An Almost Tearful Goodbye

Two years ago short of a month, Jamie and Bill Hoversen arrived in Budapest. After doing a meet and greet with dozens of Fulbrighters over the past 12 years, when I went to their aid getting these things out of the taxi, I went into full stomach wrenching laughing spasms. When we left the US with the intent on traveling for a year, we had one suitcase each and one backpack between us. When I was able to catch my breath, they both took my guffaws in stride.

With all of their things sitting in the bedroom of their new temporary home, Feri Place, we gave them a walking tour of the neighborhood. As many times as we have toured people around, it still is exciting to share this gorgeous city with someone for their first time. It feels like it was last week.

In the beginning of their great adventure, Jamie was a Fulbrighter on a student grant, which included her teaching some classes at ELTE in my journalism program, but she also worked part-time for the Fulbright office counseling students. Bill found a teaching job with a local high school. 

At the end of Jamie’s Fulbright grant, they decided to stay another year. Bill’s school was thrilled to have him stay on. Jamie found work with an educational component through the Aquincum Museum and continued part-time at the Fulbright office. We were delighted to have the apartment filled for another year.

Being the adventurers that they are, they covered a tremendous amount of territory during their time. They are fearless travelers, not having extensive bus rides impede their discovering destinations where cheap airfares don’t exist. Just getting a tiny review of their wanderings, it is clear they should write a budget manual for those that follow them. We have been envious more than once, but for an extended period on a bus, I would need to be shot with a tranquilizer gun. If not for that, we could replicate their journeying.

Today, we went to pick up the keys to the apartment. As true explorers, they are not leaving Europe just yet, but returning to Riga and then busing to a national park outside the city. July 16th they will be reacquainted with US life for a short time before heading off to China to teach.

They have been great tenants and though we did not see much of them, we will miss knowing they are around. “Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.” Though there will be no morrow for us with them, we wish them the best. They have been inspirational.

After a couple of summer guests visit Feri Place, our new tenant Arnold from The Netherlands will be moving in around August 20th. He will be teaching full-time in the Dutch department at ELTE. We are looking forward to welcoming him and giving him the extended neighborhood tour.