Wyatt, Outbound to Hungary

The winter holidays for me are traditionally spent along side with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Instead of what I previously had been doing, this year I spent it around everybody around me and the friends I have made through my exchange. The whole month of December was very special to me and what happened throughout the month. On December 1 I visited my first Christmas market in my home city Szeged. The city was illuminated with colorful lights, a massive Christmas tree, all the small little houses set up selling goods, and a big ferris wheel to shine with changing lights bright lights. It was a fantastic night getting to see everything and I would come back frequently to the market for food, and other goods. Fast forward a few days to December 6 and Santa Clause came and dropped chocolate off for me and my exchange brother in our shoes. Something very different is that on the night of Christmas Baby Jesus comes and drops the kids their presents instead of Santa. After a week of the first celebrations, I had gotten to meet the new short term exchangers who arrived in Hungary at a Rotary dinner. While at the dinner I chatted with everyone and we have all become great friends. During the dinner me and the other long term exchange student had to read a poem off to our Rotary club as well received gifts from Santa once again. A couple days after the dinner I went on a trip with my class to Budapest. Early in the morning I had to go to the Szeged train station and meet with all of my classmates. The train ride was about two hours long and I got to get to know some of my classmates better. One of my favorite part about going to Budapest is the massive train station and how pretty it is. Once we arrived we walked to the large and beautiful parliament building. We had an educational guide and we saw the Holy Crown of Hungary which dates back to the 1070's! After parliament we went to the famous St. Stephen's Basilica. We went inside to see the large and gorgeous paintings and other art work as well as the Encasement of the first Hungarian king St. Stephen I. Outside of the Basilica is voted to have the prettiest Christmas market in all of Europe. The market was crowded with many tourists but this did not take from its prettiness. My classmates and I got an hour of free time to walk around the city and the markets, when it was dark out the lights were magnificent and the city was full of life. After the trip Christmas was creeping up quickly. The 24th my host fathers family came and visited, they live just outside the city and we had an amazing dinner. The 25th we all had to wake up early and celebrated a little family Christmas then immediately hit the roads to my host mothers parents house. She stayed in a little village about two hours away. When we got there we met up with most of my host mothers family and I met a lot new people and had a great time. Christmas after that was normal for the most part, we all had a big dinner and passed out around the TV. That has been my December, exchange has been amazing in many different aspects. I truly see the change that has been going on not through just me but to everyone around me and the other exchange students as well. From now on I am going to take the most out of the time I have left in Hungary and make the most out of it.

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