CHEERS TO 2017!
the new year is off to a great start here in budapest, hungary. so much has already happened and i’ve got lots of exciting stuff to come – here’s a quick update of what’s been going on and what i’ll be doing in the coming months!
i started off the new year sick, but healed up within a week or so thankfully. i went to this years burn’s supper again and had a brilliant time with all my gal pal’s who were in attendance. we fangirled and got an amazing photo with the UK ambassador, enjoyed some free scotch from the highlands, and danced until our feet hurt – it was perfection. as the time drew nearer for the new president of the united states to be sworn in, my inner sense of panic rose, and on inauguration day i buzzed off my hair. i had been wanting to do it for years and everything just came at me at once on january 20th and i knew i couldn’t wait anymore – so i did it! and yes, i’m absolutely thrilled with it!! i spent most of the month preparing for and then attending the RCH’s 500th anniversary of the reformation jubilee. as part of my job at the ecumenical office i assisted a group of around 40 international guests as they flew in and joined us for the celebrations. i was also delegated to officially represent my denomination (the UCC) and my program (the global mission internship program with global ministries) at the event. the day after that ended, i headed off to ukraine for a quick 24-hour trip with folks from partner churches who wanted to check in on their mission personnel in the area.
my work schedule has kind of normalized now that the reformation jubilee is over etc though i had to make the hard choice to not work with the church’s roma mission any longer. over the past three months the kids there gave me lice on multiple occasions and, mentally, i just couldn’t do it any longer. it absolutely broke my heart to say goodbye to all of them, but getting some space and practicing self-care means that i’m more well-equipped to serve the ecumenical office and the refugee integration work at kalunba. i’ve spent the beginning of the month working with my pastor to plan a gathering for the youth of all the international church of scotland’s, and it’s taking place this weekend. we’re coordinating a youth presbytery weekend for around 30 youth total to come together and chat about reformation and what it means for us today. the day after that ends, i’m going to fly back to greece to volunteer for another week with the evangelical church in greece’s katerini congregation. i’m so thrilled to be going back!
march should be a pretty normal month, work wise. in the middle of the month i’ll be flying to the netherlands for a presbytery meeting to talk about my work with the youth gathering in february and how i’ll be representing the youth of the church of scotland at the CofS’s general assembly in the spring. it’ll be super church-nerdy and i absolutely cannot wait! from there, i’ll fly directly to italy to spend a day with one of my dear friends, miriam, and then head off for a work conference for a few days. then it’s back to budapest to finish off the month.
the year beyond
2017 will also see me traveling to scotland, hopefully italy, and probably austria – and i’m sure other places as well now that i’m starting to count-down my time here! i’ll have the pleasure of hosting a group from my home church this spring as they come to visit me in budapest and learn about the variety of work i’m involved in here. this summer i’ll also be helping out at an english camp for kids that’s jointly organized by my local congregation and kalunba. last year’s camp was so moving and i can’t wait to see all the kids again this year. in addition, i’ll be going to the RCH’s bi-yearly christian youth festival, starpoint, and helping to lead a group of around 30-40 international young people who will attend.
i’ve got a lot coming up during my last months here and i’m trying to stay present to soak it all up. prayers/good vibes for me are appreciated as i strive for balance between taking advantage of the opportunities presented to me while also trying to be present and live simply in budapest.