Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The long overdue update of my little adventure to Budapest and beyond…

I wrote this for my own memories – it’s very long. Sorry if you are all bored by the end or give up reading all together, I won’t hold it against you. PS – All the pictures are at the end, so you can just fast forward if need be.

I couldn’t wait to get there and see everything that makes me love that city so much again. I had a pretty adventurous flight, my long flight from Denver to Frankfurt was pretty interesting not only did we hit an air pocket and drop pretty far causing all the flight attendants to yell at us to get back into our seats which pretty much had me freak (as if I need any more reasons to freak than I already do when it comes to flying). I had a pretty bad seat, it couldn’t go back nor could I see the TV to watch any of the in flight entertainment so the flight attendants were pretty much getting me anything I wanted. The gal sitting next to me was about the same age as me and was heading to Kuwait she was in the Army and had just been home for a two week visit before having to go back (she been there for 18 months) and while she was home her entire platoon was killed in a bombing and had she not gone home for her visit she would be dead too. We talked the whole night about what life was like there and about the stories… it was so interesting yet very depressing. She was not sure what it would be like going back having to work with a whole new group of people and still mourning the death of people who she had grown very close to. At one point in the middle of the night we had a whole group of people around us from all over the world talking about the war, it was fascinating.
As always I got sick on the flight landing in Budapest… please never use barf bags to dispose of gum because when someone needs one for what they are intended for and they can’t get them open because someone’s gum is holding it closed, it’s not a pretty picture.
My bag didn’t make it to Budapest with me, in fact I watch them take it off the plane before we left Frankfurt, when I asked the flight attendant about it she said not to worry, and well I should have made a stink! I was waiting around the airport for a few hours, sleeping on a bench waiting for word as to where my bag was and when it would arrive. I finally found out that it would be on a flight that arrived at 10:30pm and that it would get to my hotel somewhere between 3-6am. Great I was off to the hotel! When I went through customs I thought it was very interesting, they just waved my through – didn’t check my passport or anything (remember this for later). Taxi rides in Budapest are always an adventure, if you think someone drives bad you must go to Budapest and get in a taxi and then you will know what bad driving is… mind you I was sick and throwing up in the plane and airport so getting into a car with a driver that if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt you would only really be in the car for a moment before being throw out. I made it in one piece to the Fabius Panzio Hotel; I checked in a fast a possible because sadly I needed to throw up again. I got to the hotel just before 6pm, I had nothing but what was in my backpack as a carry on which was pretty much only stuff to keep me entertained. Just before 9pm I think it was (I was sleeping) Bridget (from New Zealand) my roommate arrived with the remote for the air-conditioning at the time I am not sure what I was more excited to see. Bridget and I had met the year before in Budapest and became instant friends even though I make fun of the way she talks. We decided to be roommates this year (which was a brilliant idea) we stayed up way too late that night talking and catching up.
We got up early so that we could get our bus passes (since Bridget is very against riding illegally, it happened last year and we didn’t mean too it just happened) and we were off to the Pikler Institute where we would be studying for the next two weeks. It was a great first day to re-connect with people we had met the year before like Gabi and Diane and to meet new friends.
I was much more satisfied this year with the course… not that last year wasn’t good or informative but most of it was stuff I already had known from my readings and studies with RIE. I found this advanced course to challenge me as both a learner and a human being. Nothing that I will get into in this blog but my two and half weeks in Budapest was a real soul searching time for me so to speak… many realizations came about and so much of what was said hit a cord with me not just in how it pertains to my professional life but more importantly the insights it gives to my personal life and development as a person.
I didn’t take as many pictures this year while I was in Budapest and I know that will come as a real shock to most of you who know me to be the girl with a camera in her hand always and forever. I also don’t want anyone to think that I didn’t take picture because I take the beauty of that country or city for granted because I don’t. I love Budapest; every sight makes me feel at home. But, because it’s so much like home to me, so familiar now I don’t feel like I must capture everything on film… plus most of what I saw this year I already have pictures of from last year. Sure there was more construction and my hair is a different length, but the city is the same and I love that about it.
Some new discoveries this year – Bridget and I figured out how to get around via night buses… mainly Bridget with me whining at all hours of the night when we got back to the train station LATE from Vienna and I didn’t want to have to pay for a taxi, thanks Bridget for putting up with me and always figuring EVERYTHING out! I also got to climb up to the highest point in Budapest so now I can say I have seen ALL of Budapest… it was really amazing up there. The caves under the Buda Castle were COOL in more ways than one. It was a nice respite from the hottest day while I was there. Thunder and lightning storms in Budapest are intense! And even a little scary when you are walking over a HUGE METAL bridge when one starts! As always I love the fruit soup in Budapest even though I only had it two times this year, it was just as lovely as always. Other highlights were getting sodas at McDonalds with all the ice we can fit in our cup! The wonderful toy shops with lovely wooden toys (yes I got a few too many, I can’t help myself). All of us making fun of the way Bridget says things… we do it out of pure love I promise! Gabi’s impressions are the BEST! Treaties night (well really it turned into a whole trip of treats! The four of us had brought things from where we lived to share with each other and we even ended up sharing with the whole group, we are nice that way. Bridget and I showing up to Diane and Gabi’s apartment soaking WET! Bridget breaking Karen’s 1000 ft. umbrella and I think best of all getting kicked up the 18 tram fairly late at night; it took us a few times of it happening to discover what it was all about. I still laugh at us standing in a park at nearly midnight wondering what just happened.
It was yet another year of being out of the country for 4th of July… I have no clue how the 4th goes down in Oregon as I have never been here for it!
On our first weekend break we went to Vienna (see separate post on that).
Saying good bye to everyone was hard… last year the “four of us” as I like to call Bridget, Diane, Gabi and myself we knew we would all be back this year so our good-bye was more like a see ya later. While we have all promised to have another grand adventure (most likely in New Zealand) it just wasn’t the same. The last day of the course was really hard on me, I was very sad. Like people have always said about me I can make friends with anyone anywhere but these girls are different – they have helped me through so many things that have come up and help me get around – Bridget the navigator – don’t leave home without her! I have no doubt that I will return to Budapest, maybe even to live there for a year or so, but it will most likely be without my girls and therefore very much alone.
After everyone left I got a chance to observe at Pikler and there are no words regardless of the language that can describe what one sees there – it’s seeing what your soul believes every child deserves but yet you think is impossible to give a child. It’s magical and breathtaking. It makes you feel both inspired and also as though you have no right working in this field because no matter how hard you try you will never care for children with as much respect as these women do. I left feeling as if I have so much still to learn, that even if I study and train for the rest of my life I will never come close to attaining the perfection and grace that happens every moment at Pikler.

Here are a few pictures I did take while in Budapest… enjoy!


The view from the Training room!

under the Buda Castle


A lesson in having patience - I failed!


at the Party!


Gabi, Me and Elsa at the party - there were too many cameras!


most of the food at the party, you know me it's all about the food!

Group picture #1 first day of good-byes:(


a depressing picture... not so many babies!


the "four of us" Me, Diane, Bridget and Gabi


the real us! always laughing!


group picture #2 the real day of good byes!


1 comment:

Shellbell said...

I have to ask, what is the pic with the colorful cage like things?