step One: Eat home-made pancakes and get hair braided.
Step Two: Say good bye to the village church.

Step Three: Walk the long and lonesome highway!
Step Four: Have a sweet old lady try to take your picture in the train station. It is hard to use technology!!

Step Five: Have an intense Yatzee tournament on the train ride.
Final Step: Stop off in the Keleti train station for the best gyros ever!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

T Day meals and fun!!

While Eric and Alicia were visiting I had the chance to show off my culinary skills. Living alone, and having and endless amount of freetime, one has the time and energy to experiment in the kitchen. Anyone who has been to my flat knows that I have the perfect kitchen for doing such experiments. I have to say that it is more fun cooking for and with someone than simply on your own. I had a blast, and together we all jumped into the kitchen to prepare an American/Hungarian Thanksgiving meal.

We had a wonderful time making the meal, but eating it was much more fun. Nothing beats good food, good drinks, and most important good friends.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Magyarorszag vs USA

One morning, after a quiet night of DVD watching, four americans went for a tour of Hernadnemeti. We encounterd my neighbors first while standing on my patio, and on the street we met some of the children I talk to everyday going to and from school.

We traveled to my school where Eric was put through many tests to see if he was up to par on his 4th grade knowledge...don't worry the kids helped him. We also traveled outside to the play yard where the real fun begins!

The 4th graders loved us. Eric was popular to the girls, and we were all popular for playing a football match. The teams: 9 fast, skillful footballers in 4th grade vs 4 out of shape Americans. To make a long story short we, the Americans lost big time, but not without Alicia getting revenge on Marko and landing on him to which he screamed in Hungarian, wow she must be 50 kilos!!! We said that was all she was and continued playing. Alicia also made friends with the Mayor's son Peti and they posed for the camera.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sparklers or Csillagszóró

As many of you are well aware of sometimes in my flat the water will go down the pipe and out of the pipe comes the most discusting smell somewhat like sewage. Thankfully this does not happen all the time, but when it does it needs to be taken care of ASAP! Jenna was here on one of these smelly occasions. We left for the shop to buy food and get away from the gastly smell. We had everything we wanted from the shop and waited in line to pay for our goods. We noticed a small package with csillagszóró written on it. Well csillag is the word for star, and it being Christmas we thougt ah this must be Christmas incense!! We smelled it, and stuck it into our basket as my neighbor behind the checkout smiled and shook her head yes. With her approval of our decision we purchased this wonderful smell great thing.

When we arrived back at my flat we were engrosed in a converstion so forgot about the incense. Soon after our discussion had lulled for a bit we decided to make an event out of lighting the incense. We made a holder for the sticks, because I usually use cones and prepared. We lit it once and a little spark came out but it did not stay lit. We thought well isn't that festive? We continued to light it and sparks came flying out everywhere. I hurried to move all my books aside, we laughed at the fact that we were that daft as to not realize what we had bought. And, my flat smelled worse than it had to begin with, there is nothing like the smell of tons of sulfur in a small area!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Phase One Of Our Thanksgiving Holiday

On November 21st, Alicia and Eric began their epic journey to the center of Eastern Europe for a five day journey. They did not know what to expect. They encountered hardships, no sleep, containing all their precious liquids in minimum space, and last but not least confiscated sensitive toothpaste. They over came these perils and arrived safely in Budapest at high noon on the 22nd of November.
I traveled only 200km to meet them in their journey and show them way . We boarded a train in Keleti to begin the hike to Hernadnemeti. We switched trains in Miskolc, then walked the long and lonely highway to my flat. From there on out it was a relaxing evening. I am sure they traveled all the way from St. Paul to watch DVDs, but anyone who has been to my flat knows that after 4:00pm there is not much else to do. We enjoyed each others company and battled jet leg.
I made them a traditional Hungarian first meal, and we drank non other than Borsodi Beer!!! We enjoyed But I’m a Cheerleader, and snuggled under the covers to sleep. It was a good night, when we awake it will be Thanksgiving day and the anticipation of the popular American holiday is getting to us.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanksgiving with friends.

My weekend was wonderful. I not only had Thursday and Friday off due to the American Holiday of Thanksgiving, but I also took Wednesday off to pick up some friends of mine, Alicia and Eric. I was so excited that I arrived at the airport early and had to wait through my anxiety of seeing them.
On Wednesday night we took a train to my village, and hung out in my flat. It was a good way to handle the jet leg that I assume they were under having just landed. We enjoyed each others company, laughing and watching a DVD. The next day my friend Jenna joined us and we had a tradiational Hungarian Thanksgiving. I will be explaining the rest of the adventure over the next few weeks as pictures become available.

Friday, November 17, 2006

T.hank G.oodness I.ts F.riday

I look out the window and struggle to see the small farm across the way yet the alarm of the roosters has crowed telling me I must get out of bed and begin my day. I wearily walk out my door having not yet felt the effects of the cup of coffee I have just consumed. I head to school thinking TGIF, thank goddness its Friday. It could not be more true, having had a busy and stressful week. I hear the pound of hooves on our mainstreet. Again, I am thankful for the sound because I see nothing past the thick fog that has over taken everything. It may dissapear while I finish this week's lessons. It seems to be the Hungarian fall, fog fog fog!
Sure enough the fog had cleared as second period was finishing. Today went smooth, which usually my 2.a class gives me some problems. We had a wonderful day of bingo, reviewing all of our new vocabulary. But, alas the last class has finished, the bell has rang, and I was quickly out the door.
Now I sit typing while watching my neighbors play a make shift volleyball. They hit a small rubber ball over a closed fence and it appears they are allowed to catch it. I am endlessly amazed at the games they come up with and all the fun they have with a simple green rubber ball. I have joined this fun. They have been to my door to see if I will join but I was talking to my mom on MSN. The pleasure of internet finally had in my flat.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's here I have Internet

As most of you know I have been in an uphill battle with Hungary and T online about getting internet. Tears shed and three months later, I have internet. It was a struggle, phone calls with Aniko, Istvan spending time in my flat on my computer, a wasted weekend and it ended with a quiet little Hungarian coming and solving my problems and worries. I only had to try and translate my computer's English so he could put in the Hungarian codes and such.

I had to put in a phone line which took a month on its own. I was then handed a modem and told Na...go install it. Too bad it was all in Hungarian. I figured out the first half with szoltar in hand, but did not know all of the technical hungarain mumbo jumbo, if it were in English I still would not know though. Thanks for the help Hungary.

Well let it be, I can not complain now, I have internet!!! I talked with my sisters as soon as it was hooked up and immediately felt better about the whole situation. I will let you know that I will be updating my blog more often now that it is in the comfort of my flat.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gypsie Treatment!!!

As everyone who lives here knows, as well as the people who have had an opportunity to visit, the treatment of the Gypsie population can sometimes be down right cruel. As I was walking home from school with one of my sixth grade students we happened upon a group of gypsie boys ages 7 to about 11. Boys will be boys, and in their young nature they were singing, playing and being a little rude, but no more rude than any other child their age.
As they were playing on their way home, and not paying attention to the world around them in their own little world of 10 year olds, talking of football, and videogames, two of them bumped into a parked car. At this time the driver was trying to back up out of the store where he was parked. He hollared at the boys, which to me was o.k. because children should realize it is important to watch out for traffic on the street, but let's face it, it is Hernádnémeti and like 2 cars travel on the "busy" street a day. As soon as he is done yelling the oldest of the boys screams something back, probable a cuss word heard somewhere else, but uses it with strength in his voice. The car which is partly backed out onto the street, quickly throws it into drive and trys to hit the youngsters. The children have terror in their eyes and run to find safety. The only way to go is straight because to the left is the road, and to the right are the dogs that are trained to bite and bark at them.
I was uncertain what to do, when a man comes running out of the store yelling at the driver that he is crazy to try to hit small children, and a younger boy runs out crying that his brothers and friends may be injured. I wanted so much to reach out to that little one and comfort him but I thought that I would just make things worse not being able to communicate fully.
The child I was walking with seemed to think the fault all lied with the gypsie boys because they are stupid and well gypsies. That is when I realized that the man shouting on their behalf must have been a gypsie too because who else would stick up for small, helpless children being chased by a run down trabant?

The September Sum up

I started the year off great, and it has passed so quickly. In september I have visited the Aggtelek Caves, and had a wonderful time with both new CETPers as well as a dear old CETPer, Jenna. I have made two trips across the border to Slovakia in order to obtian a Visa, I am now allowed in Hungary!! I went to a wonderful winde festival on accident in Satoraljaújhely with a new CETPer named Erin and learned how to make the best pancakes ever!!! I spent a Saturday on the pitch with my Hungarian women's team, that was fun I made the ref made and my best friend in one small toss of the ball...who knew tessék did not mean toss the soccer ball at me?? And last of not least I spent my last September weekend in Nyrígyhaza with Erin a newly aquainted CETPer and Jenna a dear old friend. September was wonderful.

Things to look forward to in October.
1) Some day I should be getting internet in my flat!!
2) A camping trip with old friends.
3) Rosemary in Budapest
4) Janos and Liz over fall break!!!
5) Dinner with my fourth grader, Bence, and his family.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A few trips across the border.

In lue of needing a new visa in my trusty passport some of us have been making the journey across the Hungarian border to Slovakia. A few women on a journey to gain acceptaince in a world unlike any other, or just get some stupid paper work so we can get paid our peasant salary.
Erin, Harpswell, Jenna and I are driven by our trusty guide, Hajni to the edge of Hungary and with her aid we make it successfully across the border to have her car start smoking in the rear. "Oh my God, everyone out of the car" is heard for miles or should I say kilometers since we are in Hungary. We stand there for some moments while Hajni on all fours inspects the vehicle. She has been known to be a little nervous in certain situations so she calls Erin's personal shoffer to the scene to help us in our mission for Visas.
Three go with the un named man, or maybe it is just I who does not know his name, and I ride with Hajni and explain my life's theory of GOOD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME and that today I could feel it we were not going to die. She laughed and talked of her amazment in my optimism.
We obtain the Visas, WOO HOO WE CAN GET MONEY!!! and headed back to familiar territory MAGYARORSZAG and live to tell the story.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Great Hungarian Moments...Who says teacin doesn't pay well?

Wonderfull Village Conversations

Over the past few days I have encountered unique conversational moments. Back and settled I went to my "BIG" store, the Coop. I am anxious to start cooking some good meals after I had spent a week eating out during Budapest's orientation. I decide I want to make sausage and cheese stuffed chicken mmmmmm.
Having to ask for nearly everything at my store I approach the meat lady. The name makes her sound mean, but in fact a very lovely women who is always helpful. I order 1/2 kilo of chicken breast, a stick of paprika sausage, and 20 deka of swiss cheese. After doing this with success, which mind you for me is very rare, she comments on my nice Hungarian. She continues to tell me how the teacher before me had learned no Hungarain and knew nothing, and how happy she was that I decided to stay a second year. It was a real "feel good" moment.

Walking home from the post office, where I bought another phone card, which is used up already, I bumped into three gypsie brothers. I only caught two of their names Szilveszter and Gergő. We had wonderful conversation about computers, video games, and football (soccer). Szilveszter, who later I found out was in one of my new classes and prefers to be called Bruce Lee,(it just goes to show you that if you ask a child to write what they prefer to be called, they will... I was thinking more like Szilvi or Veszti but whatever it is his name now), tried extremely hard to incooperate English into our conversation. Soon their mother and three sisters happened upon us and joined the conversation which lasted 1/2 hour. Eventually the mom said it was time to go and let me on with my day, and off they went.

After a two hour football practice I bumped into one of my 4th year students, Roland. He is wild in class, but rather quiet outside of class which can probably be chalked up to nerves of conversing with a non Hungarian. He walked me home. While doing so he showed me his new, yellow bike and some cool tricks, the pop a wheely is still cool!! He showed me the beautiful moon which was full and orange, and explained the reason for the big smoke in the fields, and told me where he lived in relation to my flat. All of this was in broken English, but I was amazed that he could dig deep and explain things with his limited Enlish vocabulary. Being a teacher does have its perks...and we all know we are in it for the money!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back in the saddle agian...

Another year has started in Hernádnémeti Hungary. Unfortunately I missed the wonderful opening ceremony to bring in the new school year. I was hanging out with Kat in Budapest waiting for a ride to Hernádnémeti. I did not want to travel on the trains with all of my luggage which came late, boy was it a relief for all when I finally had the chance to change my clothes!!!

During orientation I had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful new teachers who I hope to make friends with over this school year. I also had some free time where Emily and I went to take in the culture of the museums on Hösok Tere. The artists on display were very cool and it was good to get the chance to see some works of political nature to a more traditional style of barok and midevil nature.

I am now settling back in my peaceful village. I went shopping at Csaba's store and was greeted warmly by all I chanced upon on my way. I have had my first day of classes as well as am in my second as I type. Both went and are going well. I found out that the teachers move up with the students so each child will have the same teacher from 1st to 8th grade. That to me was very interesting. I am sure a family bond is formed therefore love and hate toward each other is understatndable. I was also shocked by how the second year seems so far, in my second day, just like the first. It hardley seems I had a break away from them, and we can continue where we left off. I have had some new students though and I look forward to getting to know them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

No harm with no luggage when aou are safe.

I battled flight attendents, heavy luggage, and boarder patrol to end my journez in Hungary without clothing. I was a little nervous about traveling without a valid visa, overweight luggage, and my hidden toothpaste in my carry on. I made it though. I had a story planned for when they questioned my expired visa and everything. The only scare I had the whole trip was when a women from the Netherlands felt me up in order to believe I was not harboring anything I should not. It was only because I forgot to take off my belt. so away from her tight grasps on my body I continue on my merry way. I get to Hungary without a problem and think wow that was really easy...not so fast, my luggage did not arrive to its destination and I have yet to shower and I smell like Hungarian cattle on their way to the river for the day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Before the big trip

I am sitting in an office in Chicago visiting a friend of mine. In just 30 minutes I will make the trip to the airport to embark on a journey across many lands, large bodies of water, and end in a familiar place...Budapest. Orientation has begun, I will be late, so much for planning, but will arrive shortly to greet the new members of our program. Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Home for the summer!

I have arrived in Wisconsin where I will be spending the summer living with my sister, her husband, my nephews Collin and Kade. It was a long trip across the ocean, but I made it without a struggle and met cool people along the way.

On my plane trip from Amsterdam to Chicago I sat between two gentlemen who were both in the ministry some how. We had a wonderful conversation about my father being a minister, one being a youth minister, and the other going to seminary to become a minister. Well the were great at holding a conversation without being annoying and talking the whole plane trip back, it was a perfect balance. Also one of the gentlemen knew a family that I went to college with. One was my teammate for basketball and her father was the men's basketball coach, what a small world.

On my bus trip from Chicago to Madison I met a man who was struggling with the failing health of his mother. He has been traveling back and forth trying to help her maintain independent living and deciding weather he thinks she is up for it. We talked of many things, one being Madison where we were heading. I was explaining my apartment to him and he said he knew someone who had lived there as well. He then asked me if I knew Emma Burns. I did and we talked of that and then he explained about his raspberry farm which I had heard about from Emma before so that was interesting too. It just goes to show it is a small world after all.

I met my new nephew Kade, he is very cute but if you want a smile from the little guy you better be prepared to work for it. He is already a very serious boy. He is content to just hang around on the floor with some toys, or to watch his older brother dance and jump to the characters of his video games. It was also great to see Collin. We had a sleepover the first night I was back and he woke me many times to say, "Warah, I wub you", while stroking my face. After this I hung out with my family and then started work with my old students for the summer. It is good to be back for the summer to see everyone so far, but I am still not sure I have grasped being home yet.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My black eye

So to make a long story short I fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a black eye. It is very pretty and just in time for my parents to come on monday. The best part of the story is that my contact teacher, Anikó brought a little lamp from home and between each break I am to hold it to my eye. Everyone looks at me a little weird, and it has been fun trying to explain myself to everyone in Hungarian. All of the children think that I got in a fight and I have been trying to explain it to them that I did not get beat up, that I beat the stairs. Well hope mom and dad love the purple coloring that I have put on for them. I look different but this is unreal. Also I must make the point that I am writing this while all of my seventh grade students watch, and they think it is amazing that I can type and watch the Hungarian fulm that they are watching for another class. It is also a little nerve racking to perform and keep their attention on the video they are here to watch. Well that is all for now. 6 Days until my mom and dad are here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Had a wonderful weekend

Today the sun has hid and rain scatters all about Hernádnémeti. I would be sad but I had a wonderful weekend with some CETPers. It started on Friday when I played football and forwent the Spanish party at Liz's I had to trade one good thing for the other. But on Saturday I met them in Miskolc to head up to the Aggtelek caves. First of all I almost missed the train, even with living here this long I still have no idea why it did not come. A long story short I made the train and headed to the caves.

The caves were absolutely beautiful. The only complaint the whole day was the fact that there was not an ATM within 30km. No worries the caves were georgious. I was so happy to have gone. I was having fun and did not want to go home so some of us decided to dine in Miskolc. After this I went to Liz's and watched the end of the Desperate Housewives season one. I was so into this show that I did not go home until Monday and had the opportunity to dine at Mama Rosas. It was great. That concludes the weekend. And only 12 more days until I see my mom and dad.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Whats up with laura

I am pround to say that I have had a wonderful week here in Hernádnémeti. I have been enjoying the great sunshine. I had visitors one weekend and we enjoyed watching my sixth through eigth graders play in a football match. Unfortunately they did not win but Liz, Jenna and I sure did. Jenna ran and scored us some ice cream from a passing ice cream truck. We all went to Miskolc and had a good time shopping and talking.

At school I have been busy. I have been taking the kids outside to teach them 4 Square. It was my favorite game as a kid so I thought they would like it. I was right. They love it, plus we made the court way bigger so it is more of a challenge. I am excited for the weekend where I will be traveling to Tata. It will be a good time I am sure. I am also interested in planning a cooking weekend where we will attemp stuffed cabbage so anyone who is in the area and interested let me know. I have a good cooking kitchen. Oh yeah 30 days until my mom and dad will be here!!!! Well the sun is hogh in the sky and I have avoided getting any real work done at home so I better get going to be productive.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Still stoked about Kade's arrival!!!

At this moment in my hungarian adventure I am enjoying a wonderful spring break. The weather is wonderful, the sun is shining, the birds are happily bathing in puddles created by the many rivers that are on the verge of flooding, and the storkes have landed and are busy doing what storkes do in their nests about the city. I am enjoying my break in Szolnok, a city to the south of Hernadnemeti. I am spending the time with my just as cheap as me friend Emily.
I bought some interesting and wonderful books today for a wonderful price in hopes to further my knowledge in the hungarian language. One is called the Story of Hungarian, a guide to the language, and it discusses the liguistics and gives information on the nature and workings of this unique language. I also, being a huge classics fan, found a book that has William Shakespear's sonnets written in english and hungarian. I am hoping this will assist me in figuring out word order and forms. I was excited on both finds and am excited to dive into these books. First I have to finish The Drowning Tree, given to me by Mariah and The Prince's Bride from Emily. If you did not already know that is what most of us teaching in Hungary do on our free
I have also been preparing for a visit from my parents. I am so excited to show them how I have been living for the last 8 months, to ease some worries, and to show off the wonderful people that I live with. And they can see my CETP crib!!!
I have already touched on the subject of my new nephew Kade Edwin Olson who arrived on March 22nd. I am so happy and excited for Amie and James in their new addition. I am also a little sad that I am missing such a huge family event. I can only imagine the look on Collin's face when witnessing all of the first times. I am very appreciative of Amie. She is now the proud parent of two boys, just had a major sugery, is sleep deprived, and she still takes the time to send me pictures and call me to make me feel as if I am really not missing the introduction to Kade. The top picture is Collin being happily awaken by his new little brother who in the words of the happy three year old, "Kade eats boobs". The bottom picture is Kade. I am told that Kade is a easy baby, and Collin is a great helper. Congratulations Amie, James and Collin, Kade turned out great.
That is all from the wonderful world of Hungary.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I have been invited to a pig killing. Mom and Dad it is while you are here most likely so be ready, you will have to eat fat dripped on some bread. I am sure I will love it. I was invited during a wonderful weekend of playing in a womens football tournament with a group of women I have been playing with while in Hungary. Although challenging, none of them speak a word of english, it was one of my favorite weekends while staying here. Who says being an art major would get me know where it is amazing what you can accomplish through some sketches. I also scored a hungarian language teacher. It was great.
I have made another trip to Budapest for the celebration of St. Patricks Day. I think we were the only ones with the grand idea to live it up in an Irish Pub!!! I was a lot of fun, but I got very little sleep and missed one of my trains so I was scolded when I showedup to football late.
The next weekend I started in Nyrígyhaza and spent the day in Tokaj, an area in Hungary where they produce white wine. It was cool but I only liked the first two wines I tasted. I have learned that I do not like sweet wine. I also met some interesting people there too. It was fun the cellars are interesting and there are some cute crafty type spots so I may have to take my parents there. There is a red wine area in Eger that I would also like to check out so maybe i will save that one for my parents.
The most important news thus far is the arrival of my second nephew. His name is Kade Edwin Olson. He was born on the 22nd of March. My sister is so wonderful that she sent pictures of him as soon as she was home.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A whole month

Wow! It has been a whole month since I have updated my blog. A lot has happened. I had a wonderful and quite busy month. I have been taking the opportunity to hang out in and near Hernádnémeti and have been enjoying it!! I spent a weekend with a wonderful person, Rosemary, and we made the best bableves anyone could ask for. We ventured to Tiszaújvaros to see the gang of americans but visited only a short while to enjoy some painting and picture swapping. I saw and heard of her wonderful trip to Senegal to see her son and was amazd at the wonderful stories she had. I also had a chance to just chat with Rosemary which was a very welcome break from my past activities.
The next weekend was just as wonderful. My friend Kat came and together we hung out at my school's bring in the spring party. We also ate mac and cheese and drank kool aid!!! I was excited to see all of my students dance and perform traditional and some not so traditional dances. I in fact choreographed the third grade hippie dance, performed to Good Mrning star light from Hair. They did a wonderful job and I took some photos. I had the best time showing the 8th graders my awesome dance moves at their "disco", but my favorite part was all that Kat and I learned from my wonderful co teachers all in hungarian. The best thing I learned that weekend was to say that I am a very picky eater.
I traveled to Kisvarda the following weekend to hang out with Mariah. She has me hooked on some american program called Weeds. It is so funny. We had a relaxing evening. We planned to cook, went shopping, but then lost the time in her neighbors house. Her neighbors invited us over for drinks and snacks and we had such a wonderful time. I again was on the quest to learn new hungarian words and learned the difference between hand and finished which sound to my ear the same but infact are not. Kéz and kész, two very different words. This is also the week that Janos fixed my gamecube. All was lost for the first week, but now I am over my obsession and play it like a normal human.
Jenna came for some cooking and painting this weekend. We made some brownies, and a wonderful fajitas which were hungarianized living in smallville where it is not easy to find ingredients. We also playedsome gamecube and threw toamtoes at rollerbladers and saw Ben Franklin pull a sick 360 grab trick into a wicked manual. Poor Jenna had allergies so we abandoned painting and rocked the beanbag chairs instead. We had so much fun we barely got her on her train.
Today is women's day. I have recieved so many flowers and chocolate from my students it is amazing. Also my students found out I have a game system and now want to come over...I dont think I am okay with that!!! My students are also hounding me about my decision to stay or leave. I told my teachers I had until the 15th and then I would let them know and they told the students. Talk about a small town and a guilt trip!! If the decision is not hard enough itis even harder when a little 7 year old asks You no like Hungary?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Even with piss ants I love teaching!!!

After a wonderful weekend in Kisvárda, dancing the night away with friends and jello, I returned back to teaching. By the way I was fired up to have the whole bar know my name after my wonderful dance moves which left me bruised and my glasses broken. I blame my small village and the jello. Had I not eaten the jello I would of still had some sence to slow down, oh lets be honest no I wouldn't we can justblame the small village. I get out and BAM!! I have to party. Anyway teaching this week has been the hardest for me since embarking on this grand adventure. I still love it, but I had a difficult day with guess who my stupid seventh graders. I remember in mist of going to school that there was a reason why I strayed away from middle school education and now it has been confirmed for me, I really can't stand the age when they are not only too cool for school, but also think it is funny to be complete and udder Jack Asses. Looking back on myself at that age, I was just as bad, so maybe it is coming back to me, but I was hoping it I would have to take that crap from my own children rather than somebody elses.

So this seventh grade class has been giving me trouble all year, I have almost accepted it, but when another teacher comes into my classroom to yell at them I not only feel embaraced that I can not control my own students, but I am a little sad to say I also feel a rush of relief. I hope that the verbal bashing from someone in their own language will prevent this from happening again. Little do I know. As soon as this teacher walks out the same thing starts up again and the children laugh at their being yelled at. I would like to think it is because they feel uneasy and have not learned how to respond to different situations and cover up with laughter, but I believe that is wishful thinking.

I go over to the classroom of the teacher who assisted me because she speaks English to thank her for helping. I also wanted to get a feel for what I should do in hat situation, because discipline as a non native speaker is hard. She told me she did not know becasue they act the same in her room too. Basically she told me there is nothing we can do. I go back to thinking and decide I will stay with my Choice Theory and if they choose not to learn it only hurts them. But since I have these students three times a week I might follow the advice of Mariah and start kicking some students out!!! I love teaching!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The best traveller ever!!!

I had a wonderful week teaching with my students. Today was a little confusing because we started a new semester, and this is the first running week of it. One of my classrooms was taken over so my students and I had to make due with the library. I uite enjoyed it actually, and I have access to some computers and the TV DVD stuff. So this class might prove to be my favorite soon. Anyway just a side note, now for the weekend update.

I travelled to Budapest this weekend for the sole purpose of paying Hajni and seeing the new CETPers. I saw some of the new comers, but did not see Hajni so I still have a wad of cash for her, which I almost lost in buying a game cube that is selling in Budapest. Wow good thing the store was closed. I also missed seeing Kyle becasue I wanted to get home rather early. This again did not happen because I had to keep my reputation as the worse train rider ever. I once again had difficulties going home. And by difficulties I just mean things were not to plan as I like it being a big planner and all.

Liz and I were traveling from Budapest and were on course to switch in Miskolc to hop a quick train to Tiszaújváros, where I was going to spend the night. On the train one of the conductors started shouting something about Tiszaújváros, Liz and I just wanted to stick to our plan that we sat silent until the screaming was over. We get off in Miskolc to see our train was cancelled and the place is swarming with abandoned skiiers lost and unable to return or go to their planned destinations. We decide to take a bus to Liz's and I would then take one from there to my village in the morning. Everything at this point is running smooth. I wake up, enjoy a breakfast, and walk to the bus station. I wait and get pressured to follow and join God's choosen people of Jehovah and soon figure out my bus is not coming, and to my luck the nextone will not come until my classes are over. I go back to Liz's and get sucked into several episodes of Desperate Housewives. I am like a crack addict, episode after episode I just couldn't get my fix. We decide after two discs or so that we will venture to Misckolc for a lovely dinner and then bus to our towns from there. We have a wonderful dinner and get to the bus station to catch the 730 bus. I once again think I will be stuck because my bus does not come until closer to 8, but aventually I make it home unharmed. Good things always happen to me!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Cheesiest of sajt!!!

So in case someone who is not living in Hungary thinks that I am writing cuss words, something I would never do they must learn that sajt, that is the word for cheese. Anyway onto my cheesy reflections from the bus station and the previous weeks. As most know I spent Christmas awaz from home this year, and it had its pleasures as well as its hardships. Obviously spending time away from home is very sad and I missed my friends and exspecially my family. I did however realize more than ever this year how lucky I am in the friends and family I have.

Although I was not with them, they were with me. I was so lucky in the mail and phone calls I recieved. I consider my family the best and want to thatnk them for being the best. It makes this experience even more wonderful. Well I could go on but I am making myself sick with cheesiness, I just want my friends and family both here and at home to realize that I appreciate them. The End

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A wonderful weekend

I had a wonderful weekend with friends who I feel very fortunate to have here in Hungary. I started out the weekend with my friend Mariah who joined me from Kisvarda, together we braved the highway and I made it out unharmed by flying wine. We once again made a great impression on my village's ABC store. And another plus my bathroom did not explode on her. We traveled together to Eger, a beautiful town and met Mark along the way. Mariah barely escaped my town under the grasps of evil little yippy dogs. They came barreling out of the gates trying to sink their teeth into Mariah's flesh. She let out a high pitched scream and turned very red. Her scream totally surpassed my vocal outbursts the week before.

We managed to get to Eger succesfully, after taking a moment to enjoy a big breakfast, which we opted over catching our first train. We get there late allowing us very little time to enjoy the beautiful Eger sites before darkness settles, but in time to hang out with wonderful friends. As we waited for our last friend to arrive we gathered in a unique little coffee bar for good conversation. I found out that Kyle, a great, great person has made the hard decision to leave Hungary and tackle other adventures on the home front. I cannot lie, I am very sad about this because Kyle is someone I enjoy so much and hardly had the time to get to know her. I valued the time we spent in Eger conversing over a hot cup of coffee. I have decided that she can be one of my new pen pals and was delighted when she agreed to do so as well. I embrace our new postal friendship that we will share. I am sad to see her go, but I understand her need for departure. I have been in situations which were not good for me emotionally and wass happy for the chance to make the decision that would help my self wellness. I am sad to see you go Kyle, but would be far more so if you stay unhappy.

We had an excellent night tasting the areas wine and relaxing with friends. I have to put in a note of fear I know have for wine when consuming it with friends. It seems wine hates me as much a trains. I once again recieved a shot in the eye from the red evil which sprayed from the mouth of not Mariah, but Janos. I was happily laying when all of a sudden a table flew, my eye stung and Janos was found on the floor. I was a direct target, the wine even jumped and avoided my glasses with a direct hit!!!

My trip home as always was an adventure. I had a plan to return with Jenna through Nyrígyhaza so I would not have to walk to highway. On the train I met Kat and Liz coming home from their trip to Vienna. Liz was going to take the train to Miskolc and bus from there. I decided that was a wonderful idea and joined her. I found out that the only bus to my village was coming in three and a half hours. To make things worse I had to pee, imagine that and all the bathrooms in the surrounding area were closed or broken, what luck. It did give me time to reflect on the recent events and enjoy some reading. I will enlighten everyone to my reflections some other day so just wait.