Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm in Kisvarda

After traveling all weekend, I am now in Kisvarda, Hungary. I arrived into Budapest late last night, took a cab to the hostel and was then picked up this morning by Hoyni, the CETP contact here in Hungary. It was a three hour drive to Kisvarda through beautiful countryside with the sunflowers and corn ready to be picked. There were also a number of orchards of apple trees as well, although Hoyni explained the apple industry is not doing well here. It was a beautiful sunny day with the trees starting to turn color, but still having a ways to go. It is totally flat here - couldn't even see the mountains in the distance.

I met the Headmaster and my teacher contact, Edit. The Headmaster does not speak English, although he seems to understand more than he can speak. I didn't get his name, as they call him "the headmaster"! They showed me around the school site and we had lunch in the canteen. Lunch was a vegetable soup, followed by brown rice and a pork dish. My apartment is two large rooms, quite bare, a small kitchen (no cooking utensils or pans), and a bathroom. The bed is a hide-a-bed, so we will see how that goes. Just realized when I used the bathroom that there is no mirror in here! So, yes, barren. It has really tall ceilings and tall windows to match in each room - rather dramatic. Will need to get a couple of things, including hangers, push pins to hang pictures, cooking utensils, etc. The apartment is situated with one wall to the parking lot, which was quite busy right after school with parents picking up pre-schoolers. The front leads out to a patio area with the school canteen 10 feet away.

Edit walked me to the T-mobile store to get my cell phone hooked up and then walked me down the main street of the town. Didn't take long as this really is a small town of around 18,000 people. Although the cell phone is working, I am a bit confused by it all at this point. There are a lot of numbers, ifs, ands, buts, etc., in terms of fees, etc. Will wait until I make contact with another English speaker I think to really figure this out.

When I came back onto the school grounds, another teacher, Ildiko, stopped me to say hi. She teaches 30! classes a week of English, so is looking forward to my working with her as I will take some of this load off of her. I will have 20-22 class hours per week. Tomorrow I will shadow Edit and get my schedule and meet the other English teachers.

I've started to unpack, however the jet lag over took me not too long ago and I was out cold. Speaking of cold, I need to figure out how to turn the heat on! The warmth of the mid-day dropped drastically with the setting sun.

Two students, David and Agnish just came to my door to tell me that I had missed dinner! This is ok, as two of the canteen workers brought me bread, butter, meat, tea and water earlier. Oh, and of course green peppers! David and Agnish offered to take me to the store and I took them up on their offer for after school tomorrow at 3:00. Would like to get some milk for my coffee and other things to have here in the apartment, even though I can take all of my meals during the week in the canteen. Breakfast is at 6:30 - uh, oh - I think that is what they said!

Off to finish unpacking and to fall asleep early!