7am or 7:30am – My roommate Danielle’s alarm goes off, and we battle with our jet-lagged eyes and start the day.
8:00am – Breakfast! This usually consists of bread and some type of protein – sausage, cheese, eggs, etc.
8:15am – Devotions. There are 11 of us English teachers from the U.S. and Canada, and we take turns leading devotions at breakfast and supper. A student reads a translation of the devotion and prayer.
8:30am – Classes begin. The students are split into groups and rotate from classroom to classroom. Danielle and I have the three younger groups, about 25 students in all.
We often have moments of confusion trying to communicate in each others’ second languages, so I have learned not to leave my Hungarian-English dictionary in my room.
11:30am – Free time until lunch. I often use this time to close my eyes and catch that sleep I wanted when I woke up.
1:00pm – Dinner time! The second meal is the biggest meal of the day and always begins with some kind of soup and bread. The main course (meat/veggies over pasta/rice) is served when the soup is finished. Students and teachers alike get all the dishes and food from a window to the kitchen, and we eat family style at the table. Before each meal we sing “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and say a short prayer. We close each meal with “Glorify Your Name,” another prayer, and a thank you to the cook. Then we clear our dishes and wipe down the table.
1:45 – Afternoon activity. Sometimes a craft, sometimes a game; once there was a scavenger hunt. On Wednesday we made beaded jewelry, and one of the dorm mothers taught me how to make macramé.
3:00pm – Free time. At 4 o’ clock the students have time for homework before dinner.
The students are much more willing to speak English during activities and free time than they are in the classroom. I have trouble pulling an answer of them in English when I’m teaching lessons, but they are so eager to have English conversations with me. I’ve been able to talk to several of the girls the past few evenings, and we exchange words – I ask them the Hungarian word for this, they ask me the English word for that.
6pm – Supper.
Last night after supper, the students wanted the Americans to teach them baseball, so we walked out to the stadium and pitch to teach them. I would like it to be known that I actually hit the ball. The last time that happened I was 11 years old and had never actually hit the ball before.
The road to the pitch is lined with houses and gardens – Hungarians seem to take their gardening pretty seriously. Roses are the most plentiful, but every color in the spectrum is represented in those gardens. (Mama, there are catalpa trees lining one road. Catalpa! I’m not sure what they’re called here.)
Sometime between 11 and 2 I go to bed. I would like to sleep earlier, but my internal clock still thinks it’s the Eastern time zone. Well, actually, I’ve adjusted somewhat, so I guess my internal clock thinks it’s in some time zone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Hopefully by Sunday it will have caught up with the rest of my body.
The students have all left for the weekend now, but on Monday they’ll return (hopefully with their lines memorized … ). In the mean time, we teachers are free, and I think we’re going into the mountains tomorrow. The nearest mountains are only a few miles away – I can see them from the hall window – so I think we’ll have plenty of time to hike and explore. I’ve already done some exploring in the fields along the river just outside of town; I can’t wait to get better acquainted them.