Thursday, July 23, 2009

Meet Our New Friends

Part of the Hungary Mission Trip's purpose was to build relationships with a few of the Gandhi students that came back to the school to spend the week with us. Immediately, the two groups began to merge and only got better as the week went along. We want to share with you who our new friends are. Meet Barbi, Little Laci, Timi, Yani, Kriste, Richie, Big Laci, and our hosts missionaries Glen & Clista Akins. These nine people have been interviewed by several FBCHSV folks. Some have pictures. Others do not. If we get a picture of them, we will add it.

Meet Barbi
By: Andrew McPhail

I had the pleasure of interviewing Barbara Horvath or Barbi as she is called. As you will read later on, Barbi is Richie's girlfriend and they have been an item for over a year. She lives an hour and a half away from Pécs in a town called Kaposvák. She commutes back and forth to the Ghandi school via bus. She lives with her mother, her mother's boyfriend and her twenty year old brother (Károly). Along with her family members, Barbi also has two cats. She doesn't have a favorite subject to study but enjoys Hungarian grammer. She really enjoys attending the Ghandi school and has many friends here. As school starts back this September, Barbi will be a senior. After graduation, she plans on attending University but does not know what she wants to study quite yet.
In her free time, Barbi enjoys watching movies, listening to both Hungarian and American music, and of course hanging out with Richie. Her favorite color is pink and her favorite TV show is Hungarian and called The Monica Show.
It was a pleasure getting to know Barbi through this interview. This week has been a very rewarding week for both us and the Ghandi students. We have formed very strong relationships with each other and have worked side by side with one another making repairs on the Ghandi School. It has been a true blessing to have been a part of this truely amazing experience.

Meet "Little" Laci
By: Rachel Taylor

Today I interviewed Lazi Bogda'n, a student at the Ghandi School. He is 15 years old and has been at the school for one year. Laci said he likes it at the school but he prefers to be at home. Laci was born in Kaposva'r on January the fourteenth. He lives with his two sisters, the oldest Timi and the youngest Judit. He also has a dog and two cats. While he is at home he likes to watch tv and movies. Somethings he likes to watch are Friends, House, Heros, and Lost. His favorite movies are Tranformers one and two, Underworld 3, and 17 Again. He also likes to listen to music and hang out with his friends. His activites and hobbies at home are surfing the internet, taking pictures, and playing basketball. During the week he is at the school studying and taking classes. He has seven classes a day and once those are over, he and his classmates have a group study time and go over what they learned that day. After they study for an hour and a half, they have a couple hours of free time and then they have to go to bed at ten o'clock. Laci's favorite subjects are english and art. I asked him what he planned to do when he graduates from the school and he was'nt exactly sure but he said he might want to be a translator! Laci Bogda'n is a very kind and caring person. Laci and the students deserve all the renovations and help we provided. I pray Laci will stay the kind and caring person that he is and will grow up to be.

Meet Timi
By: Melissa Russell

Through a heavily accented but suburbly practiced English voice, Bogda’n Timea, known to everyone here as Timi, sat down in one of the dorm rooms of the Ghandi school and told me a little about her life as a student here. She grew up in Görgeteg, a village that rests about two hours away from the school in Pécs. She is a senior here and throughout the past week she has been a great asset to us by serving as one of our translators and she also helps us to cross the language barrier on the worksites. She is 18 years old and looks to the University in Pécs in hopes of furthering her education. After completing a degree there, she wants to travel the world and visit all of the places that would allow her to practice her English. She loves Hungary and its natural beauty, as well as its great food and open people. She does wish, however, that the schools here offered more opportunities for exchange programs with other countries to enable everyone to have a more worldly outlook on life. With the skills she has already acquired here at the Ghandi school, I’m sure that great things will await her in the future.

Meet Yani
By Blake Reasons

Jáno Lovrenosies is an awesome young man that has a personality. While biking in the beautiful mountains close to Lake Orfu, I got to talking with Lani, as his friends call him, and began discussing life. He is 19 and love music. I was surpised when he started naming off American rappers such as Eminemen, 50 Cent, and Akon. Yani is always looking to help someone. I can’t count the times he asked me while we were up on the mountain whether or not me, Jake, or Jeremy needed help. I amazes me how every day you can just look at Yani and see the face of Jesus.
I asked him what his plans are after he graduates the Gandhi Gimnázium. He couldn’t really come with an answer except for hte fact that he would not mind going to a university, which is really respectable.
Yani’s parents are not together. He has 2 half-brothers and 4 half-sisters, which he says he does not know very well. Last night I played Yani several times in foosball and the only word to describe his ability is ’raw’. He tolk me during his free time at the school foosball is his favorite activity.
It would take many words to describe this unique young man but there was one thing he told me that touched me. As we biked down the mountains with the stream rustling to our left, the trees swaying to our right, and the Hungarian flies eating our legs like candy, I asked Jáno Lovrenosies what all our efforts at the Gandhi school meant to him. He responded with one short phrase in Hungarian that said it all – "It means everything."

Meet Kriste
Interview with Kriste Balogh
By: Jeremy Dickson

Name: Balogh Krisztina
Age: 17
Year in School: 4th year at Ghandi School

What do you want to do when you grow up: I want to learn at the University after Ghandi in Budapest or America After that I don’t know.

What languages do you speak? A little English, a little German, Hungarian and Beas (Gipsy dialect.)

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to read, I like music and I like to spend time with my family. I also like photography.

Do you believe you are a Christian? I read my Bible in English. I believes „So So.”

Any thing else you want to ask or say? No.

Meet Richie
By Will Tucker

Richie was born in Pamuk, a town 140 kilometers from Pecs, and has lived there 18 years, his whole life. He travels one and a half hours to the Gandhi School every week. He graduated this year—in the near future, he hopes to attend the University in Pecs. His English reflects the years he spent studying it. Communicating with him is not difficult, especially because of the easy-going attitude he successfully keeps up all day long.
Richie speaks Beas—one of the two dialects associated with the Roma people—with his family (one 17-year-old brother, studying to be an electrician; one 2-year-old sister). Őne night this week, he shared some of his native language with us. He and I both thought it would be cool to share with anyone who reads this blog the words he taught us, so here goes:

Richie is clearly a smart guy. He enjoyed school, and intends to study medicine at University to become a doctor working in Pecs. He says this desire stems from personal experiences—Richie’s stepfather is very sick and has not been able to work due to his heart condition, and his grandfather passed away not too long ago. Richie says he cried for 2 days. Now, he wishes to become the best surgeon he can, in order to help other people in similar situations. He never questions his own determination.
An all-around great guy, he exudes a sense of compassion, calm, and good humor. Richie and Barbie are dating; according to Richie, they have been together for 1 year, 4 months and 22 days—both seem to be very happy with each other.

Meet "Big" Laci
By: "Big" Rick Holloway

While in Pécs we had the joy of meeting a young man named Laszlo Vofeny, Laci to us. He quickly came to be called 'Big Laci' after one of the Pecs students of the same name arrived. Laci graduated from the Gandhi school in 2002 and is back this week at the request of Glen and Clista to help us out. Laci has done the translation for us all week. What an excellent choice for this as he speaks four languages fluently and is well read in others. These include Hungarian, two gypsy languages and thankfully English. Laci is currently enrolled in the University of Pecs and is studying English Literature and Linguistics. At 25 he has already lived an interesting life. After graduating from the Gandhi school and spending a few years in the university he spent a year in London in an effort to make some additional money for college. While there he fried chicken for an African version of KFC (Afri-Carribian Chicken), vacuumed the concrete garage floors of Arabic elites, mucked stalls and finally ended up as a chef after starting as a dishwasher. Brick laying and a few others were thrown in for good measure. This same work ethic was displayed all week as he tirelessly followed the students around helping with language and stories. In return the kids showed him how to throw a football and gave him some challenging ping pong games. Once he completes his university studies Laci plans on traveling and experiencing the things he has read about in the English language books he has. After that who knows? Laci comes from a large family. He has one biological sister and four adopted siblings. We visited his home village one day and met most of them. His family is primarily Roman Catholic while Laci is Baptist. His comment was that he felt that Catholicism was too restrictive. Please keep him in your prayers as he continues to chart his course.

Meet Glen and Clista Adkins (Our Hosts)
By: Bethany McDaniel

Before moving to Pécs, Hungary to live as missionaries sponsered by the CBF, Glen and Clista Adkins lived in South Carolina. Originally, however, Glen is from VA and Clista is from Louisiana. Before the big move they were just a normal family with two daughters, Mary and Katie Beth, who worked at a normal church with normal jobs as the Minister of Music (Glen) and the Minister to Single Adults (Clista). Then about two years ago they decided to get up and move changing everything even close to normal in their suburan life in South Carolina to be missionaries in a small town in Hungary. This was a huge transition that took a lot of time, thought, planning, and siminars that the CBF require in order to do something like this. Although, being a missionary is a vocation that Clista has pretty much always wanted. When she was in college, she read a book about a missionary who had a challenging yet extremely rewarding life. Ever since then, she has had it in her heart to serve the Lord in a strong and challenging way. (Although, in the book the missionary did not have a happy ending…He was eventually murdered for his beliefs).
But why Hungary? That’s just so random. As it turns out, Glen and Clista came to Hungary on a misssion trip (just like us). Then the next year, they came back. During that visit a missionary who had been in Pécs for 14 years proposed that Glen and Clista come to be a music teacher and an English teacher at this wonderful school for Roma teenagers. They both jumped at the idea. They did all the planning and whatnot that is involved in becoming a missionary and at the ages of 51, they left their comfortable life to come to a beautiful eastern Europe town. The transition wasn’t too bad at first. The first three months were exciting filled with the newness of everything. After that newness wore off, however, they started to get a little homesick, especially for their daughters. This huge change became more than just a shift in environment, but it was also a shift into a life with small cars, no clothes dryers, walking EVERYWHERE, a language barrier, and stairs around every corner with no sign whatsoever of an elevator. Life began to take more time than what they were used to with the convience of Publix just down the street. Even though they still do miss somethings (like air conditioning, Chick-fil-A, and Tab), they have acclimated and gotten use to life in Pécs just in time to move back to the States next year. The CBF only sponsers them for three years. This is a job that is usually given to recent college graduates who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Although, Glen and Clista both reiterated a couple of times that this is a job open up for any age. Even though their time here is short and the transition was a bit rocky, they both said they would do it again in a heartbeat. You can just see it in their faces that they truely love what they do. They love forming relationships with the Ghandi students and being able to make a difference in our chaotic world. Life in Pécs is not as hectic as it is in America. Clista described the U.S. as always having noise and everything is always coming at you to buy this or try that. In Pécs life is not simpler so to speak, but it is quieter in a way. However, they both said that this experience has really shown them how extremely fortunate we Americans truely are. It sounds so cliche, but America really is a wonderful country and sometimes we tend to forget the simple freedoms that are given to us.
On a more fun note, I asked them what their favorite Hungarian food was. Glen said he just loves the kakaoh csiga which is a chocolate (he prefers dark chocolate) pastry shaped like a snail. Clista really adores the Boci chocolate which is like a mild Hershey’s chocolate bar. They both sound absolutely delicious in me opinion. :-)

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