Saturday, February 09, 2002

New Beginnings

February 9, 2002 New Beginnings We were meeting Ildiko, the woman we had met in Brussels at noon. Dawn called and was free for lunch, so we invited her along. The four of us met at the Europa coffee house. Ildiko is in her late twenties or very early thirties. She spent eight years as an Au Pair in New Jersey, close to my hometown. She then went to Peru for a year and traveled around Europe before deciding she needed to return to Hungary and find work. Prior to her leaving for the States, she was a professional handball player and was on the professional Hungarian women’s league. She is a beautiful woman who has the grace and charm of a model. Dawn met us there and we had a wonderful, relaxing conversation over coffee. I told Dawn that Ildiko should meet her friend Aggie. Ron and I had met Aggie once at Dawn’s dinner party for the four of us. Aggie is a young Hungarian woman that is a business dynamo. She was pursued by Audi Automotives to be their European Sales Director, but she decided she did not want to be owned and refused the position. She wrote a grant to do trainings in Indonesia and her proposal was accepted. Dawn thinking this was a great idea called Aggie to meet us. She had company, but insisted that we come to her place in two hours. Meanwhile, Dawn was having computer problems and asked if I had Windows 98 with me. She needed to reinstall it and hers was in Arizona. I thought I did, so she, Ildiko, Ron, and I went back to our apartment, but I did not have the CD Rom after all. I called Fernando, who works for IBM. Of course, he had it as well as 2000, Millenium, and XP. He could bring it over, but not until 7:00 pm. Dawn had to go home and make calls, so Ildiko, Ron, and I went for a walk until it was time to go to Aggie’s. Aggie was thrilled to see us. She said she loved having company with as much enthusiasm as a child that gets a bundle of presents. We truly felt welcomed. I introduced her to Ildeko and said that she was looking for employment and thought Aggie might be able to assist her with ideas. Her apartment is great and she did all of the restructuring herself. She knocked down walls and rebuilt them, rewired, and put walls back up. She is amazing. Currently, she is a Consulting Program Director for one of the Soros Foundation’s educational programs. She immediately spotted Ildeko’s grace, charm, and intelligence. After a relaxing afternoon of socializing and discussing the problems of the world, Aggie gave Ildeko a business card and asked for her to call her on Monday morning in regard to a position that she had open. She said they could discuss it. Ildeko was thrilled for the opportunity, Aggie was thrilled that she may have found a likely candidate, and we were thrilled to have been a part of this. Back to the subway, Ildeko was going to head to another engagement, Dawn was going to run home and get some work done, and we were going to go home and wait for Fernando to come over with the CDs. Fernando called just as we walked in the door and he was going to arrive at 7:00 pm. I asked if Dawn had her computer with her if he could assist in getting it to run better. He said he would. I called Dawn and left her the message. Dawn arrived with the computer and Fernando diagnosed and fixed the problems, much to Dawn’s delight. She wanted to take all of us to dinner, but Fernando was not feeling well and went back home to bed. I installed the Windows 2000, but it would not work properly and had to revert to the ’98 version. That is our task later, when Fernando is feeling better. Ron and I went for dinner with Dawn treating, at her insistence. If she had not treated, we could not afford to go, so it was lucky for us. We went to an Indian restaurant and ordered a couple of appetizer platters and some extra fancy breads and that was plenty for all of us. From here, Dawn took a taxi home and we were able to walk the short distance. She is leaving for some other Eastern Europe country tomorrow, then will be back in Budapest for a day and then off to the States again. It was a pleasant ending to a difficult week and prepared us to start yet another. It was late before I was able to check the e-mail, do banking and other tasks. Although, I have a standing payment set up to pay on my Visa card, which is well over the minimum amount, so part of my intuition told me to check my statement on the website. When I did, there was a charge for $600.99 for an Albertson’s for February 1st. What this was I had no idea. Checking our appointment books did not provide a clue either. Ron said it did not ring any bells with him either. I was too tired to deal with Visa Customer Service, but put it on my agenda for the morning. In the e-mail sack tonight there was a note from our new friend Damon, the Regional English Language Officer for the U.S. Embassy. He might need to fill a four to five month fellowship in Moldova for a Teacher Trainer. He wanted to know if I was interested. Even if I do not know where Moldova is, of course I would be interested. I would love to do something like that. The problems are insurmountable though. We have too much to get done here with permits, visas, and the like. We have a business that needs to be looked after and there is no way that Ron would be able to do it all alone, just as I could not if the situation were reversed. Then there is rent and utilities to be paid here and the list goes on. The carrot was dangling, but I could not bite. The timing was off. I did remind him that he wanted curriculum written for English for Police Officer Training and I was willing (ecstatic at the opportunity) to do this if he still had the need. We will see.

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