2012. The New Year. It represents new starts, new resolutions, new beginnings, new rhthyms. If that is the definition, then our family began 2012 in August when we moved from our home in Bulgaria to Budapest, Hungary.
I imagined that I would blog all the way through the journey, but things rarely work out as planned. We had no internet access. The 6 of us squished into a 2 bedroom apartment for a month, which curbed any creativity that might have flowed through my body. Searching for a place to live with no Hungarian language skills was exhausting. But eventually, we have found ourselves somewhat settled into the new rhythms of life on the Danube and it is time to invite you along for the journey.
Our 4 room flat (3 bedrooms) is in the center of the downtown on the Pest side. It is a stretch from a roomy house to a cozy flat but we are making it. We chose this. We live in an old building that dates from the late 1800’s with an inner courtyard that embraces the solitude of our little community. We are making friends. We are learning to live much simpler with less things.
Our neighborhood is a bustle of weekend activity with pubs lining both sides of the narrow one-way street. Around the corner, several homeless people had taken up residence on the benches and we were discussing with the girls ways that we might help them but they disappeared. Right after American Thanksgiving, as the weather turned really cold, I noticed a group of police talking to one of them in the park. Since then, they have been absent from the neighborhood canvas.
After years of learning the rhythms of the Slavic context, I find my feet stumbling in this new culture. I miss the familiar. I miss the known. I miss my Bulgarian friends and the easy friendships that made life sweet. And yet, I know that Hungary is meant to be our home for this season. I want to embrace its beauty, its people, and its culture. I want to learn. I want to be changed, which is the beauty of becoming one with an adopted culture.
If the dynamics of culture shock or the mystery of living internationally interests you, journey with us On the Danube. If missional life, missionaries, or faith intrigue you, On the Danube may be a resource for you. If you simply know us, the Sunbergs, and you want to pray for us, keep us company, or check on our behavior, you can find us On the Danube.