Monday, August 04, 2008

The Place That Time Forgot

Last week we were in Felsőtárkány, right outside of Eger, for our 3rd English Camp in Eger. The Lord answered our prayers and we had a lot of kids, and it was a great camp. We got to share the Gospel with those who came, and some responded that invitation to know God.
It was a great week. We had great helpers from America (and Canada!), and everything went smoothly.
A few things made this camp harder than those in the past though. Most obviously - this is the first year that we've had a baby. So we weren't able to be as involved in the "fun stuff" because of naps and bedtime and stuff like that. Another part was that the more kids come, the more punk and jerk kids come as well - and we had a bit of that this year.
But one thing about the camp is the place we have it. Táltos (which means "Mustang"!). The staff is nice, and the price is right, but the place is a bit rough around the edges.
It was built over 40 yrs ago as a Communist Youth camp. In the center of the camp still stands a statue of Hámán Kató - Hungarian Communist hero - with the text: "Hűség a Néphez, Hűség a Párthoz" (Faithfulness to the Nation, Faithfulness to the Party). Yea, that's the Communist Party, just in case you weren't sure.
If any of you have ever been to Csillebérc, its kind of like that - but maybe not as nice.
I think this place hasn't been cleaned thoroughly since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Actually, the place was abandoned for quite a few years, so that might well be the case. But this place is seriously unkempt. Some of our helpers who have come in past years lovingly refer to it as "The Bomb Shelter".
There are a lot of bugs up there. One of our helpers this year, on the last day, said - It is now time for us to leave this place, and turn it back over to the bugs. I think its possible that they have some nuclear waste stored up there, because the bugs are bigger than life. So much so that you're tempted to put a leash on them and give them cute names and take them home to live with you.
The main hall where we had our big events was cluttered with fragments of the walls and 10 yrs worth of dead june bugs. We lost power a few times because we plugged in a laptop and a fan - which overpowered the system - and another time we had a power surge and a light bulb exploded right above everyone.
For me, this picture really sums up Táltos in an artistic way:You see those stars under the horse's feet? Yea, its kind of like as if to say, We used to have more stars! This place used to be kind of nice - but not any more! Its all been trampled on! And now all we've got left is these 2 stars - which is probably an exaggeration to say even that.
But despite its flaws, we love the Bomb Shelter. Its in a really great place in the hills, we are friends with the staff, and they treat us well. We're going back next year for sure. Táltos, here we come!

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