Every week on the Calvin College Hungary Semester looks a bit different; days are filled with spontaneity and weekends are often spent traveling. Since most of the students in our group are taking different classes and we are placed at various service-learning locations, all of us have different schedules too. Nevertheless I want to give you a glimpse into life here in Budapest and the routine I have found myself in.
9-10 AM – I join YWAM Budapest for their weekly base worship. Since I’m often out of town on Sundays, I love being able to visit YWAM, talk with the folks there, and have some time to worship and reflect before the week begins.
10:15 AM – I alternate every other week either meeting with my supervisor at my service-learning placement, Református Missziói Központ (RMK – Reformed Mission Center, an outreach to immigrants and refugees in Hungary), or meeting with two students from our partner university, Károli Gáspár, who want to improve their English.
3-4 PM – I meet with Luna, a young lady from RMK, to go over her English homework and practice conversing in English. Luna is from Bangladesh, but has lived all over the world. She's sassy and fun and i'm loving getting to know her!
5:20-6:50 PM – The History of Civilizations class I’m taking at our other partner university, Corvinus, meets. Corvinus is located along the Danube in the southern part of Pest and I love leaving class and seeing a gorgeous view of the Liberty Bridge and Gellert Hill at sunset.
10-12 PM – I meet with Lina, another student from RMK who's from Syria, and we review grammar, practice English conversation, discuss the Hunger Games (which she’s reading in English right now), and occasionally go out for treats (like Rose Gelato)! Although I’m technically her “tutor,” she is wise beyond her years, not to mention spunky and hilarious, and has taught me so much. I'm so thankful our paths have crossed.
2-3:30 PM – The Oral Presentation Skills class I’m taking at Károli meets.
6-9 PM – Our group is taking two classes with our program director from Calvin, Jeff. The first of which, Students and Social Change Movements in Eastern Europe and the United States, meets on Tuesday nights. A small group of us usually goes out for drinks after class and it's a nice time to connect with others in the group.
Wednesdays I don’t have anything regularly scheduled except making dinner for my food group (we take turns cooking for each other throughout the week). I love having this space in my schedule, and I usually use this free time to catch up on homework, read, edit photos, and blog; to wander around the city; to go to my favorite coffee shop, Kelet; or to get together with other people in my group.
9-10 AM – Lina and I meet again for a tutoring session.
10-12:30 PM – Tonisha, another student who also volunteers at RMK, and I babysit two young children for a mom while she has Hungarian language lessons. To put it mildly, these kids are a handful, and I always leave exhausted and grateful I am nowhere near parenthood ;)
1:40-3:10 PM – My History of Civilizations course at Corvinus meets again.
8-11 AM – Our other course with Jeff, Studies in Central European Culture, meets.
1-2 PM - This week I will also start meeting with Mish, another student from RMK, to practice English. Mish is originally from Mongolia but has lived in Budapest for awhile now. She's so sweet and kind and i'm looking forward to getting to know her more through our tutoring sessions.
7:30 PM – Friday evenings YWAM’s café ministry, Rezkigyo Coffee House, is open and offers a great environment with live music and free coffee. Usually our group is gone or busy on Fridays, but I love being able to go to this when I can.
Weekends and Free Time
Again, when we aren't traveling, or when I have gaps in between class and service-learning, my free time is filled with numerous things. I often grab food at the Hummus Bar, LEVES (soup), or PASTA (pasta); sit on Liberty Bridge and read; explore new areas of the city; café hop; journal and reflect; write letters; or read the Bible (i'm currently trying to work my way through the New Testament) among other things. My life in Budapest is not nearly as busy or stressful as it is at home, and although I still have things going on, i'm loving the time I have here to rest and wander. I have the space in my life to do the things that are good for my soul and I'm savoring every second I have in this beautiful city.