Google+ Badge

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Cousin Viki

There's a village in Vas County is western Hungary, not too far from Szombathely, and very close to the Austrian border. It is where my mother and her brothers and sisters were born and raised. This little village of some four hundred people is where my father and mother met, married, and gave birth to three of their four children. It is in a beautiful area, surrounded by stretches of woods and beautiful fields of rape plants that are grown for canola oil. In this village, I have many relatives that I have never met. But I am fortunate to have met some of them. My Aunt Lizi gave birth to my cousin Susie, a dear, sweet woman who is very special to me. She has two children, Viki and Tom. 

Viki has been my connection to my Hungarian family, and so has Tom. Viki currently teaches Hungarian people of all ages to speak German. She also speaks English. She would, and does, protest when I praise her skills with the English language. She and my other Hungarian relatives are the main reason there is a translate button on my blog page. I found out today that Viki doesn't read my blog in the Hungarian translation. She reads it in the original American English, because the emotional nuances don't necessarily translate well. I think you might agree that if someone for whom English is a third language can read and understand my blog in English, her abilities with English are awesome!

But this kind of natural modesty is just part of who Viki is. She works more than ten hours a day and truly loves teaching. And she still finds time for balance in life. She does a number of arts and crafts, and creates many beautiful things. Her Grandma Lizi was very proud of the artwork and crafts in her home that were created by her beloved granddaughter. Viki sings in the local women's choir, and has worked in her village's local government. And all the while, going over to Grandma's every day to wash her dishes for her.

Some random thoughts this morning made me think of Viki, and that's why I decided to write about her. When we first began to know each other and chat online through Skype and Facebook, I told her that I figured out how to explain to Trent what it is like when a Hungarian speaks English. It came to me while we were watching t.v. "Honey! Yoda is Hungarian!" I had told her brother, Tom, the same thing, and she thought it was pretty funny. We began to talk about famous Hungarians and decided that none were as famous as Yoda, although Erno Rubik, who created a torture device known as Rubik's cube, does come in a close second.

One day while we were chatting online, Trent got on the computer to chat with her and send her some photos. He had recently gone to Disney World with some friends and sent pictures of himself that were taken there. That was the day I found out that Viki is a great English speaker. When she saw the picture of Trent with a life-sized Tigger, she asked, "Oh, you have met Mister Tigger? Is he free, or has he a wife?" Trent and I were laughing because it was so funny, but we were also very impressed. Anyone who can think that quickly and make a joke in another language is pretty incredible. Maybe one day I can learn in Hungarian one-tenth of what Viki knows in English. And I'll think I'm doing great. But if I want to be amazing, I'll have to be more like my cousin Viki.

Szerentle, Viki! I hope to see you soon!