Each summer an entire class of Flinn Scholars engages in a group study-travel seminar. This year’s seminar, held in Hungary and western Romania, runs from late in May to mid-June. Here’s a day-by-day account.
Olivia Marie Valencia (’11)
Sunday, the final 24 hours of our nearly month-long trip, served as the last ditch effort day for all the Budapest activities that we had talked about but still hadn’t gotten around to. The morning started with the usual rummage for clean-enough clothes and a trip to the Hotel Medosz breakfast buffet. Groups then splintered off and ventured here and there in the hot and humid weather: some hunted for last minute souvenirs, some relished gelato molded in the shape of roses, and some took one last sight-seeing lap around the city.
After an afternoon of hitting the pavement, we traded tank tops and gym shorts for dresses and slacks and attended our farewell dinner. We were hosted in a local art gallery and treated to live Hungarian-Spanish flamenco music and tasty appetizers and entrées (buttered dough balls and ginger ale, anyone?). As is tradition, Ben and Aubri then presented us with our personalized certificates which ranged from the “first-world daddy” award (Paul) to the “most unlikely to like rap music but actually does” award (myself, as many of my fellow Flinns were surprised to learn).
Those who avoided a crème brûlée coma (or those who succumbed and woke up) wrapped up the night a “Fleepover” (a sleepover Flinn-style, meaning polishing off the remaining cheese-flavored Lays chips and Nutella in our pajamas). Conversations revolved around a month’s worth of YouTube jokes (“put the team on your back!”) and the incredibly fast pace of the trip. We mapped out the various post-Hungaromania travel plans (train trips to Prague and flights to London and Benin) and began our bittersweet goodbyes with those not leaving for Phoenix with the group. One by one, we reluctantly trudged back to our rooms for a final Battle of the Bulge with our overstuffed duffel bags. Although our hotel departure was only two or three hours away, we set our alarms and took a short nap before loading the bus for the last time.