Paige's Return to Deutschland!

Hallo Berlin! This blog will be a place for friends and family to get very occasional snip-its on Biggs' life in Germany.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A day in the life...

I learned a very important lesson tonight; don’t go out for coffee at 9 pm. For most people that would be obvious. But I just started drinking coffee when I moved to Europe, so this is all new. Thus, I am channeling this caffeine high into a little blogging action. I will give you a day in the life of Paige here in Pecs.

5:45 Wake up. Huh? What possible reason could I have for waking up that early? It all started with Adrian’s small going away dinner party. We got on the subject of exercise, aka Adrian trying to explain biking in the best non-nerd lingo possible. Arpi, the pastor, said that he and his wife, Andi, used to run but they just kind of fell out of it. We decided to start running the next morning. The next day was a Saturday and they said, well it's Saturday we can sleep in a bit, how about 7:30? Dah! On the weekdays we meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7 am. I leave the house at 6:20 to ride up this monster hill, Andi and Arpi arrive by car, and then we run around hiking trails together. I am also sometimes swimming with my roommate Ivette at around 7. Hello? But it gets me home before 8 am so I can start "researching".

9:00 Most of my time is spent sitting in front of my computer, wearing pajamas, and trying to resist the temptation to look up random facts on wikipedia. I do a lot of literature review on google, sending people emails to meet up, and checking in with Sue about next steps in the thesis process. I should probably explain the thesis a bit more.

I am writing about the health visitor system here. In Hungary when a woman finds out she is pregnant a vedono, or health visitor, comes regularly to check up on the baby and help the mother with pregnancy and child health tips. The visits continue until the child is three years old.

Most of Europe has some type of visiting system but Hungary has a super system with tons more visits than any of the other EU countries. Hungary is also the only country in central/eastern Europe to have this program. In general, everyone thinks primary health care, aka stopping the problems before they start, is a good thing. But the health statistics, like maternal and infant mortality rates, aren't impressive which could mean that the védönök program has some problems. That's what I am trying to figure out while here.

12:00 I must say that one of my proudest accomplishments here is getting my roommate Lili hooked on Mexican food and eating vegetables. There has been a major decline in white bread with cream cheese consumption in the apartment. I usually cook something in the middle of the day that makes the two of us happy. Lili is also at home working during the day. She is an artist and makes beautiful hand made cards for a living. She sells some of them in fancy card stores in Budapest and Pecs. She also sends some to churches in the US to sell. I have already asked her to do the wedding invitations whenever that day comes. Adrian and I have been two of her best customers. For Adrian, she customized some masculine looking thank you cards with a little bike on the front. They were a crowd pleaser.

PM Pecs has been named the city of culture in 2010, so there are always concerts and all sorts of things going on. Most recently there are a lot of peaceful protests but before there were concerts and fireworks. Two of my buddies, Krista and Peter, do a ton of organizing city events so they are my connection to all cool things happening in the city. Last Friday we went out to this club where the Hungarian Barry White impersonator was singing. Oh, he even sang a little Tom Jones. Yeah. Krista and Peter gave me the nickname Blinkie because I am always wearing my blinking lights when I arrive by bike to hang out. Finally, a nickname that is family friendly.

I think it is safe to say Pecs is now another home away from home.


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