Monday, July 30, 2012

Brandon's birthday cake in Budapest

Celebrating #18!!

Monday, July 30

Hello Family and Friends (old and new),
We are sitting down to dinner after a very full day of touring the amazing city of Budapest. We have to keep pinching ourselves to remember what a privilege it is to be here and experience these sights. Our tour bus picked us up at our hotel this morning and took us on a three hour tour of the most famous places in the city:  Heroes Square, Mathias church, Statue of Liberty, Parliament, Fishermans Bastion, Museum of Fine Art, Chain Bridge, Castle District, Margaret Island,Gellert Hill,The Opera house, and a natural hot spring spa which I am looking forward to revisiting (hint hint Curt). We were also lucky enough to take a cruise on the Danube River. For me this was very enjoyable because you could see many of the famous sights I mentioned before but from the comfort of a breezy river cruise (on the DANUBE RIVER!!!!!).
All in all, it was a great day and I think we all look forward to being home and seeing our loved ones tomorrow.
Thanks so much to all of you in our congregation who made this trip possible for our team this year. Just based on the comments from the Slovakian Team I think the work that the kids did in the English camp was very valuable and much appreciated.

Roxanne (Roxanna) Euhus

Sunday, July 29

Hello everyone from home! Today we spent our last day in Slovakia! I have to say that all of us (or maybe just me) woke up content and rested. We didn’t have to be at Pastor Ivan’s house until 11:30am because Pastor Ivan preaches at 3 different services each Sunday and today we attended his late service that started at 12pm. J We had to drive to a neighboring village and I’m always excited for those semi-long drives because the scenery is so beautiful!  The service was held outside under a restaurant enclosure. It was inspiring to see how people made the church service happen out of the resources that they had. The attendees brought out a keyboard, wine for communion, and the thirty-nine of us in church that morning worshiped God under a canopy while rain was pouring down. We actually used the common cup at this service and the wine inside was very strong! After the church service, we ate at the restaurant where we were graciously given some powder sugar donuts, sugar cookies, soda and some classic Slovak food. We tried 2 types of cheese, bryzne and halushki, both of them are sheep cheese that had bee smoked. I think all of us thought they were quite… interesting. After our nice lunch, we went back to our Slovakian homes and got ready to leave for Budapest!! We said our goodbyes to all of the people who were so kind to us this week and it was weird to think that we will probably never see them again! I hate goodbyes, L but the time we shared together was so fun! We headed through the beautiful Slovakian countryside and villages on our way to Budapest, Hungary where a hotel reservation awaited us. Luckily, Erica, Roxanne, Kyle, Jake, Jim and I were in Pastor Ivan’s car with AC and windows, but the rest of the kids got stuck in the big, blue, Mercedes van with no ac or windows… that seemed to be the bad thing of the day… When we arrived in the city of Budapest, it took us a little while to find our hotel, but the city here is beautiful with a mix between new and old buildings, museums and of course the high end stores like Gucci and Louis Vouitton ;D. Kyle kept reminding all of us that when we arrived in Budapest, the second service at church hadn’t even started yet! We arrived at the hotel and it began to pour and storm while we said our goodbyes to Pastor Ivan and gave him a piece of our sending cloth. As soon as we were settled into our rooms, we got ready to go out to dinner and take a short walk in the wind and rain. We all arrived at a small bar/restaurant and were able to watch some fencing and the Olympics. The most ordered dish at our table was pizza, but we also had some yummy spaghetti, sesame chicken, steak, and the “exotically flavored potatoes”, all of our dishes were delicious! We headed back to the hotel for devotions and I have to say that our cloth is looking pretty great right now ! Maddie, Erica and I got ready for Brandon’s fun birthday surprise at 12am and were able to get matches from the lobby to light the 18 candles on top of our small donut birthday dessert for the big 18 year old! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRANDON. It was a good time with kazoos and birthday masks J Tomorrow we are looking forward to some sightseeing on a tour bus to see and hear all about Budapest ! Until tomorrow, much love from Budapest!

Mom: Since this is a blog.. I don’t really know what secrets to share, especially in such a public setting but I love you and pet kitty for me! Don’t leave Kyle and I at the airport :p See you and Papa on Tuesday!! :D

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Andrew riding his horse on Tuesday afternoon.

Erica doing the obstacle course on Tuesday afternoon.

The group waiting to get into the Gothic church on Thursday morning.

The pipe organ in the Gothic church that pre-dates Columbus discovering America.  It still works!!!!

Alana and Maddie at the fortress on Saturday morning.

Front gate to the fortress from our Saturday hike.

Friday night fun in Banska Bystrica

Jim at the top of the fortress from our Saturday hike.

Friday and Saturday, July 27,28

Hey all,

This is Jim and I am going to sum up our last day at camp and our adventures today.

Camp ended yesterday at noon and I think everything went really well there.  The kids did a great job in teaching their English class and doing there crafts.  I think they represented the US and Community Lutheran very well.

After we left the camp, we headed back to our home base of Dobrac for a little relaxing before we headed to the major city in central Slovakia of Banska Bystrica.  There they had a huge mall and the kids were able to do a little shopping and learn about Euro prices vs US prices.  Some of us got KFC for dinner which was a nice rememberance of home.  After dinner we walked through the city and got into a very European central square that was beautiful.  Great fountain and we took alot of pics there. 

Saturday was a great day for hiking as we got up and headed up to a fortress on top of a hill.  It was quite a climb but we made it to the top and had a lot of fun in some fortress ruins.  We then got some pizza for lunch and had a chance to talk with a very famous swordmaker here in Slovakia.  He showed us some of his swords and how he makes them.  He had just recently made a ceremonial knife for Prince Charles.  It was pretty cool.  It is just before dinner time and the kids are all at their houses probably sleeping.  We are having dinner at 6:30 and then rumor has it a Lord of the Rings marathon.  The house I am in has a DVD player, a nice TV and the movies in English with no subtitles. 

The trip has been great but we are reaching that point in every trip when we are starting to pick at each other and are ready to come home.  It always happens when you spend so much time with each othere.  We head to Budapest tomorrow, have a sightseeing day there Monday and then fly home on Tuesday.  Peace to all.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Our hotel for the English Camp.  We all stay on the 2nd floor and the camp is held in the bottom left room.