Sunday, October 16, 2011

It takes a village.

This weekend, it took a village to care for "the little American girl" and I am certainly feeling the love.

 First, my sweet, diligent, and concerned landlady, Zsuzsanna, sent her brother-in-law to fix my water heater and rewire the light fixture in the living room. Not only do I now have hot water for bathing and washing dishes and clear light over my sitting area, but I also have a sparkling tub and sink. Apparently, every 8 months or so when repairs are needed, Gabor brings a professional strength cleaning agent that he and Zsuzsanna don't want me to touch. They certainly don't need to clean my bathroom, but I appreciate their extra labor.
  Later the same day, Zsuzsanna came to collect several months' rent. She explained some country-wide hikes in electricity costs as well as some other unfortunate price changes of which I was already aware. While my rent will be going up, I'm confident that she is giving me the best deal she can. At the same time, my dear landlady informed me that she had taken it upon herself to complete the confusing census forms that are circulating Hungary. Long story short, I was frantically trying to get a new internet code in order to comply with the law and complete the census; I'd tried to explain my situation to a census worker who stopped by but to no avail. (Everything is trickier when one doesn't speak the language.) The fact that Zsuzsanna is taking care of everything is a weight off my shoulders.
  Today, workers came to read the water and gas meters. I was happy to work with the meter readers myself and felt quite competent speaking basic sentences as they walked into the flat. The village of helpers came through later, though, when the super unlocked the gas meter in another part of the building. She has a deal with my landlady to take care of such things on my behalf.
  Finally, I got to meet another neighbor in the elevator. He and his son rode up with me, and, when my Hungarian ran out and he discovered I spoke English, Joseph was all the more delighted to make my acquaintance. He was baffled as to why I would choose to live here (common response) but glad to know me. He hopes I might be able to teach his little boy English from time to time. While the added time commitment seems daunting to me, and I'm choosing not to start now, I'd love to interact more with this sweet family in my building! Before saying goodbye, the little boy who "doesn't speak any English" held out his hand and stammered, "I-I am Joseph." What a darling pupil he would make. The elder Joseph also offered his services if I should ever have questions or need help. How thoughtful.
  I might be the oddity in my building, and the super might continue to give me such strange looks as I greet her, but everyone is very helpful to this "little American girl".  There are situations for which I am ill prepared and moments when life here seems quite complicated, but God has built this little village on Bocskai street to take care of me.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Audrey, I am encouraged to read about all that God is doing and providing in your life. You are so dear to me, and I pray for you often - every time God brings you to mind. I pray that He will continue to build a loving and supportive community around you.

Much, much love!