Monday 6 April 2009

Home, sweet home.

So the bus journey is over. It arrived late and we were joined by the bus driver's wife and another couple of their friends, but we got to the airport so all good!
We made it through another 'all you can eat' meal, despite being so late, nearly everyone left a few pounds heavier than they entered. We also enjoyed Mr. Clarke's birthday, four months too late, but thanks to Noel and Robbie none the less, the cake was delicious!
We spent a lot of money in the covered market in Budapest, but everyone got good value for money.
We made it to the airport and we got back to Ireland safe and sound. A busy day and nothing to be sneezed at!
But one of the most impressive feats was not of our manufacture. What is most impressive is the effect that the trip has had on most of us in the group. I can only speak for myself but I know that I have learned a lot about both myself and others over the past few days.
For now I, along with all the other members of the team, wish to thank you all for your generous support over the past fewe months. Please rest assured that you have helped us make a difference in the world!

Day 10 - That's all folks! or is it?

We come to our last day of our trip! Our last day of work was hot and fulfilling to see the last of the plaster boarding finally finished. We also found time to make the sign Michael and Piggy are holding. It was also sad to know that this was our last day and that our work was 'finished' and that we wouldn’t be coming back.

We left the site and began packing in preparation for Mr. Clarke's judging of the TIDIEST ROOM which both of today’s writers won.

We left for the final dinner with the families who we were the houses for. During this we were given a crash course in Hungarian folk dancing which you can see in the photo. We sat down to a very tasty three course meal and chatted with the families. Fergus was burned when the waiter accidentally poured Goulash on his back which many are convinced was the hand of God revenging his lack of work during the past few days! There was a disco next door which we joined and even got Clarkey dancing!

We have only the long day of buses and planes to go before we are home and it is with a mixture of sadness that it’s over and pride in what we have done that we leave

Quote of the Day: Clarkey to Michael “It doesn’t taste that bad. Just swallow it!”


Thursday 2 April 2009

Day 9 in the Big Brother Household!

Another early morning. On the way to the site we looked up and saw a stork’s nest on the very top of a telephone pole. The nest was perfectly balanced and a real example of how stable a building should be.

We arrived at the site and immediately set off to our intense but enjoyable jobs, which included plastering walls for the third day in a row and screwing Styrofoam to the exterior of the house. It was easy to see that a minority of the team were suffering from lack of sleep.

The second half of the working day featured a race between two teams on either side of the house, racing to see who could finish screwing Styrofoam to the exterior of the house. Progress was easy to see as it was a very quick and basic job, which just required cutting pieces of Styrofoam to certain measurements and then just putting them into place and screwing them in.

The day ended with a small talk on the day’s progress and then a quick retreat back to the hotel, where team members could relax in the thermal baths or walk to the shop to stock up on food. We had supper which was a weird looking Hungarian pizza and then back to the rooms to have a long team meeting, which examined how the trip has affected us on various levels.

Quote of the Day:
Mr. Clarke: We still need quote of the day… (10:19 pm, we’re getting desperate!)

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Day 8 - Breaking in Debrecen

Today, being April Fool’s day, most of us woke up afraid of being plotted against. The boys had been talking in whispers of the possible tricks they might want to play on some of us. I remembered the fact that it was the 1st of April (April Fools day) when I saw Ms Hanna with her face painted like a cat. Mrs Heffernan put on fake nails with the characters from high school musical printed on them. For the rest of the time working almost everyone was in high spirits, and it was a fun day.

Today was a half day on site as it was our second R’n’R day. We arrived on site to find the gate locked and Pisti and Sandor were nowhere to be seen. The teachers pretended that it was an April Fools and told us that they had only got us out of bed as a prank! When we started leaving they quickly explained that it wasn’t a prank and that Pisti and Sandor were not there yet. Some of the lads then went looking for them and found them around the corner hiding in their car and van! Immediately we realised we had been pranked and after having a laugh decided we wanted a lift back to the site. So 9 of us climbed into Sandor’s Suzuki Swift (Only slightly bigger then a mini!) and two into the open back of Pisti’s pick up truck and we made our way back to the site. The teachers and others quickly turned around again when they saw Sandor and Pisti driving 11 of us back to the site. The half day of work then went quite fast as Sean, Michael, Fergus, Robbie and I hid all over the site avoiding teachers as they went.

After our half day of work we headed into the 2nd largest town in Hungary for a bit of R’n’R. The trip was good fun as we went up into the tower of a huge church and had the chance to see views over all of Debrecen. Later on we visited a museum which contained lots of old historical Hungarian objects which seemed to send off an alarm every time you went within a meter of them.

Later on the same Sean, Michael, Fergus, Robbie and I had a brainwave and we got a picture of Pisti (The GOD of our trip) printed. We then got him to sign our copies as if he were a celebrity, before presenting him with a copy we had signed, entitled “The Habitat Boys”.

Quote of the day:

Michael McBurney – Can we not just climb in the back of the pick-up truck?
Pisti – No… I have no licence…

By Tanaka and Patrick

(Note from the editor, this is a simple mistranslation… we think… hope…)

Hello Judith!

Over the past few days we have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Judith, a woman from Budapest who often works with Habitat for Humanity on their building projects. Today was Judith's last day with us and we marked this occasion with a small gift and swapping of emails and other details. Hopefully we will be able to keep in touch. Judith is a real hero for us, a truly generous and compassionate individual who we will never forget!

As for the title, in Hungary 'Hello' is used both as hello and goodbye...