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As some of you may know, when I first arrived in Hungary I was stressed — mostly about my workload here in Hungary as related to the RCH Roma Mission. I worried about miscommunications that led to unrealistic expectations for my work, and it caused me to panic. Throughout all of my stress, my Hungarian partners here at the Ecumenical Office of the RCH were nothing but supportive and helpful as I expressed my anxiety and worries about the work. As I sat in a meeting with my two coworkers to discuss this, I had a realization: we really are partners in all of this — they care just as much about my placements as I do. They want me to be fully immersed in meaningful work during my time here and if I don’t feel that I am, then they want to help however possible.

For me, this realization is crucial in seeing the differences between serving as a Global Missions Intern with Global Ministries and serving with another organization, even another non-profit: here I am fully integrated with the partner organization that I’m working with, and we are on this journey of service in the wider world together. They care if I like my job, if I’m feeling fulfilled in the work that I’m doing, if I’m learning meaningful skills and understanding situations in a new way. All of these things are a huge part of the Global Ministries model of mission, and that’s vital.

Here I am, a month an a half into my job here in Budapest and I absolutely adore it. Following my conversation about my stress levels with my coworkers, my darling coworker Dia accompanied me to a meeting with my contact people at the Roma Mission to clarify my role there. Her support, and their honesty in what they wanted from me, made for a productive session in which my job description was tweaked a bit and further clarified to my satisfaction.

I’ve learned that Hungarian’s tend to be high context and low content, meaning that general ideas are communicated while specific details are left unsaid and I may have to ask a few times to get all the information that I need! Now that I’m aware of it, it’s a cultural difference that I’m working with and beginning to adapt to.

I’ll write more about my specific work with the Roma Mission in an upcoming post, but know that it’s spectacular and I’m loving my time there with the kids that I engage with. The kiddo’s are slowly but surely helping me to learn my colors and numbers in Hungarian, as I teach them how to use chopsticks and talk about crafting in English. It’s wonderful!