Some pictures from Vác on December 18...
...and a few from our house on December 25:
The Christmas Carnival at our church was a huge success!
Edina decorating the stairwell
Barni's face painting is a photo op for his dad.
Joelle decorates a Hungarian honey cookie.
At one station they colored plastic to make
"stained glass" ornaments.
The craft tables were busy!
Joelle and Dalma
Gifts for the kids: Candy Cane Reindeer!
Supplies for these reindeer were given by
Slate Hill Baptist Church in Albemarle County.
At least 49 people had apple cider!
On another subject... Last week in class,
my kids told me all this stuff
about Christmas and Jesus:
Our church in Vác did Christmas shoeboxes
for the first time. We were aiming for 20, and we got 37!
They were picked by our very first friend in Hungary:
Zita Drenyovszki Csuhai, whom we met in 1992!
She and her husband József are missionaries
to the Roma people (Gypsies), so these boxes will
go to Roma kids in Hungary.
From one of my classrooms, I can see the old
Vác Stars baseball field. Look how nicely
their pitching mound shows up in the snow!
...and look at the tracks they had to deal with
each time they wanted to use the field.
I went to Budapest last night.
"The Little Princess" sits next to the Danube:
The windows above the famous Gerbeaud Confectionary
are a giant Advent Calendar. At 5:00, we were treated
to several songs played by a brass quartet.
(Look on the balcony to the left of the tree.)
At the Christmas Market, they make these yummy tubes
of yeast bread with cinnamon and other goodies on them.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with our American friends
here in Vác. Grace, chef extraordinaire, made four pies.
Good fellowship and good food is a foretaste of heaven!
David, Karen, Doug, and his admirer Eliza
Joelle, Jarrod, and Shannon
We really missed Caleb, who is in the States.
Here's his empty chair:
We have lots of pictures this week!
Our Váci church will be having a
Christmas Carnival for kids on December 11.
Slate Hill Baptist Church in Albemarle
sent us lots of supplies for this outreach!
Here's the package opening ceremony:
The pipe cleaners looked like the Hungarian flag!
Here's the whole treasure. Isn't it beautiful?
Sunday evening, the leaders gathered at our house to plan.
We laughed a lot!
Hanna showed us how to decorate
Hungarian Christmas cookies.
The rest of these are school pictures.
On Monday it rained.
Tuesday the sun was out!
Here's Boronkay in the morning light,
with the moon shining on the left.
With one class, I've been doing a unit on clothing.
Karen's collection of Barbie clothes come in handy!
My kids had to draw a detailed picture of the
"new English teacher, Mrs. Weird." Following
are my three favorite pictures.
On Tuesday ne of the kids stated that men
like fashionable women, and vice versa.
So I took a poll. Here are the
results for both classes:
The first week of November was our Fall Break,
and we had lots of visitors! I forgot to get
a picture of Cathy, but here's Liz:
Joelle and I (and her pink horse) went with me to pay rent.
On our way back home, we stopped in front of the basilica.
The sky was beautiful!
I was planning to take a picture of Joelle,
but when I snapped the photo, one of my former
colleagues and her daughter came out from behind
the column! It was good to see her and her family.
We have new wheel(s)!
Last Wednesday, I picked up our good buddy
Arden Campbell at the Budapest airport.
Her sweetheart Paul had sent her flowers
in the Kansas City Airport. Arden and
the flowers arrived intact about 24 hours later!
Karen had a flute recital last Friday.
She played beautifully! The white dot
was on the camera lens, not on her dress.
This past Thursday, three English speakers from
the Calvary Chapel Bible College in Vajta, Hungary,
came to talk with my students. Here is Nasir, from Pakistan...
...and Karen, from Kenya, with my seniors:
That afternoon, the younger English students at my school
had a Halloween party (which also included events from
other autumn and winter holidays). The emcees were
Angelika (left) and Rita (right); Daniella is in the middle.
Three of my girls
This class chose to sing Jingle Bells and Silent Night.
Going over vocabulary with them was fun!
A miracle happened: A man bush-hogged the baseball field for free!
Here are before and after pictures of our Field of Dreams:
Left field before
Left field after
Center field before
Center field after
Right field before
Right field after
Doug's birthday was last week; here's the celebration.
One of my seniors took a couple of pictures of me teaching.
This one looks like I'm putting the marker up my nose!
On Saturday we had a bunch of young people up (to Vác)
and over (to our apartment). We had to take the
obligatory trip to the Váci Csokizó
Will and Joanna
Jo and Matt
Later a bunch of them played Dutch Blitz....
...and then after chili, crashed in the living room.
Except for Eliza, who was, as usual, delighted
to be around Doug. I think she has good taste.
On Friday, about 70 of my teacher-colleagues went on a
school-sponsored trip to Vienna. We visited Schönbrunn,
one of the homes of the Austrian Habsburgs until World War I.
They had Virginia creeper there! I was proud.
After the palace tour, I and my English-teacher
buddies Éva and Brigi...
...walked through the gardens and up to the Pavilion.
We had great conversations!
Here's the ceiling of the Pavilion:
In the afternoon, I and another Éva
(a dear friend and church-mate) went to the
Vienna Butterfly house. She was trying to get a
picture of a butterfly when one landed on her hand!
This past Friday, the freshman at our school were hazed.
They were required to wear weird stuff to school, such as
cleaning lady outfits (including the guys), or swimming gear ...
...or, in the case of Karen's group,
superhero outfits with safety vests and diapers.
Upperclassmen painted their faces as they walked
in the door before school.
After fourth period, we all gathered outside to watch.
Some kids were chosen to race on skateboards by
"paddling" with toilet plungers.
Karen was chosen from her class to dance
to a bunch of songs, few of which I recognized.
At the end, all the freshman had to get on one knee
and "swear" all sorts of things. Karen reports that
not everybody repeated the oath exactly as requested.
In a much calmer and joyful event,
we got to see Mary and Nelson Melton,
members of our home church in Richmond,
who were in Budapest on vacation. We had
a delightful evening with them!
Karen received the 2010 Outstanding Student Award
for her elementary school! The awards ceremony took place
Thursday morning, in the room where City Council meets.
The deputy mayor, who is also headmaster emeritus of
our high school, read the long list of accomplishments
of each student; and then the mayor and the head of the
Council's Education Committee presented the award.
Here are half of the students who won awards this year.
Two of my English students also won awards; one of them is
the kid standing in front of Karen, with the checkered tie.
A couple of family shots:
The picture on the wall is of the Danube Bend.
A white silhouette of the city is floating in mid-air,
as is the city seal/shield. The caption says,
"Vác, the heart of the Danube Bend."
Here's the report on the city's web site.
Field of Dreams
This is the site the city has given us on which to build a
youth baseball field. You can tell it needs a lot of work!
This big pile of bushes will have to go.
On Saturday Vác had a Lecsó Festival and Competition.
Lecsó is a stew of tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, and paprika.
Many families have their own private recipe, hence the competition.
Joanna and Will came up, and we got to watch for a few minutes.
Then we went home and ate sandwiches.
The Deaf folks always participate, usually
dressed in traditional Hungarian clothes.
Will, Karen, and Joanna
This is what Will looks like when he's thinking. I think.