Thursday, July 7, 2011
Time to crank up the travel blog again, as I head out to Magyar country! On Friday, I fly Delta to Budapest (by way of Amsterdam)landing the next day, en route to Baja, Hungary.
Which is where?! 90 miles south of Budapest…and here’s a You Tube to get you in the groove!
Hungary—10 million people. A republic that entered the EU in 2004. 55% Catholic, 15% Reformed Protestant, 15% with no religion, and a handful % of ‘other.’ Until recently, all under the thumb of Communism.
My up-closest-and-personal experiences of Hungary: Alice, a Hungarian immigrant who joined my church in Hartford, CT, and took a liking to me. And Dora, my accidental roommate in Paris, where we joined financial resources in the tiniest of hotel chambers in that great city, to attend an arts conference. I visited Dora the following summer when GEM’s annual conference was held in Budapest, and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at her home and studio in that amazing city. Two trips to Budapest for annual conferences confirmed that the thermal springs are indeed all they are cracked up to be. And I love Margaret Island, and the beautiful walks (or river cruises) you can take along the Danube.
Both of these ladies have slipped away from my life—Alice from this life altogether, and Dora? Well, who knows…I may just bump into her again this trip! Our arts camps are highly publicized there. I don't expect to have much time in Budapest at all, but boy would those thermal springs feel good at the end of the month! Anyway...
OM Arts has been ministering in Hungary for several years, but this is the first year I’m free to go with the team, and bring 4 visual artists with me. Our project is threefold:
. to facilitate art workshops for teenagers: sculpture, drawing, photography, and mixed media/collage. Our musician and dance teams will also teach workshops in their disciplines. Then, we split up.
. The music and dance teams will begin a concert tour of several Hungarian cities, while I stay behind with the arts team stays to connect with the local arts community. At the end of the month, we reunite, debrief, and take a deep breath.
. Then we start a second camp: arts leadership training, for several Hungarian churches. (At that point, I bow out, and head over to Poland for GEM’s annual conference, where I will celebrate 20 years in mission!)
This is the most ambitious project we have ever put together, and the largest project the team in Hungary has ever hosted. They are asking us to please pack flexibility and sense of humor in our bags, and promise good Hungarian food in return! Sounds like a deal. See you on the other side!