Each summer an entire class of Flinn Scholars engages in a group study-travel seminar. This year’s seminar, held in Hungary and western Romania, runs from late in May to mid-June. Here’s a day-by-day account.
Jasmine Anglen (’11)
As we set out on the second full day of our trip, excitement was sky-high, but energy levels had waned. Luckily, the IIE trip-planners must have foreseen this and arranged for us to bus over to the adorable Hollók village. Away from the bustle of a city center like Oktogon in Budapest, we were able to walk up hills, into the forest and out to cow pastures while running into friendly dogs and people.
The restaurant we stopped in for lunch had been run by the same adorable, little old lady for decades and included walls decked out in black and white photographs of her childhood. Paul and Katherine kindly volunteered to dress up in traditional Hungarian village garb and proceeded to re-enact a Hungarian couple falling in love and getting married, flirting and all. The adorable restaurant owner orchestrated the whole love story and concluded by singing for us!
The rest of the day consisted of a trip to a castle on a hill and a re-enactment of some old battle (which was joined by one of our very own, the fearless Dylon Gookin). I couldn’t help but think while sitting on the grassy hillside watching the canons and sword fights, looking out over the forest and castle, how perfectly the day had been planned. After the plane flights and walking tours and general high-energy awesomeness of the trip so far, it was nice to just get to sit on a green hill, amble around a rural village, and watch some cows, while still soaking up another facet of Hungarian culture.
Of course, no day with the Flinns would be complete without some profound life lesson arising in one form or another. So listen closely. When you see a very much handmade and seemingly insignificant fence made of twine surrounding a cow pasture, you can still safely assume that it is indeed an electric fence. But don’t worry, all of your Flinn pals will insist on touching it and getting shocked to make sure. Lesson learned: don’t underestimate the punch (or pinch) something seemingly insignificant can pack, and listen when the first Flinn says “Ah! It’s electric!”(and start doing the electric slide).