This morning we visited Zrinyi Ilona Gimnazium, a local co-ed secondary school with six hundred pupils. The principal Ildiko Kovacsne Szegedi welcomed us and then handed us over to teacher Istvan Berecz who paired us off with their pupils for an entertaining cultural exchange lesson. Hugo Hollis was especially enthusiastic about this and he appeared much more animated than usual.
Later on, a group of their pupils performed a quirky English language play about a bunch of useless first-time bank robbers who ended up trying to hold up a library. They also sang a variety of English and Hungarian songs for our entertainment. We were particularly impressed by a small boy who turned out to be an incredible human beatbox. We tried to match them with a Kezia-led rendition of ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ and Zach and Mark’s take on that enduring classic ‘The Soup Song’. At the very end of the session, relations between Hungary and Ireland were cemented forever with the joint rendition of ‘Hokey Cokey’. The Hungarian pupils were sad to see us go as it meant they wouldn’t miss Maths.
In the afternoon, all twenty of us were together on the city site. Some of us sanded doors, some of us planed them, some varnished planks and some stripped paint off doorways. Mr Jones multitasked, hammering rafters into the framework of the new room we have been constructing, making fun of Jamie and Catie’s efforts in the same field and chirping his catchphrase, ‘We’re Doin’ It!’ at least fifty times. Neil was also very efficient, assisting Gaffer Jackson and providing a free life-coaching service to the sometimes beleaguered Levi.
Having the full twenty on site gave the afternoon a great sense of camaraderie and we ended the working day playing cricket/baseball with a broom and a rolled up work glove.
|The Habiteers interact with Hungarian teenagers|
|Hugo makes some new friends|
|Jamie & Catie - Hammering Machines!!!!|
|Jonesy & Jamo|
|Levi & Sandoor - our Habitat Co-ordinators|
|Levi ponders life (and what the hell Mr. Jones is doing up the ladder)|
|Hamish "The Hammer" Law|
|Pupils & Teachers Staining Wood|
|Work on the doors continues|
|Jamie & Jonesy Just Hangin'|
|Some of the girls check out the new extension frame.|
|Some of the kids at the end of the day.|
|Playing Broom Cricket|