I'm sitting here in the quiet of the Bridge café, sipping my chamomile tea, and reflecting upon this past week. Overall, it's been excellent.
The highlights are as follows:
~dinner at the Steiner home on Sunday. We joke about how I am just a normal part of the family now.
~a coffee date with Zsuzsi on Monday. She introduced me to the Inca Café here in Debrecen. My Bounty latté (Bounty is like a Mounds candy bar, except with milk chocolate, not dark chocolate) was delicious, but our conversation was even sweeter. We strolled around Debrecen and we have become great friends already.
~Over the past week and a half, I've been able to Skype with all of my and Matt's family: Mom, Dad, Brandon/Karyl/kids, Erin/Dan, Dave, Jeannie, JJ/Jennie, and Aaron. I was also able to 'meet' Aaron's new girlfriend, Megan (so sweet!), over Skype, as well as JJ and Jennie's new puppy, Mowgli (so adorable!).
~I've Skyped twice with Matt this past week, and numerous times have "chatted" live with him via Skype when he's working.
~I've made some good progress this week in learning more Hungarian, and have even managed to impress my English-speaking friends a few times when I've unexpectedly whipped out some Hungarian phrases here and there. I've also been complimented more than once on my pronunciation.
~eating lunch in Debrecen with Jozsef and Csilla on Thursday. I ordered 'Drakula' pizza--basically just cheese and pepperoni with lots and lots of garlic (hence the Dracula). It was absolutely delicious and I'm sure my breath was quite horrid afterwards!
~meeting Gerda in Debrecen for a coffee date on Friday. She introduced me to another fabulous café here. Gerda and I are only apart one month in age and in her, also, I have already made a great friend.
~Friday night 'girls night' here at the Bridge playing Dutch Blitz (thanks, Lainey!) while munching popcorn and drinking green iced teas. I even managed to win twice, although this was my first time playing. We had lots of laughs, and I also made a new friend in a high school girl named Kitti. She hung around for awhile after the others left and we talked about lots of things, since we have very parallel interests (French, history, films, etc.).
Next week I will begin giving my first private English lessons. It's been challenging trying to arrange my schedule working for the Bridge and adding the tutoring in on top of that. Hopefully next week my schedule will become a bit more finalized, but then....the following week is the week that should bring Matt's arrival, and I'm basically going to be 'on vacation' from all my duties the whole time he's here. So maybe by the beginning of October, things should finally be 'normal,' whatever that means...
The 'fish out of water' feeling has finally left me. Now I'm really feeling that I belong here. The language barrier is still an issue, but outside of that, everything else feels right. This building feels like home. The people--my family. My room--my own safe and comfortable corner of the world. Now, more than ever, I can feel that here in Debrecen is where I'm meant to be right here, right now.