Hello Hello from Hungary
Semesters in Mathematics, Hungary
When I left United States soil for the first time, as my plane pulled away from Chicago, my last stop in my home country, I had no idea what to expect. My destination, Budapest, Hungary, could hardly have been farther away from the place I had always called home, Honomu, Hawaiʻi, USA. In fact, Budapest was a full 12 hours time difference away from my home (at the beginning of my trip, 11 by the time I left). I only remember vaguely hoping that my semester would include making new friends, epic classical music, and weekend trips to neighboring European countries. As it turned out, happily, all of these would become part of my study abroad experience.
Autumn coming up and tapping my shoulder with golden leaves and cool breezes as I walked to school in the morning, getting acquainted with the different moods of the Danube river, walking the bridges of the city, navigating the convenient but sometimes confusing metro, pointing to order a golden brown loaf of Jewish sweet bread in some cozy pékség full of tempting Hungarian and Jewish breads and pastries, impromptu visits to street markets with newly made friends from church...
....studying in a Turkish teaház, learning that studying means friends, soft lights, the gentle tinkling of tea things, and the most delicious hot cocoa I had ever experienced, and really hard math problems. My main reason for going to Budapest was to study math, since they host a renowned program for aspiring mathematicians. [Unexpectedly], I gained so much more than just what I learned in those classes. All those little moments of surprising splendor, the loveliness which I was pressed into seeing by the utter dearth of the comfortable and the familiar, all of it was so foreign that the beauty of it all was forced into my hands. The experience has left me with a wider place within myself with which to hold the wonders that are always around me.