Three big events this past week:
#1: Orientation camp for Karen
Maja and Cili
Feet of friends
#2: Move into our new church building
The nursery, for kids ages 0 to 3.
The upstairs meeting room
#3: Year Opening Ceremony at Lea and Karen's high school
Doug's view of Karen and some of her class
Lea got second place in the "Best Part-time Teacher" competition
Lea and Karen's First-Day-of-School pictureWednesday, August 25, 2010
Our young friend Joelle invited us to
her birthday party this past week.
The best thing about traveling is that we get to be
with people we love. Here are some of the dear
friends and family that we saw this summer:
BSU friends from the early '80s
Lea with her aunt Anita
Barbara and Tim Dixon
Luke, Eric, and Sondra Williams
Many of the Murray and Coppage relations, who gathered
to celebrate Sally and Don Murray's 50th Anniversary
The Helms in Austria
Elisa Kell and her mom Tanja
Elisa is Karen's Austrian pen pal/exchange student buddy.
We got to meet Elisa's family—definitely kindred spirits!
Karen and Elisa in their Austrian dirndls
The Lowrys came back to Vác—apparently to see us...
...but maybe it was because Ben wanted to go to
the csokizo (www.chococafe.hu).
Group pictures from the CEO Team's last days in Vác:
At the csokizó: Mariko, Jasmine, Alex,
Doug, Mallory, Maddie, and Caleb
At the train station: Jasmine, Karen, Mariko, Doug,
Mallory, Caleb, Alex, and Maddie
This past Saturday, Karen graduated from
her elementary school with high honors.
Carrying flowers, the students slowly walk
through and around the school in a long line.
Then, as the graduates' names are read, the parents and
grandparents mob the area to get pictures of their kids.
I was one of them.
Karen behind a Bird of Paradise flower
Instead of yearbooks, graduating classes create a
"tabló" showing pictures of the graduates and
of the school's teachers and administrators. Karen is
on the second row from the bottom, second from the left.
Good friends came for the event and for the
celebration at our house afterward, during
which I totally forgot to take pictures.
Joelle, Jarrod, Karen, Shannon, and Eliza...
.... and a rare decent family photo!
Karen with her good friends Cili and Petra
The CEO Europe Team 2010 has been in Vác with us this week.
On Monday they played wiffleball and conversed with my students.
Standing: Tomi, Máté behind Dóri, Máté, Smith, Alexa, Tomi, Máté, and Caleb;
Not standing: Jasmine, Eszter, team leader Mariko, Mallory, Alex
Lea taking roll
Massive number of randomly self-placed outfielders
Jasmine conversing with Niki and Nóri
Alex and Mallory, with Mallory's backpack
full of our favorite Hungarian bread
Alex, Mallory, Mariko, and Maddie
Today the team painted over graffiti on walls and poles.
Neighbors were amazed that someone would voluntarily
make improvements at their own expense.
....Maddie's eyes, and Mallory
Along with the joys of having the team here,
we also said goodbye to some dear friends who
moving away from Hungary. Here are Sarah,
Donna, Hannah, and their friend Kata.
Rob prepares to take Sarah's picture next to
the statue of Nagy Imre, the prime minister during
the unsuccessful revolution against the Soviets in 1956.
Lastly, the Danube has been flooding this week.
The park in Vác is completely covered.
Budapest looking north, toward Vác....
...and south, toward the Chain Bridge and the Palace.
Most classes take a 1-3 day excursion each year.
Karen's eighth grade class went to a camp...
...at which they got to hang out with a hawk.
My mom sends Karen the Sunday comics every week.
I took them to school to let my kids read them.
I've never seen these students so quiet!
Our landlords decided that our windows needed painting.
So this week, chaos has reigned here!
Now it's clean-up time....
ADRI AND LACI'S WEDDING, MAY 22, 2010
In Hungary, a civil wedding is required.
The couple must have two witnesses, and all four
of them sign the "Motherbook," which holds all
information about births, marriages, and deaths.
This ceremony also contains vows and rings.
Ildi and Tibi Eckhardt served as their witnesses.
After that are the first set of pictures.
Then comes the optional church wedding.
Adri and Laci chose to hold their ceremony
in the Váci Baptist church. Jarrod and
Shannon McGuire served as their witnesses here.
The recessional was a dance number that several joined in.
After this there were refreshments, rain,
and more pictures. Here Doug holds Eliza,
who is trying to chew Gummy Bears,
with Eliza's Uncle Jovany behind them.
Karen's pictures from German Camp in western Austria:
Near Wolfgangzee and St. Wolfgang
Anna and Karen
Karen, Barbi, Vivi, DajŠna (Diana), Szandi, and Kato
Karen's German class; their teacher is on the left in a teal dress.
One night the girls straightened everyone's hair.
Karen and Hunor, a guy who also got his hair "done" by the girls.
Boronkay's graduation was Saturday, May 1—
two days before the seniors started exams!
Here's our friend Norbi receiving high honors
from the headmaster:
A new twist: Each graduate was given
a helium balloon, which they released en masse.
Some of my kids, whom I love:
Judit and Anna (back left); Gina and Kati (foreground)
Andi (back, facing camera); Levi and Kitti (right, looking right)
And here are two more: Ben and Chris.
Yes, this is THE Chris we've been praying for.
I had good conversations with both of these young men!
During the graduation ceremony,
the first game of the Vác Ironmen started.
Doug was the umpire.
Eliza practiced her marching skills.
The second game was on Sunday in Érd.
Rachel, the lone IronWOMAN,
got her first hit!
Karen's girlfriend Rebekah lives in Érd.
This is a memorial of the Trianon treaty of 1920,
which took away 2/3 of Hungary's land. The three flags are
(1) the nationalist red-and-white Arpad flag;
(2) the Hungarian flag with coat of arms;
(3) and a black mourning flag.
These flags are often used by those who want to get the land back.
In good news for many expat Americans,
a Starbucks is finally coming to Hungary!