April 22nd

The woman at the ticket counter checked my passport and asked, “and your final destination is Budapest? “  Inside my mind I felt stunned.  Yes that was true.  It finally hit me.  I was actually going.  It was actually happening!  It felt like a movie, like somewhere I thought of going, maybe daydreamt about, but not that I would actually go.  And that I was here on scholarship.  Another miracle.  I am so hoping to meet long lost relatives.  Surely some of Dad’s family is still here.  I would love to learn about that side of my family.  My dad never spoke of them, he didn’t seem to remember much when I would quiz him before he died.  And here I was sitting with the possibility of meeting them.  Here I was traveling to Budapest.

I’ve already learned how to say Budapest correctly.  It’s Buda and then Pesht, not pest. 🙂  I’ve been studying with my CD’s but oh is this a hard language to learn!  I’ve looked up the history of both Hungary and Transylvania, studied the architecture and music, read about the early history of Unitarianism and how it came to be and tried to thoroughly immerse myself in Hungarian culture.   The parakeets are at my friend Chris’s house all safe and chirping, the apartment is clean (except I forgot to clean out the refrigerator so food is going to smell bad!), my other neighbor is getting my mail and another is letting a friend stay for a few days to help defray the costs of my rent.  2 of my friends have boxes of things I didn’t want to leave in the apartment in their garages in a safe and dry place.  I feel like all is taken care of.  My passport is here, my itinerary at the ready, I got packed and out of the house in the nick of time.  This adventure has really begun!

It was a quiet night on the plane.  The two year old in the row ahead of me stopped her crying and I watched Hitchcock on the plane in relative peace.  I am blessed with the ability to pretty much sleep anywhere (no jokes please, I am a seminarian you know.)  🙂  and actually got some zzzz’s on the plane.  I arrived in Budapest on the morning of the next day which turned out to be the evening of the day I am now in.  Confusing?  Yeah, my Imagebody thinks so too!  (These scary looking guys are in the Heroes memorial).  I think this is the longest time change I’ve ever experienced.  We’re 10 hours different when I get to Transylvania and I think I’ve only been 8 or 9 hours away in the past.  It makes for adding to the feeling of another world, another place and time.

So I land here with a feeling of excitement and trepidation, not knowing my host families or what is in store for me.  Here we go!  I’ll keep you posted whenever I get Internet access!!!  (And that could be a challenge unto itself!)

Far from my little place of Mayberry,