Da Debrief in Budapest

Hey guys its Cabbage aka Ben Cramer here to give you the rundown on debrief! To start it out we had a 12 hour train ride from Romania to Budapest. After a tearful train launch, most people tried getting some sleep, took some time alone, tried putting bread in the mouths of people sleeping, and made bracelets and talked with each other. When we finally made it to Budapest Lief described entering the train station as going into a cocoon from being a butterfly. Once we got off the train and got our tickets for the subway we checked into our hostel. After checking in we walked to this amazing restaurant called Bohemtanya Ettererm where we had a mouth watering goulash with some delicious Hungarian beef & gnocchi. We walked back with full stomachs and had a great nights sleep – our first opportunity to catch up and sleep in. The next day we had breakfast at the hostel that took a tram to one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen on an island in the Danube River! It was there we had our first debrief session right next to huge flower garden. As it usually starts out one of the leaders asks how we are doing physically, and there are usually a few jokes about our digestion issues, but then we start getting serious when they ask how are our hearts. On that day we talked about camp stories, thinking back to our time in Romania, and also revisited the “why?” questions that Amy mentioned earlier during camp. For me personally it was very tough trying to understand that question but I remembered something that my family told me before I left “God has placed everywhere where they are for a reason and even though we cant see that reason God can and that is why we should have total faith in him.” Ben Hershburger had a great example when he reminded us that if Daniel or Dana Vieru (who started Open Roads) or Bruno (the founder of Ethos) had been born in the Tegucigulpa city dump or an orphanage, those organizations might not have come into being! That to me was really powerful because it is clear that Ethos has touched so many different people all over Craiova – and Open Roads is doing the same thing. After the talk we had some alone time in the park to process. Then after that we took the tram to a market place where we had lunch. After lunch we took a tour of a beautiful old church. We climbed the tower for an overlook of the city, and took a bunch of selfies with strangers in the back round, hey what can I say we are teenagers! Later that day we hiked up a hill and had our second debrief with a spectacular view of the city below. The topic on that night was what do you say if someone asks you how was the trip? This was hard for me because in our culture when someone asks me that question I would say it was great, hard, good, fun or life changing, but the truth is its so much more than that because its all those things and so much more! The words I want to say don’t tell the stories – so we worked out how we could share these stories with those who ask. We got in a circle and prayed for a while thanking God for all He had done an is doing, asking God to be with the Open Roads leaders, and then prayed for each of our campers by their name. After prayer we had a really special dinner at a restaurant built on a docked boat. The restaurant was excited to host our group and even asked a pianist to entertain us by placing a keyboard the head of our table! Dinner consisted of potato slices with a perfectly cooked piece of pork with a savory tomato sauce on top. The rest off the night we hung out and had fun together, walking back to our hotel and getting even more rest! The next day we went to another truly amazing park for our debrief, where we spent most of the day. There were buildings that look like castles, some really cool bridges and water fountains and so much more. The subject for that debrief was an encouragement session lifting each other up and pointing out the gifts that God gave us. We had a much longer alone time then before which I think we all needed. After lunch, we went to the natural hot springs (something Budapest is known for – they are all over) and boy let me tell you that was so much fun! They had like every temperature hot tub and ice tubs. At one point Lief got most of us to go in the hot sauna then a 16C ice tub. We did that a few times and it felt so relaxing! After that, we walked just around the corner to a restaurant where we would have our last of many team dinners – as well as our final debrief . The food there was one off the best I have ever eaten! I had veneer (aka “wiener”) schnitzel with potato salad. The manager was kind enough to let us circle up there at the restaurant for our final debrief. The subject of our final debrief was preparing for our return home. We talked about how to transition back into our own culture and process any anger, guilt, or judgment. We also talked about our concerns about returning home, the changes we’ve seen in ourselves, how we can rearrange our priorities because of this trip. People shared great stuff and it was really helpful to learn from one another. We finished the night talking about how we can get together when we are home to continue the deep community that God had given us. Well that’s all for me I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I hope to see you in a couple hours, Cabbage out.

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