ELI started back up tonight. For those of you who don't know or didn't read my blog last school year, it stands for English Language Institute. I teach English to Hungarians in the community. It's a free class, they just have to buy the book (which is about $20). There are a couple other teachers at the school who are involved, including Michelle. I love getting to know other Hungarians and being able to speak in English to them (!), but I hate planning for the class. I hated lesson planning when I taught second grade as well, so why I decided to get involved with something else that involves weekly planning, I don't know. But except for that, I do love it!
Tonight was excellent. After feeling quite overwhelmed when I learned this afternoon that there were only two of us there tonight so I would be teaching anyone not a beginner (which is a HUGE span), I was not very excited. I was relieved to learn when I got there that we would just forgo the teaching tonight and start next week. We met together as a large group instead and then they signed up for whatever class they thought they should be in. I'd say there were roughly 50 people there. That number will fluctuate throughout the year, as we learned last year!
But why was tonight so excellent? I got to reconnect with several students I had last year, none of whom I have seen this summer. It was so great to see some of the middle school boys sign up again. I chatted with little Laci as he answered my questions about his summer with his English, trying not to stumble upon any words. It was so sweet. I try to do that in Hungarian with people, and they look at me like I'm from outer space.
Then I got to see Zsolt! At the end of last school year, Kevin and I and Zsolt and his girlfriend Gabi were hanging out together. We were supposed to get together over the summer, but we never connected with such busy summers. Zsolt told me that "summer was short." Don't we all feel that way? Well, maybe not the parents anxious to get their kids back to school...
But anyway, it was good to see him and catch up. Unfortunately Gabi has something going on Wednesday evenings during this time, so she isn't able to take the class. She did take 6 weeks of English classes this summer, and Zsolt said she has really improved. I really want to take Hungarian lessons myself, but the class is about $1000 for both Kevin and me to take it. Major bummer. We are already trying to line up a day to hang out with Zsolt and Gabi, and he said that they would help us with Hungarian while we help them with English. Sounds good to me!
It's funny to me that we get along so well with them because we don't have too much in common. We really laugh and have a great time together. How do we connect? Seriously, I feel more comfortable around them than with some of the English speaking, American missionaries here who I have more in common with. Weird. Whatever the reason, I'm glad and look forward to spending more time with Zsolt and Gabi!