Szia, Budapest!

All good things must come to an end, but why did Budapest have to end so quickly?  It was time to say our good-byes as we sailed down the Danube with many of the people who had made our trip such a wonderful experience.  Lots of food, lots of sunshine, and lots of smiles (and tears) all around. 

Budapest is a really fun city: beautiful old buildings and modern city life all nestled into one.  But the pictures will never tell the whole story, which is that the Hungarians are incredibly proud of their history.  Having never won a war, having fought for and losing independence over and over again, the scars of Trianon and the Holocaust–these are the sadnesses the Magyars hold close.  If outsiders stereotype Hungarians as pessimistic, it is because they haven’t dug deep enough.  It was the warmth, generosity, and national pride that really shines through. 

One thing is for certain–it is not my teachers I am leaving, but a new family.  Huba, Annamaria, Andrea: thank you!  You are the reason why this experience is indeed life-changing.  By the way, Szia means hello and good-bye, so I will indeed be back.

And now off to the Czech Republic–you have a lot to live up to!

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