Monday, February 15, 2010

Sightseeing

These are photos of Parliament, me with a statute of the 1956 Hungarian prime minister who defected from Communism and was killed for doing so, view of Budapest from the Danube.  These photos were taken within a 5 minute walk from our apartment!  The other two photos are of Vaci Ut ("Vahtsee" Street) - a famous pedestrian shopping street in Budapest.

Our apartment in Budapest

 Top picture is a view from our living room window onto Freedom Park Square.

Matt in Cairo

Well, so far I am not a very good blogger - its been over a week since my last posting!  Its been a whirlwind since we arrived however. We were busy all week with appointments at the embassy to set up logistical things and get badges, etc.  I am not going to lie, it was a hard first week for us.  We have been adjusting to life in a new culture, it is hitting me emotionally that I have to find work here, the enormity of the loss of our community in Falls Church hit us, and we unexpectedly have been dealing with quite a bit of culture shock into the American embassy culture as well. Whew. It was a lot for one week.  But along the way we have experienced so many blessings as well.  We visited a church that we really like the past two Sundays, we met a sweet couple that are missionaries for YWAM that have befriended us, I met a potential friend, Matt's co-workers and office atmosphere are really great so far, and Matt and I have been getting so much closer as a couple.  To name a few! 

This past weekend was MUCH better.  Saturday we walked around the city a bit as tourists and took some photos.  I will post them soon, promise!  Sunday we went to the YWAM couple's house for lunch after church and then found a brand new beautiful grocery store that is close to our house.  Sunday was such a special Valentine's Day - Matt and I appreciate each other so much as we are going through this challenge together and I am more in love with him than ever!  We managed to find all the ingredients to make lasagna (no small feat) and had a quiet evening together.  It was really special.  Today we went hiking in the hills above the city in Buda with some of Matt's co-workers.  It was so beautiful in the woods with the snow - lots of cross country skiiers were sharing the trails with us!  Its great to know there are such great hiking trails only about 20 min. outside the city. 

Matt just left about two hours ago to go to the airport - he will be in Cairo for a conference until Friday.  I have improved from being completely terrified to only slightly terrified to spend this week on my own, but I already have quite a few activities lined up, which helps alot. 

I am missing the Winter Olympics, which is SO sad!  (We don't have cable here yet and NBC isn't showing much of anything online this year). When we were growing up, our family LOVED to watch the winter Olympics, and I have always enjoyed them way more than the summer games.  I love all the sports - luge, bobsled, figure skating, speed skating,ski jump, snow boarding, downhill....I don't know why, but the Winter games are WAY better than the summer games in my opinion.  In college, my best friend and I had a huge crush on Jonny Moseley while watching the 1998 games- he was a skiier who did freestyle moguls.  Does anyone remember him? We watched addicted every night!!!  I especially love to watch ice dancing.  Its like ballet on ice. 

But I digress! If you are still reading, thanks! :-)  You are a true friend. Hee.  Please pray for Matt in Cairo this week and me as I make my way on my own here in Budapest for the week!  Let me know how we can pray for you as well. 

Love,
Emily & Matt

Friday, February 5, 2010

We have arrived in Budapest!

We arrived in Budapest yesterday (Feb. 3rd) at around 3:00 p.m. Budapest time (which is 6 hours ahead of EST).   Both us and the cats made it here without any major hiccups, praise God!  We had an hour delay in Frankfurt, but otherwise had a smooth trip.  The Frankfurt airport was very nice. We couldn't get over how good the airport food and coffee were.  We had a delicious gourmet sandwich from a cart in the airport - it was as good (actually better) than any Panera-type sandwich.  The coffee was way better than any I've had in the states, much less the airport! 

When we arrived at the Budapest airport, the cats were waiting for us on the baggage claim carrel. They actually put the kitties on the carrel thing!  They were fine, both were just sitting calmly in their crates.  We were so happy to see them.  Oddly, we didn't even have to go through customs or passport control and walked right out of the airport to the US AID folks waiting for us.  After a 20 min. ride into the city, we arrived at our apartment.   By this point, we were utterly exhausted and completely overwhelmed.  I don't think I've ever been quite so overwhelmed in my life actually.  But, we didn't really have too long to sit and think about it, as Matt's new boss kindly had us over to his apartment for dinner about an hour after we arrived!  I thought this seemed like a crazy idea when we heard about it a few days ago, but it turned out to be a true blessing.  At dinner we met another one of Matt's co-workers, Tim, and his wife Andrea (who is Hungarian). They were both so friendly and were such a blessing to us in our first few hours here.  They gave us lots of helpful tips and were just generally two warm and friendly faces to us.

We immediately went to bed when we got back to our apartment and slept for about 12 hours.  We are still tired but are starting to feel like ourselves a bit again.  Our apartment is really beautiful, the high ceilings and huge windows are amazing.  We are directly next to the U.S. Embassy - when we look out our bedroom window, we can see people across the street in the embassy at work!  Matt's office is one block down from the Embassy, which is super awesome.  He is there right now getting acclimated and already is in his first meeting. :) 

I would say that we are feeling pretty overwhelmed, fairly terrified, but thankful for all the ways that the Lord has blessed us in our adventure so far. We wait expectantly on Him to provide for us here, and I am relying on Him more heavily than I ever have in my life, which is its own blessing!  Thank you for your prayer for us!  More to come!

Peace,
Emily