What is a young lady from California doing in Hungary and more specifically at our school?
I applied to the Young Adults in Global Mission program through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I grew up in the church and was excited to give one year of volunteer to the YAGM program. The program directors and coordinators placed me in Hungary after multiple interviews and discernment. Then, I was placed at the Budapest work site, with Fasor school and Phiren Amenca International Network.
Please tell me about yourself and your family. Where did you grow up and where did you get your ambition to do this volunteer job?
I was born in India and grew up there until I was nine. I then moved to California with my family, my mom, my dad and my little sister. My mother was a physician and my father worked in the Lutheran church, as a pastor, director and professor. I was always reminded by them to help others in everything I did and I feel that they instilled in me the drive to be in service to others.
What are your impressions about Hungary and the Hungarian people?
I admire the Hungarian people for their pride, culture, art and honesty. I feel that the energy here is genuine and it is true - and the Hungarian people value that above all things. There is also a sense of deep history and cultural identity that has been preserved and restored, despite the traumatic and painful events of the past. I have found that Hungarian people are very friendly and warm when I interact with them in personal settings.
What have you seen of Budapest and have you been to the countryside?
I have seen a lot of Budapest and learn more every day. I enjoy walking around the city and taking the tram to new areas and districts. The city feels busy but also calm and it is full of beautiful art, architecture, food and people. I have been to the country on trips to the Northern and North-Eastern parts of Hungary and it is very beautiful. The Tokaj wine region reminds me of my home in California.
And last but not least, do you like the food here and what's your favourite Hungarian dish?
I have enjoyed most of the food here! My favorite dish is lekvaros palacsinta or fozelek. My least favorite dish is the pasta that has poppy seeds on it!