Welcomed by the children

By Christopher Wink | Oct 26, 2008 | WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com

He liked the movement of the mouse cursor on my computer screen. So I pried his hands from the keys and opened up Microsoft Paint. With a few interruptions to change color and tool, a four-year-old who stumbled upon me in a park in Budapest, Hungary drew me a computer-generated painting.

Children don’t likely understand the concept of language. I certainly don’t remember when I learned of the six billion people in the world, most don’t speak like me. The little boy with the dirty sweatsuit, dirt on his brown-olive skin, and sand in his bushy, black hair spoke on to me, in a language I couldn’t understand.

He shrieked, too. First when – hoping to get him to stop smacking my laptop – I took his underarms and lifted him into the hanging leaves of a nearby tree.

He was positively gleeful.

He got on toy horse near the swings and – with a strong-armed point and another high-pitched shout – demanded I get on one nearby. For a few good moments, he and I raced fast and long toward a Soviet-era apartment complex across the street.

Then he got off and wanted to be lifted more. Offering demand I still couldn’t understand, but smiling in a way I could.

I don’t know where he went. Someone called what I thought was a name – a woman in the distance. He asked me to lift him once more – into the branches and leaves. He spoke more to me, grabbed some leaves and tossed them at me – sand included – and was gone.

Running off with a green soccer ball. A young boy I’ll never know. Who shrieked in my ears, threw sand at my face and gave me a pleasant picture to keep.

Originally written for the travel blog WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

Look at the comments, stupid

Man, who doesn’t have a blog.

Any newspaper that can even be tossed in the conversation has someone adding to it. There is no end to the number of jerks like me doing much of the same, with less experience and knowledge but increasingly more interest than the more professional.

The question, of course, is if any of it is working. One of the simpler answers, I’d say, is, well, look at the comments. If they’re improving, you’re improving.

Continue reading Look at the comments, stupid

Lessons from WDSTL: podcasting, travel blogging, exploring

Sean Blanda (left) and I on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps on May 28, 2008. Together we travel blogged and podcasted for a month while backpacking Europe.
Sean Blanda (left) and I on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps on May 28, 2008. Together we travel blogged and podcasted at WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com for a month while backpacking Europe.

After returning from backpacking Europe earlier this month, I shared some of the professional experience I got while blogging at WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

My good buddy, travel partner and fellow aspiring new media journalist Sean Blanda beat me to a post on lessons learned, but I have some thoughts myself: on podcasting, travel blogging and exploring generally.

Continue reading Lessons from WDSTL: podcasting, travel blogging, exploring

WDSTL Highlights: professional merit from backpacking Europe

Sean Blanda (left) and I at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on Oct. 12, 2008.
Sean Blanda (left) and me at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on Oct. 12, 2008.

I’ve been backpacking Europe.

I returned last week and have been getting out from underneath the transition since then.

Though this is a blog on being a young journalist housed on my professional site, I can’t help but share some of the blogging and podcasting I did on WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

Continue reading WDSTL Highlights: professional merit from backpacking Europe

I'm home from Europe, WDSTL

Sean Blanda (right) and I on Oct. 1, leaving from Newark Airport to begin our trip in London.
Sean Blanda (right) and I on Oct. 1, leaving from Newark Airport to begin our trip in London.

I returned this past week from more than a month of backpacking Europe with college buddy Sean Blanda. While there, he and I travel blogged and podcasted at WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

This week I am going to roll out some highlights and lessons learned, though Sean beat me to the latter.

One of those lessons, I’m afraid, will involve being hacked, as we were just that. (Check WDSTL, we may not have corrected by the time you read this).

Continue reading I'm home from Europe, WDSTL

We Don't Speak the Language: European Exploration

Currently I am abroad, video podcasting at WeDontSpeakTheLanguage.com: A video podcast and blog about traveling the world for the young and broke. Follow me there, but also continue to enjoy regular posts here at ChristopherWink.com about the plight of a young, aspiring journalist, which will appear below this reminder.

Continue reading We Don't Speak the Language: European Exploration