Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Well, to say that this was a trip about travelling would be a lie. I went with 5 other girls from my church by car. Ah yes. The total gas price was horrendous. Anyways, I chose to put this on my blog because out of all the experiences that I have been through, this one changed me the most.
The conference itself started May 19th and lasted till the 23rd. From 7 to 10 o' clock I was doing one of three activities: learning about God, worshipping, and eating. I must say that I was really well fed during this trip, both spiritually and carnally. It was amazing how refreshed I felt when I came back to Debrecen. The theme of the conference was servanthood. They spoke of how being a leader means primarily being a servant of God. By the end of the conference, all I desired in my heart, was to glorify God in everything I did. This is still my goal, but it is much harder when I'm not delving in the word 24/7.
I also got to experience some great fellowship with the women in my church. They were all so friendly to me, even though there was an age gap of about 10 years. They shared with me much of their wisdom and life experiences. More than anything else, it was encouraging.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
So the next thing that we did was go to the thermal baths which was nice because everyone was thoroughly moistened after the downpour. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the baths in Gyula but to be honest, they looked like the Hajdúszobúszlo baths only with a less bluish tinge. However that is not to say that they weren't still of a brownish hue.
Our large group enjoyed migrating from one bath to the next, starting in the coldest and ending in the hottest. It was funny because all the girls stayed on one side of the pool while the boys caused rucus on the other side, acting like 13 year olds. The funniest moment was when we all sat next to this old man who had clearly been enjoying that particular pool for at least an hour. He was making a thermal water fountain with his hands over and over again. We all admired this feat and tried to imitate his technique to no avail. The man was a pro.
After being in the thermal baths for two hours, when our legs felt leaden and our fingers were like dried cranberries, we decided it was time to go. The rain ceased long enough for us to make it to the restaurant and then proceeded to come back. Once at the restaurant, we sat at two tables. Our table was the quiet one and the other table throughout the entire dinner played a memorization game involving a rather large list of random animals. Our tactic in participating was to yell out "bear" at random times. After about 30 minutes of doing this, we lost interest and expanded our category to the most unique animals we could think of like "quetzal" and "anteater." This succeeded in entertaining us for the rest of the night.
As for the restaurant itself, I have seen better ones. This was definitely one aimed at people like us. I scanned the menu for the weirdest combination of ingredients. After the 10th "porkchops with vegetables" option, I was beginning to lose hope, when suddenly, my eyes fell upon what could only be called touristy. Oh yes, I ordered a Gyula pizza. With the Gyuli sausage and a typical Hungarian touch of egg, how could I resist? Nagyon finom volt!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
So I dont know if you can see but Gyula is that small yellow dot in the bottom right corner of Hungary. By bus, it took about two and a half hours but in the end, it was worth it. Gyula is known for its kolbász, 100 year-old pastry shop, called the "One Hundred Years Cukrászda," thermal baths, and for its castle. I experienced 3 out of 4 of these so I am content.
I was invited by Marketa, my Czech friend in my Hungarian class to accompany her with Holly. Holly and I decided to go with them but we didnt quite know what to expect. When we arrived at the bus station, there were 18 other Erasmus (something like Rotary only with colleges) students from all over the world. It was so much fun even though we didn't know anyone.
The first place we went to was the castle which we learned was over 1000 years old!
This is the hook they hung people on! There was also a wheel they used to break the bones by twisting but some things are best not caught on camera.
Yes, the Gyuli were quite violent with their medieval technology. Believe it or not, posing for the picture with my head in that wooden block was quite painful and several onlookers were quite worried about the crushing rate of the block on my neck.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Monday, December 24, 2007
My last Hungarian class. It was quite sad and also really fun! The woman on the far left is my teacher and I loved her because she let me make not-so-funny jokes in Hungarian. The man standing up is from Germany with his best friend Robert on the farthest right. Danusha and Dorottya, the Polish girls (I really dont know which one is which) were always very serious, but I am going to miss them. The man sitting next to them is Janar from Turkey and the one making a funny face is Enrico from Italy.We all made dishes from our country after reviewing for the exam. It was a great party and we practiced speaking for the final time with each other in Hungarian. The day of the test, only the front row and I showed up.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It was my first Thanksgiving without my family but we had a lot of fun. We had ham, cornmeal stuffing, sweet potatoes covered with marshmallows, rice and mushrooms, gravy, whipped strawberry mousse, brownies, coconut cream cake, and of course, pumpkin pie. I actually made the pumpkin pie with a weird type of squash that looks like a butternut squash but tastes like pumpkin.
The next day, I went to my friend Zsombor's house and he taught me how to make traditional Hungarian hot wine. I had never heard of heating wine before so I was very curious. Alexandra, Tegan, Carlos, from Mexico, and his host sister came as well.
Since you know how much I love to cook, I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Stir red wine, cloves, cinnamon, lemon juice, and lots of white sugar together in a pan. Boil ingredients for five to ten minutes.
When we finished making it, we went outside and sat on the deck, wrapped in blankets and listened to Hungarian Christmas music. Zsombi sang his favorite Christmas carol that went something like this: "Small Christmas, big Christmas, where is the pork? Where is the pork?" I almost died laughing.
It really has started to feel like Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, a gargantuan pine tree was place in front of the Nagy Templom in Kóssuth Tér. Christmas lights adorn the trees and fairy lights hang from the plaza walls. In Match, my favorite grocery store, hundreds of chocolate Santas wrapped in decorative aluminum foil fill the shelves. I cannot believe it is almost December and I have been here for four months.