Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Austria?

I'm sure some of you think we are disobedient missionaries by sometimes driving through Austria to visit branch members. Here's why. Here I am looking from Hungary past the border into Austria where our car is. Can you see the border sign? (The post with the Hungarian flag painted on it)

Here's looking the other way so you can see how the pavement stops and the mud and potholes begin.

Sandor is the caretaker of a former border guard camp in the thick forest. Even today, 20 years after the border disappeared, many of the roads connecting villages on the two sides of the border haven't been paved on the Hungarian side or even reconnected to the Austrian side.

After we gave Sandor our message, we had a big helping of palacsintas, rolled up Hungarian pancakes filled with jam or cottage cheese and raisins. Do you think the four of us can eat all of this? (In Hungary, the host usually doesn't eat with the guests.)

On the way home we decided to try out the Hungarian highway to see if that is the way we should go from now on. This is what Sandor walks down every Sunday to catch the bus to church. He says he has to get up at 5 to walk two to three miles down the muddy road to get to the first paved road where he can catch the bus. He changes his clothes after he gets to church. He usually brings flowers from his garden. If it rains on Saturday, he can't make it because the road is too swampy. As you can see, this isn't a joke.

The Hungarian route is 6 miles and at least half an hour longer. See why we take the paved Austrian route? Our car barely made it and it hadn't rained for a couple of days. This is a "dry spot" we stopped at as I didn't want both me and the car to sink into the mud when I got out to take the picture. I didn't dare stop at the swampy section I had just tobogganed through. Of course mom said, "How fun! This is like going out to feed the horses in Florida after it rains." See, there is a positive way to look at everything.


  1. looks like Elder Baumgartl is willing to do his best on the pancakes!

  2. I calculated that everyone's fair share was 8. Elder Baumgartl only made it through 3. I made it through 6 and was stuffed for the rest of the day. As you can see, they are huge.