Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Other Half....

Hello World that follows our blog,

So I have been quite delinquent in my blogging responsibilities, I have not lived up to the title of MATT and Emily. Granted, Emily is a much better writer than me, but that is not really an excuse.

I am going to be honest, the first 6 weeks in Budapest was rough. It didn't help that everyone I talked with at USAID was super jealous when I told them that Budapest was our first assignment. One senior Foreign Service Officer said, it is OK not to like Budapest, but it felt like we are SUPPOSED to love it. Well, we haven't loved it yet. We went through severe culture shock, and have felt a big hole from leaving our amazing community in DC (shout out to our Karios peeps). But, God has used this challenging time in our lives. Emily and I have bonded as a married couple in a way not possible in the safety of the US. We have also been forced to rely on God more fully than in the States.

Now with the weather *finally* getting warmer, this place is starting to grow on us. We had a great time at the Easter Festival last weekend. Emily posted some pictures and commented on my "Epcot Experience". It might just be a reflection on me, but it seems pretty sad that as an American, many of my real "cultural experiences" in Europe go back to my trips to Disney world.... I told Emily, "This is just like the Germany section at Epcot". Except this is real... whoa... blowing my mind. Like real kids dressing up in their folky pants and dancing like those river dance people. AND LIKING IT!

A couple weeks back we went to a real life hot lake. It was pretty crazy because this ingenious Hungarians built a large indoor walkway and platform on top of the lake so in the winter you never have to be outside. Very strange swimming in a lake but also being fully enclosed. I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around that.

Other observations while living in Hungary:

1. Restaurants do not offer ketchup for fries without a request, and then you only get a mini-packet, but you get a full on BOTTLE of kethcup when you order pizza.... weird.

2. There are no speed limits on the highways. The Hungarians have really taken this freedom to the limits. On the right lane you have these cars hauling home-made trailers going like 50 miles an hour. Then in the left hand lane you have these speed-devils going (I am not joking) 120 miles an hour. Made for some very exciting lane changes....

3. Hungarians like their wine! The average $7 wine here is usually as good a $20 bottle in the States. When we were driving around the countryside after our indoor/outdoor lake experience, we saw not just a few front lawns where the owners gave up their grass for their own VINEYARD!

They like their wine here.

That will about wrap it up for post. We are enjoying Budapest a lot more the last couple of weeks. But please keep praying for us and ask God to show us how we serve here.



P.S. If you are reading this, Emily and I would ask you to comment so we know we are just not writing to ourselves... we are not asking for money, just a comment.... :)


  1. you guys are awesome! read the whole thing :) lovin' the pics Emily... (Matt - put some pics up with your posts:))

  2. I love reading your updates! I'm sorry I never comment, but do know that I am enjoying hearing about your new life (ups and downs)!
    PLEASE keep it up!!!
    With love,

  3. Matt, love your post! Great to hear your side too. Look forward to reading your blog and skyping it's like you are not really that far away. Love, Mom

  4. I am sure have been reading all the updates that Emily has been posting. You've got some catching up to do MATT :) Glad to hear you guys are settling in, we miss you all at Kairos. The weather is finally getting to be awesome around here. Cherry Blossoms are here, so we have a ton of Jaywalkers around DC. Keep posting updates, enjoy hearing from you guys.

  5. Thanks for all the comments we really appreciate it. BTW Matt wasn't asking for money, but I am.

  6. LOL Emily - great comment :)

    I love your posts too and will comment when I can get to the page :) Keep up the writing!

  7. Sorry to say it's my first visit to the blog - I actually only visited because Emily's last e-mail came up in a search for something else I was looking for. This sounds like quite the culturally quirky place - ketchup on pizza, is that a relic of the communists? Please tell me you're looking for microbreweries!

  8. Keep up the posts--we love reading about your lives in Budapest! Love and kisses, Justin,Lisa, and baby Alexander

  9. Yes, I read your posts weekly - (sometimes I check your site even more frequently). Winter is long here in upstate NY, too, and spring is such a welcome season. Enjoy it! And, enjoy that cheap wine, too!
    Keep writing. It is wonderful to hear of your experiences there in Budapest. I'm glad things are improving for you.

  10. I stumbled across your blog because my family is headed for Budapest next summer. My wife and I have each been there twice before, so we already know that we will love it, though actually living there will surely have some challenges.