I am so sorry it has been a while since my last post, but boy has the time been flying and have I been busy.
What have I been up too? Well… if I was a creative writer I my post a nice poem or jingle about what I have been up too, but that is not, my forte. I shall just recap some of my past weeks for you.
About four weeks ago I was working on an animation project that combined pictures the kids had created with photos of Roma children in the Foundation and music by a music group in Budapest with the lyrics coming from a poem from a Hungarian poet. We had to goal to have it completed by Children’s Day here in Hungary and thankful we reached our goal! Click the link to watch the finished project- Igazgyongy Alapitvany Kids Animation. Naturally the artist in me would have loved more time to do more detailed work, but it is important to keep to a deadline and know what you can do in that time frame. I loved going through so much of the kids art to decide what would go into the piece. It was hard to decide because there are so many incredible drawings.
Well just as this project ended it was a new week and it was time to head to Budapest to meet representatives from the Northeast Iowa Synod and students from Wartburg College. The Northeast Iowa Synod is the companion synod to the Lutheran Church in Hungary. It was great to talk with this wonderful group of people who were interested in what we were doing during our year as YAGMs and had some great questions for us.
I almost forgot, the day before this meeting I was given the opportunity to go to the Petőfi Literary Museum with some of the kids who had created art based on the poems of Arany János. There was music, crafts, and stations for each person to go to and learn more about individual poems by the poet. I was able to learn some stories told through these poems and I had fun participating in activities with the kids. *As my time in Hungary is coming to a fast end, I find that these are the moments that I treasure and will miss the most.
So after our meeting with fellow Americans it was time to look to something a bit more international. All of the YAGM and our country coordinators headed off to Berlin for Kirchentag 2017. Kirchentag means church days, I believe, and this year was even more exciting for us to be able to attend because it is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation! While there we got to meet up with some of the ELCA Global Mission team and talk with them a bit which was nice. During Kirchentag we had opportunities to go to different bible studies, worships, panels, and talks. It is crazy how many different things there were to go to and never enough hours in the day. We also all got the chance to work at the ELCA booth and talk about the ELCA, Global Mission and being a YAGM. I met so many people from all around the world. I had conversations I never expected to have and I loved the people who came and talked with us and wanted to tell us about the work they were doing globally. Being in Berlin and in Germany for the first time was so cool, but what was even better was that the people of the world had gathered together to have some pretty exciting conversations and let everyone know what is happening all around.
While there we also took the chance to go into town and see where Martin Luther did his thing, and by his thing I clearly mean nail the 95 theses onto the Catholic church. We were able to walk in his footsteps, sort of, the roads have been redone a few times in the last 500 years.
Through the rest of this week I worked on printing lino tote bags with foxes on them for a wedding. A couple decided they wanted to give their guests bags as gifts and they choose foxes because their business logo is a fox. The kids made some wonderful pieces with foxes. The couple picked two designs and I made those drawings into linos. This week I rolled paint onto the cuts, put them on the bags, pressed the bags and set them to dry. Despite wearing gloves my hands stilled managed to change color, but that is part of the fun.
Yesterday, Saturday, I went with two of the teachers to one of the schools I worked in this year. The kids were there for their end of the year ceremony. Each of the kids we work with at the Real Pearl gets a book at the end of the year to read. *The picture at the very top is us preparing to present each of the kids with their book.
This is one of the many hard times of this year. This one one of the many goodbyes.
I have enjoyed my time working with all the kids this year. They have taught me so much about them, about Hungary, about Hungarian, and even about myself.
The next few weeks are my last in Hungary and I am not ready to leave even though I know I must. I have started my own tasks of preparing to pack and move out of my home. I have moved many times, but it would be hard to say that doing it has become easy. I plan to write again before I go so keep your eyes open for another post. Till then, stay well.