There’s a country that few Americans visit, but a student of history and culture should include it. That country is Hungary, a small nation which warring armies of many countries crossed and nearly destroyed on their way to somewhere else. It’s a European history book in one small, amazing nation.
Sally Schwartz from Las Vegas and I were privileged to spend several weeks in Hungary a few years ago as part of a Global Volunteer opening effort to “help” a school in a small town, the name of which I still can’t pronounce. We were the first team into this country from GV, and it was a privilege to “open” it to future teams.
Sally and I were assigned to a high school—warned we were not there to “tell them how to run their school”…..but it took a bit of tongue-biting for me to keep my mouth shut, even concerning such simple things as the layout of the classrooms and stairs. But all that faded in our appreciation of the welcome mat that the teachers laid out before us. They invited us to their parties; took us on “field trips” to famous sites; and nodded agreement when I raised an eyebrow at some aspect of the school’s operation.
But it’s Hungary itself that is worth a visit. It’s that history book already mentioned. The Crusaders passed through Hungary on their way to the Holy Land; centuries later Adolph Hitler made Hungary the #1 country in his aim of European conquest. Today, the country is peppered with amazing statues, building structures, and markets that entice and intrigue a visitor. I’ll be writing more about Hungary and what it offers to the world. Such a small country; such a wealth of beauty, art, and friendship.