Amit mi adni tudunk, az örökre megmarad.

Amerikai lektor a Besiben – We like Hungary

Dr. Patty and I have been teaching in different countries for over twenty years now. We agree that the last three years teaching in Kisvárda has been our best work experience outside the U.S.

We have stories about each new assignment having different ‘jokers in the deck’. There has always been something that we did not plan on, and that we did not know about until we were already in the new place.

In almost every other place, we have not been able to find our favorite foods. Here in Kisvárda, the local foods are excellent and delicious. We have also been able to find our favorite foods, or something very close. When they have not been available locally, we have been able to find them in Nyíregyháza or Debrecen.

Here in Kisvárda, the power hardly ever goes out, and when it does it comes back on very soon. In one place we taught, the electrical power would go out for several hours each day, and never at the same time. All the electrical equipment in the classrooms had to have surge protectors and backup batteries, and we still lost half the equipment to electrical damage each year. 

Another place, a person who was not officially at the school, but who was politically very powerful, changed our teaching assignments after we were already in country. I was forbidden from teaching the classes I had contracted for, and had to teach other classes instead. Here in Kisvárda, we are teaching classes according to our negotiated contracts, and no one has tried to change that.

Sometimes the joker was a good thing, but still funny for us. Once we worked in a country that had very strong cultural values about hospitality. We did not know better, and during a break in the schedule we walked down the block and bought bottles of water for ourselves, spending the equivalent of one or two hundred forint. When we got back, our hostess was nearly fired on the spot for not providing the water for us. Fortunately, we were able to explain on her behalf, and nothing bad happened to her. Here in Kisvárda, people have been helpful and hospitable, but we are allowed to do things for ourselves, too.

Sometimes the jokers were serious, and caused problems that were never solved for us. Some countries had strict licenses for telephones and internet service, and those delays and problems meant we were cut off from communication with our families. Some countries have bureaucracies that exist to provide jobs for politically connected people, not to provide efficient services. It proved close to impossible to get anything done in those places. It also turned out to be dangerous to stay in those countries, because no one enforced the laws to protect people, unless those people were politically connected. Here in Kisvárda, our experience has been that the government workers actually do their jobs, and most of the rules make some kind of sense. We feel very safe here, and trust that the laws and rules are enforced fairly.

Here in Kisvárda, almost all our students are hardworking and serious about school. In other places, some of our students were from politically powerful families or were themselves princes or princesses. More than once, these students tried to get one of us fired or executed. We are very happy that Hungarian students are not like that!