Well another week goes so quickly by, we can't believe it already almost april, so weird its now been almost 3 months since we left everything familiar. We are finished our intensive language study and are now meeting with a tutor twice a week for more study. although we are focused mainly on language study we now have more time so that we can get involved in some of the ministry. Which is really nice and exciting as we feel like we are now more involved with the team and can get some experince working with the people and practicing the little language we have. Yesterday was our first day helping with the baseball outreach. Terry has been doing this ministry for years now and its a great oppurtunity to create relationships with the community and show Gods love through something as simple as baseball. We are helping with the younger kids 8-10 which is nice because as you probably know both of our baseball knowledge and skill is well lets just say limited! but to kids who have never seen the game before we dont look so bad. I guess we will be learning along with them. Lynnette had a good time chasing around all the missed throws to her and after suggesting to one kid to aim his throws at her and not way above her reach, he told her quite simply "well you just have to jump higher!" We are trying to get the kids to help us with our hungarian but the trick we are trying to learn how to read the kids faces and see if the are teaching us actual words or ones that well won't help us very much in ministry! You know if the are giggling after telling you the word then its probably best not to repeat it.
Some team members very graciously donated their bikes to us and with that being our main means of transportation we are getting into shape. The main thing is getting used to sitting on a bike seat everyday, but its nice to have another option to riding the bus. Erd is spread out but small enough that everything is basically within a 15 minute bike ride. Although there are alot of hills and the brakes need some work done on them, which reminds me I should probably fix that "small" problem.
Hungary is part of the EU but as you can see they havent switched to the euro yet, apparently it will still be a couple more years. We actually didnt know this until we got here. a friend before we left gave us some money and said " I looked everywhere for the hungarian money but I couldnt find it" and we laughed and said thats becuase there is none! there on the euro but we were wrong . 1000 hungarian forints is equal to about 5 canadian dollars. With such big numbers it often is quite confusing so we figured out that if you take 2 zeros off the number
and then divide by two it gets you close to the canadian dollar. But thankfully its nice and colourful, just a little taste of home.
The weather here is defiantly feeling like spring, I was even able to wear shorts yesterday! so nice to be done with all that snow, although aparently the weather can still change and its been known to snow even in april, but for now we are enjoying it. The birds are out in full force and trees and flowers are beginning to bud, oh how we love spring!


Random thoughts of the day:

Have you ever noticed dogs are permantly in the push up postion? Just think about it! So today in a stress release from the brain cramming of language study we headed out for a walk. These walks are 1. to burn off all the hungarian torta and 2. to burn off pent up rage from not understanding hungarian. They are much needed if we have any hopes of studying later in the day. Yesterday this actually took heading out for a jog just to burn off a little extra of the "hungarian is the hardest language ever" feelings. This is also a good time to laugh at all the dogs going crazy at the sight of a running foriegner. I'm sure glad the fences are made tall and strong here cause i'm pretty sure those dogs would make quick work of me. There are so many interesting and sometimes strange sights to see, as you can see here the castle wall still has scares from war, my guess is this would be from the revolution of 1956, as this castle here is were the russians set up all there high powered artilery and fired into the city, I just finished reading a book called "The Bridge at Andau" by james a. michener and would recommend it to anyone who evenly remotely enjoys history. Its based on stories from that revolution here in budapest and it so cool to actually see sights that are mentoined in the book.

Before reading this last part you have to look at the last picture here and tell me what you see, we were walking along and lynnette says to me "hey look at those giant upside down chickens!" I naturally had a very good laugh about this and was wondering if anyone else actually see that?! Its kinda funny though when you think about it, it could be like giant rubber chicken lawn darts. Maybe this could be a new sport! Anyways until the next strange spotting on the streets of budapest, Visonlatastra!


Cookie Making....
well i decided to fulfill my craving for some fresh baked cookies and ice cold milk. so i went to the store with my list...and the hungarian translation...and eventually found all i needed (with the help of some very helpful hungarians!) although the one guy sent me to the pharmacy to get some baking soda, i didnt go, but was just very happy that i understood him!
so i started to make the cookies, but didnt have a mixer, so i had to use a wooden spoon. but eventually switched to my hands because i got tired. while i was mixing in the brown sugar i realized a stinky smell, it was the sugar...i got kyle to smell it and we agreed, it smelt yucky!
anyways, they dont have chocolate chips here so i had to get kyle to cut up some chocolate bars for me...this whole thing was quite to process! then i had to figure out where to set the knob on the oven...as you can see, the only options are a big flame..or a little flame. so i took a picture to remember where i put the knob the first time. well the cookies did end up turning out really yummy, and we enjoyed them in the midst of our studies!
hope you enyojed the adventures of cookie making here in hungary....thanks for the recipe shelley!


marcius 15. day!

today was a national holiday, and well when theres a holiday here everything shuts down, all stores are closed, just some resturants and choice coffee shops are open. they even closed the main bridge into town and had a street fair. the day is in honour of the rebellion in the 1800s against the hadsburgs, they ended up losing it but celebrate it anyway. In many parts of the city there were live bands, horses marching, and people reading poetry from the time. We had the day off from school so we walked the city and enjoyed all the activites. Even picking up a free flag along the way to blend into the crowds. Alot of walking but it was a nice break from school. You can only absorb so much before feeling overwelmed. We've had a good time learning the languaging and laughing at all our mistakes. Some words make so much sense, like sandwich for example. Its spelt szendvics, simple just say what you see. nice and straight forward, now why cant the whole language be like that? instead it has things like the word for train station: "palyaudvar" or pharmacy: "gyorgyszerter". think those are not too bad well try fruit: "gyumolcs" and the word for good bye, short simple word... no, not quite... its, get ready, hopefully your mouth isnt full...... "viszontlatrsra", ya short and simple is the theory to the language here i think! and dont forget...all the letters in the words are pronounced, no silent letters here! well anyways as you can see we are in need of much prayer and the ability to pronounce these marathon length words!


Canucks in Hungary!

Couldn’t believe it, we were early into language class so we went for a quick warm up coffee in McDonalds... I know im embarrassed to say McDonalds but it was the only place close to school, anyways I was perusing through the free daily paper here... alright I was looking at the pictures and picking our all the few words I knew and what do I find on the sports? the canucks.... it was so surprising..... too bad it was about them losing but who cares they were in there. Of course I had to save it and find a place on the fridge for it, a nice taste of home. Apparently they are big canucks fans here... the first thing we saw getting out of the airport was a taxi driver with a canucks hat on.... its a random place here, never know what you may see. We are now done our first week of language school is done and well, we have the vocabulary of a 2 year old, if we dont get going our little nephew ben will catch up to us. It's quite humbling i must say, we can say ”the pen is red, the pen is green”, and you can only say that a couple time over and over before going a bit mad. But every once in a while we are encouraged to see that we are actually learning stuff. we co uld never understan d what the bus driver would ask us in the morning and finally this week we figured out he was asking us if we were "diak?"/students. This also got us a free scarf at the local market. Lynnette wanted to by one, and I being a true menno, thought I would try to barter a bit. and he would budge at all in english, but then as we left i said something in Hungarian (magorul) and he excitedly invited us back and gave us a free one, but only when he found out we were learning the language, we promised to come back weekly for practice sessions with him. I dont know that we need any more scarves though! Lynnette was also very proud of her soup invention today and after tasting it i agreed that it deserved a most honourable mention on the blog. look at the picture, a soup with such an array of colours, very rare in a soup i must add. anyways just wanted to assure to you all that we are eating w ell here. with all the walking that we have to do here makes for quite the appetite!


Home at last:

Well after almost a month and a half of living out of suitcases.... literally......, we have unpacked and put them out of sight. We had been living at the training center waiting for another couple to move out of the team apartment, and finally we can call somewhere home. The team apartment used to be the offices and now has been split up into three seperate apartments, so our neighbours are a family from brazil and joska & sandi. The apartment is quite roomy... two rooms, a large kitchen and two bathrooms, alright thats a lie, a water closet (toliet closet, literally its a closet!) and a bathroom. Strangely enough they chose to put a sink outside this closet which is in the hall, and the sink well its so tiny you can hardly get your hands under it, but hey there must be some reason for this.As you can see we live in a world of all sorts. Look close, the hallways well they are very sauna like, the bedroom, quaint cottage theme, the kitchen, look at the border must have originally been a kids room, or someone likes the colour blue and stars. and my personal fav the bathrooms, 80s swimming pool, the local spa must have had some left over tiles. But really we cant complain its roomy, its secure and we can call it our own. Well at least for the next 6 months. Oh did I mentoin the toliet has zero water pressure. Chris your plumbing skills are desperatly needed here. There isnt even a tank on the toliet, just turn the tap on and pray it all goes down. We have to keep a bucket of water handy for those needed times. Anyways enough about heavy loads onto some heavier things, we started language school and well I think my brain is already fried! we are in a three week intesive course along with two other people and they weren't joking about the intensive part, no false advertising around here. The teacher only spoke in Hungarian and already gave us homework on the first day. I can already see that there will be times that I'll want to just get up and run for the border, but I'm sure after all is said and done and I understand a bit more of this crazy language I'll appreciate doing this. The joke here is how do you know that Hungarian is spoke in Heaven... because it takes a eternity to learn..... haha, maybe its funny for you but not for us who actually have to learn it. Well as bad as we make it sound we are so happy to have our on place and soon the second bedroom will be changed into a living room, Joska has some sofas and stuff stored up for when they move but he kindly offered them to us to borrow till then, so our home is quickly becoming a home and it feels oh so nice to have, and the language well we get it, one day...hopefully!