Company Day With my limited time on the Internet, I was up until 3:00 am on the computer. That has not stilted my enthusiasm for having company today. We are both like puppies waiting for our master and mistress to come home to pet us. Myrtis, Randall, and Rachel were due here by three. They arrived early, which was a bigger thrill, more time with them. The best thing about good friends is there is never an ending. When you get together again, you just pick up where you left off. There is no need to recreate the relationship. That is the way it is with this couple. It always feels like we just say each other yesterday; it is a warm, comfortable feeling that we take pleasure in. Once they were in and the coffee pot was brewing, the talking never stopped. Ron and I were so hungry for English, they could have recited the alphabet and we would have been pleased, but fortunately, they are far more interesting and do not need prompting to fulfill our needs for exciting, interesting, entertaining, or educational stories about what is happening in their world. Myrtis has taught in numerous countries around the world is a wealth of information and experience. It is due to her example that I realized I was in need of a change, though I had always dreamed of working abroad. Randall, her husband has dutifully followed Myrtis as she has explored the many facets of her career. Having done this has benefited him by the number of cultural experiences he has presented, but also Randall has developed the ability to carve his own niche wherever they happen to be. In addition, he has the ability to be a devoted partner that is supportive of his wife and is able to assist her in her work, creating a partnership that many couples would be envious of. We have great admiration for them both. Christmas came early since they brought us an advent wreath from Slovakia, as well as cheeses, vegetables, and sauerkraut. They also gave us a cornhusk Nativity scene that is popular in Slovakia and a wooden moon and sun. From the other side of the Atlantic, we received a San Francisco placemat and key chain, lest we forget our former home area. Poor Rachel, Myrtis’ adult daughter was feeling under the weather for the last few days and did not feel much better with all of the travel she had to undertake. She did remember a friend from years ago that was from Budapest, but had lived in the States for a period of time. Just by chance, she looked her up in the phone book and found her. They arranged a get-together for later this afternoon. Iboyla, her long ago friend was going to come over and then all of us would go to dinner together. The afternoon sailed by in a relaxed manner with the conversation flowing like wine at a wedding, freely and without hesitation. It seemed like only moments later, Iboyla was here to collect us for our dinner reservation at Café Kor (put two little dots over the o). Iboyla is a delightful woman who is a single mother. She teaches English in private lessons to support she and her daughter. She had made the dinner reservation and the restaurant was only a couple of blocks from our apartment. Myrtis and Randall generously announced that they were hosting the dinner and it was their treat. Iboyla openly shared her life with us and we hope that we will be able to maintain a contact with her. She did prompt us to check out English schools in Budapest, saying that there is always a turnover. It was wonderful to see Rachel as pleased to reconnect with her, as we were to see all of them. Rachel was able to arrange to sleep at Iboyla’s to avoid sleeping on our miniature sofa. As much as we would have enjoyed Rachel’s company, her comfort was a primary concern for us, so we were pleased her long lost friend was able to accommodate her. Back at our apartment, Myrtis turned in and Randall stayed up to talk. We had some real quality time for conversation. We have always enjoyed Randall’s company in the past, but many times, it was with a group of people around, so we never had an opportunity to really get to know him as well as we would have liked. This was a fortunate occasion and we made the most of it. Randall had applied for and taken the test for the Foreign Service with the U.S. government, but since that process can take up to two years to complete, he has recently been hired for a technology company in Bratislava, Slovakia. We know how capable he is and have no doubt that he will move up the ranks quickly in this company.