Blogs from Hungary, Europe - page 3


Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 21st 2015

Another sleep in this morning, there is an optional tour of the Hungarian parliament building which we decided to miss. Nice breakfast then we start our city tour at 1000. We are on the coach and up to the castle area in Buda. Up and up, glad this part wasn't a walking tour. It is about 31c already. Bus parked and off we go. Do the Fishermans Bastion then into the Matthias Church at the top of the hill (ABC - another bloody church). A bit of free time to look down on the rest of the city (Pest) and the Danube river. Great views. Back on the bus, down the hill through some really nice gardens and streets then onto the Market Halls. They say these are the best covered markets in the world, but ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 20th 2015

Up early, bags out at 0630 with a 0730 start. We have a tour of the Schonbrunn Palace which we are allowed to start earlier than the public. Actually worked well, as we finished our tour, there were lots of tourists coming in. Did the gardens which are very like those at the Palace de Versailles. Did the Ringstrasse again and then had about 2 hours free time in Vienna. Wandered around a bit, Chris looked for some extra shorts and tops to no avail. On our way back when we met the Barossa couple (John and Jane) and had a bowl of wedges and beer at the Australian bar. Now we are off to Budapest. Not far out of Vienna and we see an accident on the other side of the motorway. The traffic is ... read more

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 17th 2015

The last work day on a Thrivent Builds Worldwide trip is always the most difficult. In our devotion this morning, Mark stated, “It’s a good day to have a good day,” and, at the same time, it’s sad to realize that this great team will soon part and go their separate ways. Our team developed instant chemistry from the welcome dinner and throughout the week. At our morning team meeting, Sandor and Levi outlined the tasks to be finished today, knowing that we couldn’t finish the projects. Sandor asked us as a team if we’ve ever experienced a situation where we had no place to go, no home to call our own, no permanent place to rest. This is how he helped us better understand the hopelessness of homelessness. He emphasized to us the importance of ... read more
Julene and Laurie
Sharon, Chuck and Sandor

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 16th 2015

Habitat Hungary is preparing another site for future teams to renovate for another homeless family. The preparation required a new concrete floor to be poured and finished. Levi asked if our team could supply 4 volunteers to assist him with that task. Laurie, Mike, Cal and Jared were selected and spent the day with Levi and a family member at the site. By the end of the day, our concrete sub-team mixed all of the concrete and moved it by wheelbarrow inside the flat for Levi to float a smooth finish. He appreciated our flexibility, and the final product met his expectations. The rest of us continued working on plastering interior walls, affixing foam insulation to exterior walls, leveling and squaring walls, sanding walls, and installing exterior wall corner guards. Most of these tasks required Josh ... read more
Finishing Walls
Good Progress
Hear the Singing?

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary July 15th 2015

Hump Day in Hungary for us means a half day of work and a half day of cultural activities, and we are energized for the day! We are much more familiar with our two-tram route to the work sites, and many more locals, seeing our matching t-shirts, are asking where we are from and what we are doing in Budapest. Living Generously! Our sub-teams continued to work on their fun challenges, as we’ve earned the right to expand our training while striving for excellence. We are amazed at how quickly the week is flying by, and we've begun to realize that we won't be able to accomplish everything on Sandor's and Levi's To-Do lists. However, that doesn't stop us from trying! Following a delicious pizza lunch (large pizzas are 60 centimeters in diameter and approx. $10 ... read more
"Order Up"
Developing Technical Skills
Terri Squares Up

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 14th 2015

Team members were up and at ‘em for breakfast at 6:30, and everyone’s learned the perfect buttons to push on the coffee machine to make the best morning caffeine fix. By 7:15, we were gathered in the lobby for our team meeting and devotions, and we were out the door and on the trams a short time later. Sandor and Levi, along with partner family members, met us at the front gate of the jobsite, and we already knew our routine of storing our bags, donning hardhats, gathering gloves and safety goggles, and joining our construction supervisors for the day’s assignments. Sandor approved of our first day’s progress and announced with a wry smile that we all earned the right to continue working on the same jobs for a second day. We are already catching on ... read more
Matt, Tiff and Cal
Becca and Mark

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 13th 2015

Monday is a work day for many! We all worked in ways very different from our normal routines back home, and our first goal was to successfully navigate two trams from central Budapest to Kőbánya in an outlying district. Thank you, Reni! What an uplifting day! Meeting the people for whom we are renovating the homes brought tears to our eyes. They worked hand-in-hand with us all day. Such grateful and caring people! After introductions and safety training, we took several team photos and were assigned and trained in a variety of tasks for multiple, smaller teams. We are renovating the two end apartments in a 4-apartment building for two Habitat partner families who are very excited to move into well-insulated homes in the fall. Julene and Josh were in charge of mixing mortar, plaster and ... read more
Tram Terminus
2015 Thrivent Builds Team Hungary
Safety Training

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 12th 2015

Sunday morning dawned bright and beautiful. Daylight starts around 4:00 AM, and the hotel windows let the light brightly shine in! Team members are up and about for breakfast at 7 and check-out at 8:15. Leaders Terri and Chuck led a short team meeting in the hotel lobby, and Laurie and Mike taught us a special way to keep an accurate count of everyone so that no one is left behind. At 9, our local city guide, Zsuzsanna (a.k.a. Zsa Zsa), escorted us on a private bus tour to see the highlights of the two cities, Buda and Pest, that are split by the Danube River and joined by multiple bridges. Buda literally means water, and Pest literally means oven because of all the baking ovens used in earlier times. Our first stop was Heroes' Square ... read more
Archangel Gabriel
Designed to Resemble Greek Acropolis
Architectural Detail

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary July 11th 2015

Szia (Hello!) from Hungary! Welcome to our 2015 Thrivent Builds Worldwide team blog! Everyone has arrived safely in beautiful Budapest! Egészségedre! Cheers and good health to you, our faithful followers! There are 289 people following along in our Hungarian adventures this week. We appreciate your prayers for good health, good weather, good camaraderie, good food, good travels and good work! After getting settled into hotel rooms, we held our first team meeting in Hotel Benczúr where team members will spend tonight due to a cooling system issue at Medosz Hotel. We shared introductions, our experiences with previous service trips (several first-timers in our group), an overview of our week's agenda, and a welcome orientation with Renata Scheili, our host coordinator with Habitat for Humanity Hungary. It's a blessing that Ren... read more
Mike, Laurie, Renata and Carla
Lynn, Julene, Levi, Josh and Chuck
Tiff, Cal, Sharon, Matt, Becca, Jared and Mark

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 11th 2015

Let me be frank: The visit to what remains of a Jewish quarter in Budapest was a downer. Yes, there is the restored amazing Dohany Synagogue, where I attended Shabbat services on Friday evening, rebuilt in the 1990s with funds from the Estée Lauder family and Tony Curtis (both of Hungarian Jewish descent) that was bombed by the pro-Nazi fascist Arrow Cross Party in February 1939, was used as a stable under the Nazis, and until its restoration had a huge hole in its roof and grass growing in the sanctuary. There are other synagogues as well in the quarter that are open, and Chabad has established the first mikveh (ritual bath) since the war (which on the inside is supposed to be quite beautiful although you'd never guess from the outside). But the neighborhood is ... read more
Guarded Entrance to Dohany Synagogue
Ruins of the Rumbach Synagogue
Padlocked Entrance of the Rumbach Synagogue

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