Time is flying and we are now into March … can’t believe it! And, we have had the coldest week since being here with the temps never going above 30 degrees. It does look we have a warming trend coming upon us this week, though. I have been watching the weather back home and I sure hope folks are safe from all the blowing debris. Dottie says she almost was blown over due to the strong gusts.
One unfortunate side effect of being here during the spring term is that I have to still work on completing our taxes for the 2017 year. UGH! I brought most of the paper work I needed to do this and I spend all last weekend completing our taxes. WHEW! That was a chore. But, they are done and in the accountant’s hands and I am feeling a bit more stress-free! Now, I have to mail all these papers back to Dottie so I do not hold onto them for the remaining time I am here … lol.
My class continues to be fun and insightful. I enjoy watching how my students are absorbing the information and being receptive to issues surrounding the Deaf community. I had a Deaf friend come to the class as a guest visitor, Mr. Szabi Weer.
The students were really shy at first and in awe of meeting their first Deaf individual. Their reaction was really interesting to observe. By the end of the 90 minutes, they were feeling like this is a person they could be friends with for a life time. They really warmed-up to Szabi. Thanks for coming to class, Szabi.
We had another Deaf experience by visiting the National Deaf Association’s office, SINOSZ (Siketek es Nagyothallok Orszagos Svoetsege). The purpose of this visit was to learn how the Association is working to further the rights of Deaf individuals within Hungary. When asked what the number priority/concern is in regards to gaining equal access in Hungary for the Deaf community, not surprising the answer was education! From different places I have been, I can see this is a huge concern for many Deaf communities around the globe.
My time is not all spent on teaching, though. I make it an objective to get out into the city at least once a day.
- I took in the National Gallery, in the old Habsburg castle, and learned of several new Hungarian artists that I never knew before. I particularly liked Adam Manyoki, Elias Mogel, Vinzenz Fischer, Viktor Madarasz, and sculptor, Gerog Raphael Donner.
- I had the great pleasure of having lunch with a friend of a former Sunday School student Dottie and I taught back in Frederick at Calvary United Methodist church, Melissa Shipley Ritterbusch. She attended college at Wooster and met E
. Victor Fubler, who is teaching at the American School here in Budapest. We were able to hook up and have a great time at lunch. What I great guy. I am really glad I was able to meet him and thank you, Melissa, for introducing us.
- I attended, yet, another wine tasting and learned of specific grapes, thanks to Robert Smyth, professor at McDaniel College. At least, now, when I look to buy a wine, I know what I am buying and what to look for on the bottle. It is always fun to experiment.
- If you remember reading about the famous salons of Paris during the 18th century, you will recall it is an opportunity for individuals to come together and have a philosophical/political discussion on various topics. There are two such opportunities in Budapest that I have been attending. One is supported by the American Embassy and it is called the American Corner in Budapest. The first discussion was related to how the sharing of American culture is directly tied to American diplomacy.
The second gathering discussed the Civil Rights movement of the African-Americans. Both sessions were a great opportunity to meet individuals throughout the city from different segments of the population. The second is the Raday Salon, hosted by a husband/wife team, Linda and Michael Simmons. They host this salon in their home once a month. The topic for February was the parallels between the Roma and the African-American population and the fight for rights. I particularly like this salon for it is “homey”, there is food and wine, and a great atmosphere of comradery among the attendees. March’s topic will be the political situation of Cameroon. This should be interesting.
- I, also, found time to join a Bible Study at the Scottish Mission, here in Budapest. It meets every Wednesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Though this was the first week I went, I will go again. Interestingly, the topic is on healing! Very opportune for I have two families going through trials right now back in the States. It is hard being on the other side of the puddle while loved ones are experiencing cancer. The study allowed me to have a bit of focus on the Harrisons and the Halls as they face their current situations. For me, I have my Deaf church on Sundays and my Bible study on Wednesdays, trying to add balance to my life in the city.
- I continue to take my walks, particularly though City Park, just down the street. Dottie read a book with the setting in City Park at the “fake” castle that was built to
celebrate the millennial of Hungary, Castle Vajdahunyad. The people of Budapest liked the structure so much they insisted it be kept and upgraded. It now houses a museum and sits on the banks where a huge ice skating rink sits in the winter time. Dottie asked me if the site exists since it is mentioned in the book she read. So, I took pictures for her.
As usual, I continue to plan and execute my meals. Some more successful than others … lol. I purchased a half-kilo, each, of ground pork, ground turkey, and a .4 kilo of ground beef.
Since I had three types of meat, I decided to make a meatloaf … roughly a 2.5-pound meatloaf! YIKES! It was monstrous! So, I had plenty of leftovers last week in addition to some great spaghetti sauce that I was able to freeze. One thing for sure, I am not starving. I do feel like I have to post my meals so Dottie knows I am eating well, veggies and all!
I did have one mishap this week, though, in cooking. I have been drooling over the brats I have been seeing but I just do not want to buy any due to not having a grill. Well, this past week, I broke down and bought three nice-sized brats. I couldn’t wait to have these. Since there is no grill, I thought I would brown them in the pan. But, then, I thought it might be messy. So, I put them in the pot and boiled them …. Oops! ….
What turned out to be three brats, turned into one brat and two very ‘brat-ty’ stew water!!! The skins broke on two of the brats and I really did not have much of a meal that night! Live and learn … pierce brats before putting into pan. And, brown them, don’t boil them!
And, on top of everything else, I made it to the theatre and watched Black Panther! Loved the film!!! I would even see it again! If you have not seen it yet, GO! It is everything the hype says it is! Such an affirming film.
I am looking forward to coming month!
- going to Gdansk, Poland, to visit the land where my grandmother was born;
- going to Pompeii, the Vatican, and Florence (visiting my goddaughter in Florence);
- going to Prague and Vienna with the McDaniel students; and,
- Dottie, Amy, and Andrew arrive for a visit!
Yep, March sure will be full of great adventures! ‘Til next time …. Szia!