Sunday, June 30, 2013

Visiting Old Town

After Gary’s class one day we went to visit the Old Town of Warsaw. 

DSCN5303The kids at the old city wall  

DSCN5344Sightseeing is quite different with kids—the excitement of racing down a hill!

DSCN5371While we were trying to get a picture of me with both kids looking at the camera an older woman walked by and started talking to us.  Gary understands some Polish since he knows Czech.  She asked if she could have one of our kids because we have two and she doesn’t have any.  It was a little awkward, but actually not as much since we didn’t understand everything she was saying.  There are many people who would love to have children and don’t, so I’m very thankful for the two wonderful ones that God has given us.

DSCN5408One of Ethan’s highlights—chasing pigeons

DSCN5453Watching out for little sister… DSCN5462… and watching the trams.

DSCN5476Another big highlight for Ethan—the metro (subway).  We don’t get into Budapest much, and when we do, we usually are in our car, so Ethan loved being able to ride public transportation.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kids in Poland

We were thankful that our whole family was able to be together while Gary taught in Poland. 

(I think most people who read our blog know that we don’t post ministry things on here.  This blog does have some cultural posts, but is more for our family and friends to see our kids “growing” and see some of the things they do since we only return to the States once every few years.   So, these posts about Poland will be more about the kids than ministry.) 

We stayed with a family who lives just outside of Warsaw.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the family, their daughters (who Ethan loved playing with) or their VERY large German Shepherd dog, named Grizzly, who Sienna feared the whole week (he was a friendly dog, just very big and loud).

DSCN5769This was the sunset near their house.  We were there during the longest day of the summer, so Gary and I ended up waking most mornings due to the sun coming in the windows—at 4:00 AM!  We did manage to go back to sleep though. :-)

The kids and I went to the office where Gary taught each day but spent some time visiting a few places within walking distance.IMG_8004I was shocked when we first saw this nice, new playground.  There were actually 2 playgrounds next to each other and then a set of ropes for kids to play on.  The first thing Ethan wanted to do was go to the playground for “older kids” and go down this slide.  He decided in the middle of the slide that he didn’t like it so much and somehow stopped himself.  He did end up coming down. :-)

IMG_8036 After class one day we all stopped by a different playground that also had some cool things that I’ve never seen before like this tire-type swing above.IMG_8039This was also neat where the kids pedaled and went in circles.  Sienna couldn’t reach the pedals, so Ethan pedaled for the 2 of them.

IMG_8060There was a huge wooded area (everyone called it the forest) near the office, so the kids and I were able to go there one day.  We took Ethan’s bike with us knowing that this was nearby with bike trails.  I didn’t give us enough time to get to the forested area, so unfortunately we had to head back to the office for lunch as soon as we arrived to the forest.  It was just as well.  Just during the time it took for me to take this picture we were all surrounded by mosquitoes… an insect that LOVES me.

DSCN5543 Ethan watching Daddy teach

DSCN5580Sienna took her afternoon nap at the office every day, but on the last day Ethan told me he was sleepy and asked where he could sleep.  There really wasn’t anywhere, so I told him on the floor.  So, he lay down on the floor and went right to sleep.  It had been a long week for him.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flooding in Hungary

I’m not sure if the US news has mentioned anything about the flooding that happened in Central Europe a few weeks ago.  Flooding started in Austria but was the worst in Germany.  Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary were also affected.

1,315 people had to be evacuated in Hungary as a result of the flooding.  We don’t live near the river so weren’t affected.

DSCN513220,000 people including 7,000 soldiers worked to put up barriers along the banks of the Danube River.  Gary read that 1 million sandbags were filled.

DSCN5086The river reached the highest recorded level of 8.91 meters (29.23 feet) on Sunday.  It was expected to reach it’s peak on Monday, but thankfully the water began to recede. 

DSCN5127I took these pictures after the river receded some, but as you can see, there are still roads covered quite high with water on each side of the river. DSCN5082DSCN5060The trams on each side of the river weren’t running for a while due to flooding on the tracks like you can see above.DSCN5035Two of the trams normally go through this tunnel that is mostly filled with water.

DSCN5079I saw some pictures that friends took where the Parliament building looked like it was floating on water.  The picture above gives a bit of an idea, but the water was already down some by the time we went into the city.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Trash Days

One thing I have found interesting since living in Hungary is something called Trash Days.  The government has certain days once a year (typically in May) when people can put large items out on the street to be taken away.  Each street is given a designated day to do this.  Our street was today. 

IMG_8856Some people just throw the items out, and some have bags or boxes of things to throw out.DSCN4905This was the “trash” across from our house, right by the street. 

DSCN4903And here is another couch across the street.  There were a couple of gypsy women who hung out at the corner of our house for several hours in what looked like “guarding” this couch, waiting for someone to come with a vehicle to pick it up.

DSCN4895Trash day and the day before are the busiest days of the year on our street because tons of cars drive by with people, especially gypsies, who look through the trash. I probably saw the green truck above go by our house about every hour during the day.  DSCN4901 A lot of people even have trailers attached to the back of their cars to pick things up.

DSCN4909 And there goes the couch into the garbage truck!  I guess the gypsy women didn’t want it after all.

DSCN4923This truck was doing some last-minute “shopping” (the garbage truck is in front of him).