Monday, August 31, 2009


Vége van a nyárnak, és Balázs ma ment vissza az iskolába. Egész pontosan, ma kezdte a középiskolát. Hajrá Balázs!
Most már ő is azt mondhatja amit a mi hitbeli apánk, Ábrahám, is mondott olyan sokszor: HátIzsák, hol van?
Hátizsákokról beszélve, nyomjuk egy kis Demjén Ferit:

Tito and other Yugoslav graffiti

I wrote this post after our last trip to former-Yugoslavia, about Tito, and how in every former-Yugoslav country it seems there are many people who love Tito, and miss the Tito era, when the Yugoslav nations lived in peace and relative prosperity.
I found this poster in Zagreb:
It seems that in Croatia even punks love Tito!

I really like looking at graffiti wherever I'm at in Europe; I think its interesting to read what people think is worth writing on walls for everyone to see. Sometimes the ones written in English are really funny, especially when they are misspelled, or phrased wrong. One of my favorites in the main square in Debrecen said: Let us go to steal.In Croatia there was a lot of interesting graffiti - I especially liked this one I found in Zadar:
I'm not really sure what they mean by saying that Zagreb=Belgrade, but I'm guessing its negative, and this person from Dalmatia doesn't like either of these cities very much.
Anyone have more insight into this?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Croatia pt. 1 - Zagreb and Plitvice

We have less money this year than in years past. Because of the financial crisis we have less money coming in, plus Nate is getting bigger and eats more, and we now have Balázs as part of our family and he needs food, clothing, bus passes, memory cards, etc...
Because of these things, we thought we wouldn't be able to afford a family vacation this summer. We were planning to go to Slovakia for just 2 nights, but had a hard time finding accommodation on short notice.
I happened to write on Facebook that I was frustrated about not being able to find a place to stay in SK, and someone left me a comment, saying: Why don't you just get some tents and go camping? My first response was that I wanted to write him back and say, That's easy for you to say - but I have a baby and a pregnant wife! Then I started thinking about it, and realized that we could actually save a lot of money by camping, and maybe we could even go to the seaside, as Rosemary had asked me earlier in the year to take her to the coast.
So, I mentioned the idea to Rosemary, and figured out that if we bought a bigger tent, then we could fit Nathaniel's bed and Rosemary and I into it, and Balázs could sleep in our other tent with our friend Dani from church, who happened to be off from work that week.
So, on Monday, at 1am we left Eger for Zagreb, spent some time there, and then drove down to Plitvice Lakes National Park, about 2 hrs south.

We got to Zagreb at about 6am, and had breakfast there, and let Nate run around a bit. He slept most of the way in the car, although he was pretty excited and knew something was going on, that we would get him out of bed in the middle of the night to go somewhere.
Rosemary and I had been to Zagreb before, so we knew our way around, which made being there really enjoyable. Its a much smaller city than Budapest, but very nice, clean, and has a lot of parks.

We then drove down to Plitvice Lakes, where we camped the first night.
Croatian food is great, and we ate a lot of Ćevapčići and Ražnjići, but we were on a budget, so we also heated up canned food we brought from Hungary over a fire. Nate liked being in the tent - and it was funny waking up every morning with him standing and watching us, waiting for us to wake up.

Here are pictures from Zagreb:
And here are some from Plitvice:

Friday, August 28, 2009


Last week, on August 20, the President of Hungary, Sólyom László was refused entry into Slovakia.
The president was going on a private visit to a town in southern Slovakia with a majority ethnic Hungarian population to unveil a statue of St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary.
The reason the Slovak government gave for refusing entry to the Hungarian president was the day he chose to come on. The Slovak government told Sólyom László that he could come on any other day, just not August 20th. When he came anyway, he was turned away at the bridge where he tried to cross into Slovakia.
This is the complication - because whereas for Hungarians August 20th is Saint Stephen's day - one of their most important holidays, when they remember the founding of the Hungarian kingdom, which used to include the territory of modern Slovakia and Transylvania - in Slovakia August 20th is the anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, in which the Hungarian army also invaded Czechoslovakia to shut down the "Prague Spring" - an attempt by Czechoslovakia to move away from communism and Soviet domination.
The problem is that Hungary and Slovakia are both EU members, and Slovakia's denial of entry to the Hungarian president is contrary to EU law which permits freedom of movement between countries.
This isn't even the first time this kind of thing has happened to Sólyom László. On March 15, he went to Romania, to celebrate Hungary's national day with Transylvanian Hungarians, and while his plane was in the air, he was refused landing permission, and ended up having to come into Transylvania by car. Pretty embarrassing for a president...
Both Romania and Slovakia are sensitive to Hungarian territorial claims to their land, and view moves like these by the president as challenging their territorial sovereignty.
I can personally understand why Slovakia and Romania are concerned about Hungarian claims to their land. I can also understand the Hungarians, who don't want to lose touch with fellow Hungarians who were separated from Hungary not by their own choice.

What do you think? Was Slovakia justified in doing this? Is the president of Hungary challenging the sovereignty of these nations by his visits there?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BBC on Ukraine

Interesting video from the BBC about Ukraine, and the foreign leasing of land and farming in Western Ukraine:

Friday, August 14, 2009

More Money

Probably everyone who doesn't live in a cave in North Korea is sick of hearing about the global financial crisis, and even those who do live in caves in North Korea have been effected by it.
We have certainly felt it here; we have less income from both work and support than we did last year, and more costs. People in our church have been effected by it as well.
But there are some signs this week that this crisis could come to an end sooner than later.

This week Germany and France announced that they have come out of recession.
That's good news for Hungary too, since many of the major employers here are multinational companies from Western Europe. Recession there means less orders in the factories here, less production, and people laid of. Hopefully the end of the recession in Germany and France will mean more work and job opportunities here, so people don't have to leave places like Eger to find work by going abroad or getting sucked into Hungary's 'black hole': Budapest.

Colorado is actually considering lowering the state minimum wage, because prices have gone down as a result of the financial crisis, but some good news is that the housing market is starting to recover. Forbes magazine rated Denver as the 7th best for housing recovery in the US.

This financial crisis is no fun. Hopefully it will be over soon...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I don't like country music. But I was blown away by this performance by Kevin Skinner on America's Got Talent. He comes across like a total hillbilly bumpkin, but he's seriously good.
Check it out:

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Superheroes VS Lenin

Lenin. Moscow. Superheroes. The USA.
All these are on the list of my favorite things. Exactly why this glorious video by the Hungarian electronica band Neo is worth watching over and over.
Check it out:

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Nate loves watching videos. Especially animal videos.
Most of his first words were animal names and animal noises and he gets excited whenever he sees animals of any kind. He's always up for a pop quiz on his animal noises. Just say the animal name, and he will give you the noise :)

We're planning to take him to the zoo in Nyíregyháza for his birthday. We're curious how he will react to seeing some of his favorite animals in real life.

Searching youtube today with Nate for some good animal videos, I ran across these two, which were worthy of passing on. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


After a few weeks, or actually months, of conferences and camps and events and visitors, we are taking it easy this week.
All in all our summer has been blessed and fruitful. There is always more to be done, and things will pick up again soon, but for this week we are recharging our batteries - which is especially needed for Rosemary and little 2.0.

Here are some random bullet points:
  • Our church's English Camp this year went GREAT. This was probably our best camp yet. There was great planning beforehand, we had a great group of helpers, and God moved in a great way. Praise the Lord for that.
  • There have been a series of attacks against Christians in Pakistan. Over the weekend 8 people were killed - mostly burned alive - as Muslim mobs attacked the Christian minority, setting their houses on fire, and even shooting them with guns, because of a vague and unverified claim that some Christians somewhere had desecrated the Quran.
    This "religion of peace" teaches that anyone who desecrates the Quran should be killed. And of course, what qualifies as "desecration" is open for interpretation...
    So, with this unverified claim, Muslim mobs attacked not one Christian - but the whole Christian community.
    Articles about it: Here and here.
    The Bible says that we should 'Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.' (Hebrews 13:3) We should remember to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution in Pakistan.
  • Colorado Man Fights Lion with Chainsaw - Article here.
    A true Coloradan - this guy was cutting wood, when he got attacked by a mountain lion. The Colorado man fought the lion with the chainsaw and won.
    I just hope that the next time I get attacked by a mountain lion, I have my chainsaw on me too. That really turns the tables on 'em.