Today started out - well - yesterday....
I left Chicago on Sunday afternoon and I arrived in good old Frankfurt au Main around 9:40, strolled to my new gate and got a cafe latte and croissant and then hopped on my quick 1 hour flight from Frankfurt to Budapest.
Its all so familiar to me now that its a cake walk once I get on board and settled on that United flight from home to Frankfurt. I know the drill.... settle, dinner, movie, sleep, wake up, breakfast, get off the plane. Time actually passes pretty quickly.
And then comes the excitement when I board that flight to Budapest. I start thinking about everyone and the week and my heart starts racing and so, by the time we land, I all but jump out of the plane.
Things went very smoothly once I got to Budapest - this was actually the first time in my 6 trips that someone actually stopped me with my massive mound of bags to ask if I had any "liquor, cigarettes or narcotics" to declare. He even rifled through my clothes suitcase - glad he didn't open the bag with all the green beans and macaroni and cheese and peanut butter. He probably would have thought I was opening a grocery store or something.
I got through, got a minivan shuttle within about 10 minutes (Oh - and ALL my bags showed up at the same time this year! :) No big blue this year, though - I went with little black because I didn't need as much room with all my heavy stuff!).
Since the week had already begun due to my late arrival, everyone was kind of congregating in the lobby and I gave Gabor a great fright when I snuck up behind him as he stood at the check in desk. Edina, his wife, was there as well and we hugged and chatted for about 10 minutes or so before he shooed me upstairs to settle in.
What a pleasant change this is this year - our hotel for the first time since the project started, is in an amazing location in the center of Budapest, not far from tram 49 which takes me directly to Corvinus University. Theres a pleasant green park across the street with a little path and a short run down one of the busy streets takes you directly to the Danube and another great running park. In case you couldn't tell, I plan on running at least once or twice this year during the project!
I unpacked and then was able to meet up with Jodi for dinner and we had a good long chat about life and such.
On the flight over, I was contemplating Darlene's death and her life and all and I decided that this year, for Thanksgiving, I'm going to tell the story of Darlene as my thanks. We always go around and give what we're thankful for and I think I'm tremendously thankful for the life and testimony of Darlene and I know she would be so pleased if her death would be used as a light and an encouragment. Please pray as I prepare some picts and what I want to say. Thanksgiving is October 10th.
I believe that Zsu possibly Hajni and I will be meeting for afternoon coffee tomorrow so we can catch up. I know they keep on saying how they're so excited to see me.... I also can't wait to see these wonderful girls who have become friends of mine over these past 4 years. Please pray for our conversation as we start our catch up tomorrow.
I leave at 7:50 in the morning to go to a local high school to help teach English classes. Part of this is encouraging students to come and meet at the Burger King down the street from the hotel so we can continue conversations and invite them to the high school event on Friday night.
Please also pray for the dorm events that we'll be having at 4 different dorms tomorrow night. I'm at a new dorm so I'm looking forward to maybe meeting some new students.
I'm closing with two picts from the our hotel window looking out over Budapest....
Please pray for us as we reach out to Hungarian students this week in friendship and love.
By the way.... I posted my weekly story if you're interested....