I am trying to get back into the swing of things. It’s, well, a little slow going- mostly due to my internal clock being askew. We went on a faraway trip that was beautiful, inspiring and in every sense worth the jet lag. This trip was only possible because of an invitation Dion received to speak. We had a stop-over in Paris, stayed with friends in Hungary and got put-up in a flat at a Salvation Army shelter in Prague. It was a wonderful way to travel. At various moments along the way I “interviewed” Cate. We would lie on a bed, pull out the voice recorder conveniently located in my phone and she would talk. Here are some snippets.

“Cate, How was Paris?”

“It was awesome. The Eiffel Tower was…AHHHH. It was huge and at night it was so sparkly. I loved going up and seeing the view. I also liked the food, the Arc De Triomph, the double-decker bus and the Louvre.

The Mona Lisa was really beautiful and all the artifacts from like the year 520. I like that different people from a very long time ago used the stuff and it is stuff that I might never find or use now.”

“What about Hungary and Prague?”

“I loved the weather. All the food was interesting. They use a lot of paprika. I won’t forget the old buildings that actually have gun shot holes in them from the times of warfare and the Roman Coliseum from when Jesus was around. I also learned about Communism. It wasn’t very long ago that it happened. I heard that some people are still learning how to trust their neighbours. I also learned a lot about people who are Roma. Andrew and Darlene [our hosts] taught us all about Hungarian history. Our interpreter friend Szabolcs told us that ‘Szia’ (See ya) can mean hello and goodbye in Hungarian. He also was very kind and gave me many treats.

I love all the castles.

The only thing I didn’t like: the mosquitoes. Oh, and the way my ears feel when the plane is landing.

I learned that in Hungary they have Name Days. It is almost as important as your birthday. Someone might give you a gift on the day. My name here in Hungary is Cottie, short for Cotelyn.”

“Could you give me your Top List of things on this trip? In no particular order.”

1. The Hungarian BBQ.

2. The weather.

3. How you can walk on the streets.

4. The sunsets. The sunset in Balaton was AHHH, just like the Eiffel Tower.

5. The different light switches and plugs.

6. The flowers and trees. Nature.

7. The handmade things in shops.

8. The Eiffel Tower, the Prague Castle and Budapest lit up at night.

9. The hot pools (which are very hot).

10. The food (which is very meaty).

Nothing like hearing about a trip through the eyes of a ten-year old. I hope that she never forgets it. And I’m glad that she some of her top items are things she can experience no matter what part of the world she is in.

Thankfully there are sunsets that are AHHH everywhere.