I’m sitting in the teacher’s room, and everything is quiet. Everything except the hum of the computer. Everything except a sudden, slow crescendo of raindrops on the leaves in the orchard outside. Our land is parched for rain, and all too soon the rain drops get quieter and I see the sunshine again.
The students are in the assembly hall for a historical program. I started off with them, but after the third person finished talking and there was no sign of the end, I slipped out. Hungarians do love to talk. And I think I would like listening better if I could understand what they were saying. Cue creeping guilt about my Hungarian skills …
Things are coming to a close. This is the last week of school here in Péterfalva, and I taught my final classes in Beregszász last week – with Daddy’s help. He strummed a borrowed guitar, and hordes of preteens and I huddled around my computer to sing songs in English. Preparations for graduation are underway, which include everything from finishing the construction work on the school grounds to letting second-year Agi practice doing my hair for the graduations ceremony. May is a time for turning.
Here’s a snapshot from Dad and Nolan’s visit:
This is a view from the top of the castle in Munkács, a city 45 minutes north of Beregszász. The castle dominates the city, perched on top of old volcanic rock and drawing every eye with its Hapsburgian yellow. But the wonderful thing about castles in this part of the world is that it’s so difficult to decide what is worth looking at more – the castle itself or the map of a view laying on every side.
We three had a lovely time. My favorite moments include the wine tasting in a cave (though I use wine tasting loosely because we were poured a nearly full glass every time; never have I consumed so much alcohol in one hour), singing worship songs with the students, trying to convince various people that we were, indeed, not hungry, watching them play basketball with the kids in Péterfalva … And perhaps the part that stands out the most is my Dad and brother watching bewildered and somewhat helplessly as they got a taste of what I meant when I said that my middle schoolers in Beregszász are exuberant. There is no appropriate metaphor for energetic 12-year-olds. Some things simply must be experienced.