For 11 years, we have cultivated a close relationship with the Hungarian Fulbright office. One of the first FB’ers we had met back in 2002 was Jennifer Norcross, an exchange teacher. She has continued to be a good friend ever since. From then on, every semester when there are Fulbright scholars, teachers, researchers, or students coming to Hungary, we have been provided with the list by the FB office so we can send out a welcome letter. For the first 3 years, the majority of the group had no or little connection with Hungary, so they depended on us for guidance in day to day planning. That has changed over time with many of the grantees having Hungarian roots, family here, or even own property here.
This semester, two FB’ers reached out. One was Dr. Janet Holmes who will be teaching with me at ELTE and the other was Dr. Andrea Mitnick. Janet had a connection for an apartment as she is friends with a former FB’er, Dr. Karla Kelsey (who has also remained our friend). Andrea needed help with apartment hunting, but since she was coming at the end of January and we were going to be gone, I suggested she use our apartment until she found something suitable.
Over the course of months, we had a gadzillion e-mails back and forth. We knew immediately we would love each other as soon as we met. On Sunday, Andrea was here to greet us when we returned from our 50 days away from home. She had some basics on hand for us to survive our first day back. There were eggs, bread, butter, cereal and other things so that we did not have to run out immediately for food. She lovingly had a large pot of homemade soup ready for us. We sat and talked for some long, even though she has found an apartment, she did a sleepover.
In the morning, we picked up where we left off until I had to leave for school, but we know we will all see each other soon and often.