Day 65: Old Friends, New Laughs in Budapest

We arrived in Budapest via a 2 hour bus ride from Bratislava and could barely contain our excitement. Seeing our longterm teacher friends Brett and Heather and their little monkey has been a nice respite from the crazy travel schedule of the last two months and we enjoyed every moment of it. Our two weeks…

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Day 54: Laying Low in Bratislava

At just an hour and 20 minutes, the bus ride between Vienna and Bratislava was the shortest ride we've taken on our trip between cities. I sat next to a woman who was nervously clutching the purse on her lap and across the aisle, a textbook frat boy. Oxford blue long sleeve shirt rolled up…

Day 38: Poland Part 2- Auschwitz Birkenau

The day after arriving in Krakow, Lisa and I took turns visiting the most infamous concentration camp in the world. Unless you've been living on the moon or dropped out of high school, the name 'Auschwitz' brings a chill because of the atrocities committed there. From 1941 to 1945, over one million Jews and political…

Day 34: Poland Part 1-Eastern Delights

The day we arrived in Warsaw, one of the biggest music legends in the world was playing at the PGE Narodowy coliseum. I would not have normally gone to see Jon Bon Jovi, but with standing arena tickets costing only $40, we had to do it. Bon Jovi dominated the romantic rock genre since he…

Day 26: Baltic Beauty-Vilnius, Lithuania

Sometimes explosive diarrhea can have a silver lining. Living and traveling abroad for 17 years has given us stomach microbes that you wouldn't believe. In every place we've called home, we've had an intricate map of public bathrooms around the moo ban (Chiang Mai), district (Saigon) and dong (Seoul) that we could depend on at…

Day 22: Teaching Tolerance in Riga, Latvia

The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, a teacher in Riceville, Iowa planned a lesson that would change the world of education. Knowing that her 28 third grade children could not understand discrimination without experiencing it for themselves, Jane Elliot devised an experiment wherein blue-eyed children would wear blue collars and the brown-eyed…

Raising a Mighty Girl

"Tell me Ava, why do you think Sistine said what she did about Southern people?" I asked. We were reading the book 'The Tiger Rising' by Kate DiCamillo and Sistine (the female protagonist) introduced herself to her new classmates in Kentucky by declaring southerners ignorant. Her classmates answered back on the playground afterwards. "Does she…