Monday, October 20, 2008


Today was Halloween in our made me very happy, even though we were not able to talk about many of the things about Halloween, I was able to teach them the important words. Witch, Monster, Vampire, Werewolf, Ghost, Candy and Trick or Treat (Boszorkány, Szörny, Vámpír, Farkasember és Szellem) Really, what other words do you need to know.

We had story time, about the Monster who could not say boo, learned about a certain group of pumpkins, played some monster games and even made some spiders. The most important event of the day, in my opinion at least, was the carving of the pumpkin. Although it was green, it was still a pumpkin that was waiting to become a Jack O' Lantern. So, here are the results...

Our collection of pumpkins and squash that the kids brought in...
Everyone seemed a little surprised that I had cat ears, but it worked out for the better, because the kids knew what I was and even called me a cat. In English!

Even though I will miss having Halloween on the 31st, I got to live a little bit of it today...

Now I must bid you adieu, as I will be going to Transylvania and Denmark in the coming two weeks...enjoy your time off if you have it!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the zoo...Nyíregyházi Állatpark

So after spending another weekend at home, not by my own choice, our class was to be put on dusplay for other parents who are wondering whether to enroll their own kids, but it is a long story...I went to the zoo.

I met up with Marci and we took the bus to the zoo, not too far otuside of Nyíregyháza. It was a very nice setting for a zoo and the day was nice so it was a perfect time to go. We went around the whole zoo and saw a lot of different animals...

The polar bear (jegesmedve) look very tired the whole time we saw him, even when we came back two hours later...I guess he has too much time and nothing to do too! Walking through the park, the thing I found quite funny was that the Canada geese (Kanadai Lüc) had their display with the African animals, I could not figure this out, I did not know that we had moved to another continent. We sort of found a reason for this after seeing another display with Canada geese, and determined that they must have two homes, and they fly to Africa for the winter. I can see no other explanation...

The Leopard (Lépárd) was pacing in the cage, just going back and forth. He must be very angry with something or someone...The White Wolf ( feher farkas) was sitting very still just watching something in the distance. The only thing I could see was children, so he must have a very specific appetite, which is good for me. I will have to keep it in mind if Mark continues to behave badly...

I found it quite amusing that people kept tossing food in the cages even though it said the animals will get fat if they do. The giraffe (zsíraf) had no problem reaching out of the cage...

The king of the jungle, the lion (oroszlán) who was quite content to just stare at us the entire time...

I learned that there are two names for the camel, depending on how many humps they have. The one humped camel is the dromedár and the two humped camel is the teve. I also learned that the rhinoceros is named the orroszarvú, which translates as nose horns...A lot of animals had szarvú, so once I learned that it meant horns, I could figure some things out.

The elephants (elefánt) were also out, walking around, though the largest had a chain anklet, not attached to anything.

The ostrich (strucc) was there too, just standing by the gate and repeatedly opening its mouth.

After see the animals, we went to the area that was supposed to represent Australia. This was quite dissappointing because the only that was there was two kangaroo (kenguru) who were in the very far corner of the display. But after seeing all the lions and tigers and bears we went back to the seals (Fóka) and saw Alf, Leon and Gino play around the pool for a while. We soon had to return to Nyíregyháza so I could go home and Marci could go back to school. I am happy that we went to the zoo, I really liked getting to see tha animals, especially in a different setting than home.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Kids...

Szabina...The leader of the class when she is behaving...but she can't stand it when she is Fekete Peter!

Márk, the famous, or infamous one, known by the upper class kids, but not one that behaves....Fánni...I have no words to describe her, though very quiet and almost always covering her mouth and chewing on some sort of candy, maybe that is why she is so sweet...
Nandy, the one who will learn the most English, he tries to learn everything I say and even tries to teach me words, but I am still unsure why I need to know babyfood...
Bálint, I love him to death, even more when he actually listens to me...I just wish he would put as much focus on learning as he does on drawing pictures of cars...

I have only known these kids for a month, but every day they continue to amaze me...I really do not know how I will leave them, it will certainly be a very hard day...but thankfully that is a very long time from now...

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Since I wont be here for Halloween, I will post the picture I have made for the school...

An attempt at candy corn, i better get some this year!
My pumpkins...I really do hope we get to carve one!

A trio of ghosts...even though they may not look like it

A green witch, why make her look normal?

Vampire bats, flying among the stars
Spiders because they are so much fun...and keep the flies away
My favourite...the masks and a jack o lantern for fun
A black cat, a tombstone and the moon...a little creepy?
The bones!....because there was nothing else to draw!

I hope you enjoyed my attempts at drawing...let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The bank, the bus and the water

I finally have a Hungarian bank account and there is no money in it! I have to figure out how to deposit money so I can transfer it. After meeting up with Marci and Judit in Nyiregyhaza she got one of the women in the Great Hall, part of the OTP bank, to open the account for me. I do not have a card yet so I currently just have an account I do not know what to do with. Supposedly my salary will go straight into the account but I do not really know yet.

My big question about the bus system here is why are all the men drunk while riding it or reek of alcohol. I have mentioned my experiences while waiting for the bus before, but I just do not understand when the men start drinking if they are already far gone when riding the bus at 10am. I went into Nyirbator this morning because the water was shut off in town, once again. This is the third time I have been told this is going to be happening, and it appears that it will continue every week at least once. Anyway, after getting on the bus in the morning at 9:55, I walked down the aisle and every man that was on there looked like they had passed out and quite a few had a distinct odor to them. I guess this would be understandable if it was 12 hours later, but bright and early on a Wednesday morning? It was worse when I was coming back. The bus stop was full of people, many of whom smelled like they do not bathe, at all, and we all crowded onto the bus. I sat beside a man who did smell of alcohol, but not too strong because I was unsure how bad some other people were. I was watching a man talking to a girl and her sister, and it was quite interesting. I am positive that he was drunk, he was slurring, and even though I did not understand what was being said, I am nearly sure it was not appropriate. All the people surrounding him were giving him weird looks, and I did hear him mention sör (beer) a couple times. I felt bad for the girl, but she did keep talking to him even when he stopped, so she must have liked talking to him. I really hope that the old drunk men will avoid talking to me while riding the bus. I have had enough encounters for the year and do not like repeating no, nem beselek Magyarul, my leg. It just is not right.

As for the water. What can I say? Three times it has literally been shut off within the entire village. Luckily, it is only shut off between 8am and 12pm so it doesnt cause much problems for me, but really, why do they cancel school? Now I have to go in and teach 7a and see how bad they really are or if Ili is just saying they are bad. Is water really a central part of the four hours that the school could not function without it for the first four hours of the school day? Why can't the classes just sit down and read or write. Oh, wait, that is right, then the first and second grades would be doing nothing since they are not taught to read or write until third grade, but that is another issue I don't really feel like adressing. I just dont understand why the school cannot save up some water and then use it during the mere four hours they go without, but it is not my choice. I will go now. I have to be feed to the wild animals of 7a, but I have a feeling that it will be mostly me talking for 35 minutes and the kids just staring at me a little confused.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Family life

On Friday, Andi invited me to her house for Sunday lunch and I readily agreed because I had yet to see what family life was really like here. I had met with her two times before and was slowly learning about her family, but now that she was finally teaching at school in the 1b class, I was seeing her more often.

Sunday morning was another day of pilgrimaging so I went outside and enjoyed the balmy weather, that of approx. 7 degrees celcius, and watched who was going to the services and who was going to shop at the vast amount of booths that were set up yet again. Marci told me he had to work during the pilgrimage so eventually I met up with him. I watched part of the service with him, and there were about 1000 people happily following the priests on the stage. There were 6 men with finely decorated banners in the middle of the aisle just waiting during the rest of the services. Eventually Marci had to go and help the other seminary students do something, I am never too sure what they do, but I also had to leave because I was going to be meeting Andi very soon.

Just after noon Andi came to my house, because it started to rain so she didnt want me to ride my bike to Nyírgyulaj, and we went to her house. Nyírgyulaj, closer to Nyírbátor, and about the same size as Máriapócs is full of houses and even has one family that decided to copy our blue little of these days I will get a picture of it so you can see how blue it really is. I learned that she and her husband Antal were living with her parents while they were renovating her house down the street. They were literally building it up from the ground and had to spend a lot of time fixing it. Next door is her cousin's house, who she said went into to so much debt buying the house instead of building it, they will be paying for the next 20 years. Crazy that they would willingly do that but I wonder what other options you have when salaries are always low and living costs are high.

Lunch was delicious. Soup was a clear liquid with pasta, carrots and something I determined was turnip. The main course was even better! Breaded chicken (csirke) that tasted like heaven with rice and vegetables on the side. Antal gave us each a bowl of preserved plums (szilva) and Andi explained that the meal we were having is traditionally served with bottled fruit, preserves.

Andi's two sisters showed up later, Kati, with her son Maté, and Dori. Playing with Maté was realy funny because all he wanted to do was bounce on a yoga ball or tell me in his two year old Hungarian, what the animals were. Dessert was apple cake that Andi described as apple pie, and did in fact taste much like pie...I really need to get baking sheet so I can start making cookies.

After just seeing them for one afternoon, I felt like I was home. They were all so welcoming and nice, and did not push food at me. It reminds me so much of home and family that I think I am with my own family.

I love this posting, I love that two signs are having a dialogue

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Finding my place...

Over the past month it has been nice that the teachers are very welcoming and try to help me do anything and everything. I don't know if they see me as a teacher though. It is really starting to drive me crazy! When I asked how I could teach the children about Halloween, she said that kids don't celebrate that here. What is that supposed to mean, I was under the impression that I am supposed to be sharing my customs with them, and one of those is HALLOWEEN!

It was a very long week, the kids behaviour has continued to get worse and we thankfully had the day off school on Wednesday. It sounds silly, but the town water was shut off so school was closed that day and instead, many of the children went into town to the movies. I, on the other hand, not wanting to sit through a movie I would not understand, rode my bike to Nyírbátor (and managaed to change the settings on my keyboard so I can write in Hungarian as well) and went shopping at the Spar. I love Spar and really wish there was one in Máriapócs, but will never be that lucky.

Once again confronted with the issue of the childrens bad behaviour, I suggested that we should put the offending student in the corner as a punishment because this would stop them. I asked how putting them in the corner would really affect them. Szabina admitted that they were told to go outside in the rain, or sit in the corner. Even Márk, who probably had the most experience with being punished said they were told to stand in the corner by themselves. If the whole group was bad, they all had to stand with their arms held high until the teachers told them to sit down.

I really hope that this is my last rant about what I am actually doing...
I am much better now, things have been somewhat sorted out so I will refrain from rants...