Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Madness

My Mom Sara, Host Mom Zsuzsa and I enjoy the beautiful
night lights Budapest offers.  This particular day was Zsuzsa
and Lajos' wedding anniversary and we celebrated with a
delicious dinner in the city.
I am experiencing a different kind of March Madness in Hungary this year.  Though I didn’t actually fill out a bracket, I’m having my own crazy assortment of games and match-ups including some exciting experiences and also a few heartbreaking upsets. But, I am overwhelmingly thrilled with how this March is developing.

The beginning of March brought a homesickness I had not yet experienced thus far in the YAGM journey.  I was extremely lucky to have my Mom here for 10 days back in February to meet my community and do some travel on our own.  Perhaps her absence after such a unique experience together made me more aware of how much I miss my family in the States.  However, I am reminded constantly of the abundant family members I have in Hungary!

Host brother # 3 Bence, Host Dad #2 József, Host Mom #2 Edit, Host Mom #1 Zsuzsa,
Host Dad #2  Lajos. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such loving people!!

Áron catching dinner
In fact, I have a new family to call my own!  At the beginning of March I moved in with my second host-family: a move that has been planned all year. I am excited to experience life now with Edit and her husband József  and their sons Bence and Áron.  Edit and I work together at the Kindergarten and have developed a wonderful relationship- and I think she enjoys having a daughter!  Bence is 16 and an excellent English speaker and an absolutely incredible musician.  He plays the violin at many cultural events in Piliscsaba and truly is a joy to watch.  Áron has the energy of all the 8 year old boys in the world and loves doing anything active.  He’s at such a fun age that I enjoy being a part of.

Áron, Bence, and I hit the slopes in Austria for a weekend
of bonding and hanging out
After getting settled in with the new family for a week, I packed a bag and traveled to the High Tatra Mountains in Slovakia for the YAGM Hungary Lenten Retreat.   After a few days of skiing, hiking, worshiping, and eating delicious meals- I was rejuvenated with energy and excited to return to Piliscsaba to say goodbye to winter and welcome the Spring season.

Flowers are blooming and there are lots of babies being born, and for these reasons and many more I find myself constantly smiling.  As my time left in Piliscsaba approaches a mere 4 months, I recognize the need to enjoy and appreciate every day.

Miriam leads the YAGM volunteers in a worship on a
mountainside in the High Tatras of Slovakia.  Talk
about realizing the beauty of God's creation
If any of you win that March Madness Billion, consider sending some to the YAGM offices at the ELCA- this ministry is incredible and God has and continues to work amazingly through this program!

More later, and I promise sooner rather than later.


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