Thursday, February 20, 2014

ICSB Basketball Tournament 2014

Two years ago, when I was teaching at KCA, I traveled to Budapest with my students, their parents, and fellow teachers to watch the International Christian School of Budapest's basketball tournament.

Last year, I was in America and desperately wanted to watch the games and be there with my friends and former colleagues, but settled for following updates on Facebook.

This year, much to everyone's surprise but Suzie's (who was my contact person with insider details), R and I showed up on day one of the tournament.  (The perks of living a short flight away from Budapest.)

Upon our arrival to the airport, we were greeted not by one of our friends but by another ICSB parent.  The night before the tournament, one of the sophomores (age 15) had died unexpectedly.  The entire school community (of 250 students plus faculty and parents) was mourning the loss and it especially changed the entire dynamic of the tournament.

Some folks from ICSB had said that they had been expecting to encourage those from KCA, with all the Euromaidan unrest, but then KCA and the other teams were able to encourage them!  Another unique aspect of this year's tournament was that all the teams were primarily missionary-kid schools, which hopefully led to even more encouragement!

After figuring out what our plans were for the afternoon, since ICSB still had a pep rally and preparations to make for the evening, we decided to try to find the KCA group.

Our first stop was to the KCA girls' "house," as we had a couple hours to wait until the first games.  The girls let out a collective gasp of surprise when they saw us, gave me a few hugs, then went back to what they were working on.  :) 

Varsity Girls' team plus teacher/asst coach Katherine
After the 2 KCA games on Thursday, we watched games nearly all day Friday and Saturday.  During the times that KCA was not playing, R and I went for walks outside in the nice February weather.  (Sorry, America.  It's nice here.)

My favorite person to walk with
Soviet-type apartment building in the community

Diósd Roman Catholic church, located a short walk from the school.


Eventually, KCA's teams (both boys and girls) came in 2nd place, after ICSB.  The games were very well-played, and so exciting to watch!


We also connected with our friend Pam's brother Paul and his family, who have been living in Budapest the past 2 years.  It's fun making these connections from mutual friends!

In the evenings, we spent time with friends, watching movies and relaxing after our busy days.

I have no idea what this says.
Or this. 
We also explored a CBA grocery store, to check out what products were available in Hungary.
Dutch stroopwafels
Cocoa powder? Apparently this is also Dutch...
 The highlight for me was reconnecting with former KCA colleagues and parents of students, after a year and a half of not seeing them.  Finally, to be with good friends again!



On Sunday morning, we went to church at the Budapest Church of the Nazarene.  Thanks to translation, we were able to follow the sermon.


It was also Alabaster Sunday, one of the times in which Churches of the Nazarene collect small boxes filled with change in order to fund the worldwide purchase of church buildings and property.  Even though the Budapest church is small and is undergoing the third complete turnover of members, the church is still able to contribute to God's work in the world!


After service, our friends Bob, Colleen, and Carol gave us a drive-through tour of the city center and some of the significant sites like Andrassy Street, St. Stephen's Basilica, and the Parliament.

Budapest Parliament building

So glad for this time with friends!
Our hosts for the weekend 
Our last stop before going to the airport (thanks, Jay!) was to buy some of these
"kürtőskalács" - "chimney cake."


 I tried one when I visited Budapest in November 2011 and looked forward to having another one.


Dough baked over warm coals and covered in sugar and various flavors
Yum! (I have a sweet tooth...)


After a short flight back on WizzAir to Eindhoven (budget air to the MAX!), and a train ride, we were back home in our own house!

Please remember the following prayer requests:
~The ICSB community as they are grieving the loss of S.P.
~The KCA community during Euromaidan - at least 3 days of school have been cancelled due to the unrest in the city center.  Most of my friends are safely away from the center, but there are still so many suffering and fighting in the center as well as throughout the country.

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 This blog was part of the Instagram Travel Thursday linkup.