So, today is Thursday and that means that I’m nearly through with my first programme on the teaching thing. I’ve not really blogged – heaven knows that I’ve not really replied to messages – but I have a few minutes so, here we go.
I was really nervous when I flew out to Budapest, it being the first time I’ve travelled alone. However, once I actually got to airport, and through security it all felt better. There was some drama as the boarding procedure at Luton airport saw us all squeezed into a tiny stairwell in blazing heat. Of course, muggings here fainted. I was worried they wouldn’t let me on the plane but it was okay and I got there with no further problems. The hotel I stayed in was new to me but also on Jokai tér, my usual haunt. It was nice and I would stay there again.
On the Saturday, I went in search of a hat (and I’ve needed it!) before the city tour, provided by the company I’m volunteering with. I didn’t really need the tour but I wanted to meet some of my fellow volunteers before the thing started. Only four others from the junior programme attended the tour but it set my mind at ease. Everyone was lovely. After, Cherise and I went to Margaret Island with a lovely woman from the adult programme, Angela, and hung out, met some of her friends and meshed around with juggling. Admittedly, I mainly watched! Anyway, the nice thing is, I think that Angela may be on my Warsaw programme!
The next day was the start of the programme. Our meting point was near Hero’s square which is a fair old walk along a straight road from my hotel. You do not know the hell of doing that with a 100litre backpack, in hot weather. I am catching the metro on the way back!!! We got on the bus and I sat next to one of the Hungarian participants and chatted on the journey. It was quite easy to see that many people were nervous as their parents waved us off. Despite that, I hope that we’ve given them a good time and looked after them well!
To start with, it was a bit hard for me. I know that this is supposed to be an intensive English programme so there should be no need for Hungarian but I did feel that I needed it often to help explain, particularly at the start. I worried that I was not good enough for the job and especially because I know that, with the roles reversed, I would be blaming myself for not understanding. My biggest fear was making the people I worked with more nervous and stressed about their English speaking. It has got easier as I have grown to know the individual characters and abilities of the participants. I’ve also been blessed to meet some amazing people and to share in their lives for a moment.
The hotel has also been a comfortable venue. It’s a sweet place and the staff are very accommodating, especially considering that they have a large group of noisy teens to cater for! The food is perhaps the only thing that I don’t like so much as it is very salty but it’s also in generous portions. I’ve been sharing a room with Cherise and a lovely, high energy girl, Sophie, who is seriously special in her ability to engage with everyone. The other volunteers and the coordinators are, at the very least, nice, and, at best, very special. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on contact with some of them for life.
And now, I’m tired, ready to have a break but also not ready for it to end. I have learned so much, changed so much… Poland has a lot to live up to!
This post was written on a tablet so there may be some typos. Photos will come later, when I have a better internet connection 😊