Friday, September 24, 2010

Stamping and fainting and belching, Oh my!

Today was one of those days where things just go well. Thank God! I've really needed one of these. To start with, I had a good conversation with a friend from school. It's not my story to tell but he's got some really good things going on right now and seeing his excitement reminds me to appreciate what I've been given :)

I actually went to immigration.... finally. It will shock anyone who knows anything about the Hungarian immigration system to find out that I left the building a mere hour and a half after entering. The lady working with us didn't seem very happy with my papers - not really sure why - but she seemed to accept them... at least she was stamping everything so that's definitely a good sign. I need to go back next month to finish some things and they need a few more documents. Everything should be fine though.

On the way to work from immigration, I wasn't entirely sure where I was but found a bus going to a familiar place pretty quickly. After a few stops, people started talking loudly about opening the windows and asking the driver to stop and open the door. When they asked for a doctor, I really started wondering what was going on. Turns out a girl had fainted barely 4 feet from me. The driver finally stopped and let her (and most everyone else) off the bus. Most of us started walking to the next stop but the driver drove past and left us. I didn't particularly mind since I was able to get another bus to the commuter train station where I had to go.

When I got to work, my class was playing outside for about another half hour before lunch. Although they were a bit wild outside and while changing (I'll have to write about work and the many differences between here and the US), they calmed down at the table and were really well behaved. I was amazed and really, really happy during lunch because I definitely heard at least 5 of the 7 say "Thank you" (after being prompted of course) when I gave them their food/drink at some point. Considering these are 2-2.5 year olds, most of whom have not been exposed to English prior to September 1, that is HUGE. And, even the ones who might not have said it in English, did say it in Hungarian showing that, even if they don't know the English phrase, they understand the concept.

Sometimes it's a little hard working with the kids because I understand so much of what they are saying but am not supposed to respond to anything (unless it's important, i.e. "I need to go peepee) when they speak to me in Hungarian. Today at lunch, Oliver, one of my little boys, belched at the table. Viki, my Hungarian coteacher, told him to say "excuse me." He did but then belched again. Then he started making himself belch. Viki had enough of that after a minute and told him to stop. His response ... "I belch to say I'm finished eating." Viki and I looked at each other and violently tried not to laugh. It worked for a minute and then we both were nearly crying.

Later, after they got up from their naps, I took the two kids who were still at the kindy outside to play. Oliver was climbing on this big grass hill thing in the yard and Ella wanted to climb as well. I was watching but didn't want to help her very much (for somethings, I feel if the kid is going to do something, they have to be able to do it themselves). Oliver started trying to help Ella and it was really adorable watching them play together. Also, at one point, Oliver was bent over with his hands and feet on the ground looking at me upside down. I asked him what he was doing and he promptly responded "upside down." Gosh, these kids are smart!

Speaking (haha) of learning languages, I've been really pleased with my Hungarian lately. Last night I was able to translate (at least general concepts) for my English coteacher, Lauren, at our parents' meeting. Today, while the kids were napping, I had an hour long conversation with Viki -- who doesn't speak any English. Then, when I got home from work, I went to Mass, actually understood most of the homily, said the "Our Father" from memory, and didn't get too tongue tied reading the responses (including the Confiteor, Gloria, and "Oh Lord I am not worthy...") from my little Mass book.

I've still got lots to write about but I'll close for now... maybe this weekend I'll try to post while taking a break from lesson planning. :)

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