Art of Translation

It’s been a bit of a minute since I last posted, but I’m back (with a couple exams behind me too, to boot)!

Fall is here! I love this time of year. I’m pretty sure I can vouch for the fact that no matter where you are, fall weather is always agreeable – whether the day is quietly sunny or breezily cloudy, it’s beautiful. I’m enjoying Pécs’s fall weather so much (minus the mosquitoes… shudder); looking out my window in the early evening at this time of year brings on bouts of introspective thoughts and future-minded daydreams. I experienced one of those thoughtful days recently; a couple weeks ago, I hosted a Bible study at my place here in Pécs with the ladies from the church I attend here (I use the word “host” loosely…though I didn’t cook any food for the event, I’ve recently gotten into baking and a little cooking! I apologize in advance because I may be sharing a ton of food photos in future months…). Since my church here strives to reach out to as many Hungarians as possible, services are often held in Hungarian, and then translated into English (or vice versa). So this time, the Bible study was taught in English, and translated into Hungarian. It was a hilarious ordeal at the onset, because our Bible study leader speaks both English and Hungarian, so at certain intervals, she’d stop and look at her friend translating her words into Hungarian and say, “Aw come on! That’s not what I said! There’s a better way to say that!” We all had a good laugh at these instances, chuckling to ourselves about the translator’s use of artistic license in conveying original words and ideas to the listeners. Continue reading

European Med Life

It’s Labor Day for all my American friends and family, and usually I join in enjoying the day off with copious amounts of food, sleep, and HGTV. But today’s the first time I’ve actually put “laboring” into Labor Day, because it was the first day of classes over here at the University of Pécs Faculty of Medicine.

Yes, that’s right – I’ve officially began my journey as a European med student!

I know, I’ve been MIA from writing these past two weeks as I’ve gotten settled in (shout out to those whom I promised pictures and updates…they will come gradually). But bear with me; I’m a med student now (eek! I get to say that!).

Recently – as in, about two weeks ago – my Dad and I took all my packed bags (which was only 2 suitcases, surprisingly) and headed off on the long journey from Dallas to Pécs (rhymes with “h”), in beautiful southwestern Hungary. Med school is already a crazy ordeal; but to embark on that life change in a new country? Where I don’t speak the official language? Does that sound crazy? Yes? Well, sign me up! I’ve loved travelling since…forever. I’ve also loved medicine (and music and writing, but that’s a different story for another time) for practically my whole life, so in thinking of med schools, I wanted to go to an international school that would seamlessly blend these two passions of mine. And wow, the UP delivered. In my class group (about 15-20 of us), there are students from Jordan, Iran, Israel, Spain, Germany, Norway, Cyprus, Nepal, India, Canada, Argentina, and Nigeria. It’s the norm for students here to be multilingual; if you want motivation to learn a new language, just come here and make some friends. On my first Monday at the school, I met a 3rd year student who spoke nine languages. NINE. And he wasn’t kidding, because he broke out speaking those languages with various other students and patrons who passed by. I was, and am, in heaven just listening to the massive accomplishments of the other students in my med school class. Continue reading

Leave Me Astounded

The Planetshakers band, from Melbourne, Australia, were our worship leaders in church this morning, and wow, it was absolutely dynamic! The worship leaders seamlessly ushered us into God’s presence and I think it’s been one of the best worship experiences I’ve ever had. We had the opportunity to worship with some of the music from their new album, Endless Praise, and the song that stuck with me the most (literally playing on a loop in my head all day long) was Leave Me Astounded. It was such a beautiful reminder that when God’s magnificent presence fills our lives, we can only be astounded and amazed at His unspeakable glory and love.

Hope this bit of joyspiration starts off your week well!

Happy July!

Happy July!

Today officially marks the second half of the year…and it came so quickly (in my opinion) that I’m still a little shocked I was flipping my calendar over to this month last night. Well, with this new month come new things: namely, my new website!
I have finally moved over from my original site to my own, self-hosted site:!
Over the past few months, I’ve wanted my blog to be an avenue for joyous encouragement for anyone who might come across it – hence the name “the chara life”. As I talked about in this previous post, chara is the Greek word for “joy,” a virtue that is unfortunately seen less and less in our chaotic society today. I had the wonderful opportunity to study joy in my personal devotions in May, and from that study I’ve found that joy isn’t only a virtue – it’s truly a lifestyle that one pursues. And so, was born, as a space that aspires to be chock-full of as much inspiration – whether it be hilarious, thought-provoking, smile-inducing, or calming – as possible.
Each week, I’ll be posting new content (I’ll explain more on the different features as they come), hoping that they’ll offer as much joy and inspiration to you as they have to me.
I hope you’ll join me on what’s sure to be a wonderful and lovely journey! I’ll be living and learning along the way, so it’s sure to be an exciting ride.