So how did I decide to move to a small town that I had never even heard of? This is the beginning of my journey to Hajdúszoboszló (hi-doo-so-beau-slow).
Since I first started thinking about going back to Hungary my course of action has evolved though several scenarios. The first was that I try to reapply with the foundation I was working for last year. I soon realized that wasn't a good plan since I am still not over what happened eventually causing me to leave. After I decided to apply to CETP, I began researching other parts of Hungary. Through consulting the website for the Catholic Church in Hungary, I discovered that there were two cities (outside of Budapest) where Mass was celebrated in English every week. These were Szeged and Debrecen. Once I started contacting the CETP American director, Mary, I asked if there were any availabilities in either of those cities. While there were not, she suggested Hajdúszoboszló which is only a short bus ride from Debrecen. The more I thought about it, the better of an idea it became.
By this point, I am very excited to be moving to Haj. not just to be moving back to Hungary. It will be a very new experience and I think that will be good for me. Each time I have lived in Budapest has been a different experience but I have always compared them because it was the same (relative) location. This time, I will be in a completely new setting. I've never been to the eastern part of the country. I've never lived in a small town. I've never been completely on my own. I am looking forward to getting to know another part of Hungary. Although Haj. is a spa town, I'm sure that there will be fewer people who speak English which will, hopefully, force me to improve my Hungarian. I have already found a choir right in the town which I plan to join. The town is large enough (~23,000) to have enough shopping for everyday needs - Tesco (similar to Walmart), Spar, Profi, and ALDI. There is one main city bus and my commute shouldn't be too bad. There are two Catholic churches in town and a bunch more in Debrecen (including the English Mass community). Being a spa town, there are thermal baths and water parks. Having finally gone to one in Budapest the week I left (after living there three years without going!), I am sure I will go more often next time. I'm not entirely sure at what school I will be teaching but I think it will be one of the two bilingual primary schools (1-8). I know it's not one of them so I'm guessing the other. The town is known as the "sunniest town in Hungary" which is excellent for someone like me who has had problems with getting enough vitamin D.
One of the lessons I learned the hard way last year was that I cannot put off making friends and other connections. This time I will be forcing myself to join the choir, go out and do things, be more active, so that I can build up a good support system in the area. I am hoping that the English Mass in Debrecen will help with that also. Plus, there will be other CETP teachers in the area and I'll have gotten to know them through orientation.
Speaking of, orientation starts four months from tomorrow. Longer than I would like but at least I know the end (or beginning) is coming. I'm eagerly awaiting my new passport (I had ZERO empty pages so I renewed it three years early) so that I can buy my plane ticket. It still hasn't really sunk in that I'm going back. Going home is more how it feels. I've had a number of people from those close to me to acquaintances point out that Hungary is really where my heart is and I couldn't agree with them more.