Reader of the Month: Eszter (Kukolina)

If you are new to following Project Light to Life’s “Reader(s) of the Month” section check out Susan Seymour’s Article; Susan is the first inspirational reader featured for September. This month, I have decided to feature a group of inspirational people, as I really enjoyed reading all of their stories and couldn’t choose just one. September is associated with education and back to school, so I figured why not learn about multiple inspirational people this month?

The next reader of the month for September is Eszter (Kukolina). This story of how she mentored a child and added happiness to this young girl’s life, while going through her own hardships, is truly inspirational. Go Eszter! You can check out her blog here and read her article below:

Reader of the Month #2 Ezster (Kukolina):

Imagine a room-and-a-half-apartment where the kitchen and bathroom have no heating in Hungary. The year is 1979. Six of us live there.

My father signed a petition that was not to the government’s liking, so he was not able to get hired for a job for ten years. I can really say I come from a family that is made up of great survivors when it comes to financial difficulties.

My father got a scholarship in the United States to do research on a philosopher. We went after him, after a year. We became illegal immigrants when I was 8 years old.

We returned to Hungary in 1989. End of communism. A few years after, my parents got divorced.

At age 15 or 16, my younger sister and I followed our mother back to the States. After a year of struggling to find friends, I flew back to Hungary by myself. I lived in a dorm and I asked people to take me in on weekends and during school holidays.

I studied psychology for seven years. My first job with mentally disturbed teenagers was in England. By that time, I already lived with my fiancé (who is now my husband). He was managing a cocktail bar.

We moved back to Hungary for a few years. I worked as a psychologist; my husband was a general manager in hotels. We moved to Thailand for two years when the opportunity came.  My husband became the general manager of a five-star hotel that was not quite finished when we arrived on the island.

My husband found Katan when she was 12. She is a tall girl, so nobody guessed that she was a child working on the construction of the hotel. It turned out she was helping her mother out who had a baby a little while ago.


The deal was that Katan stops lifting heavy sand bags, and instead, she will look after her brother. Her mom got a job at the hotel and Katan came to see me for English lessons.

Katan, her brother, and mother lived in an area that was not too far from the hotel, but where they lived, one has to say it was in the jungle. Katan had to walk to the hotel for her English lessons. Her brother Tata was one year old at the time.

Besides teaching English to her, I enjoyed being an older sister figure. We took her to the movies. She had never been to the movies before. You have to understand that the poverty one faces in Thailand means they had no windows on their house. They slept and ate on the floor. They did not have chairs or other belongings that come natural to us.


I showed her Youtube and Facebook. We used Google Images quite often. I sometimes gave her some fruit to eat. We took her to a fair that she really enjoyed. We decided to give her a little money to have her experience what it is like to have pocket money that you can spend on your own.

When we had to move to Spain for a year, my husband gave Katan his old computer. By that time, she was able to become a trainee at the hotel’s spa.


After Spain, we moved back to the island. I started blogging a month after.

On the Thai Queen’s birthday, the whole nation celebrates Mother’s Day. Katan always puts on her school uniform to show respect towards me. Her blessing warms my heart. This year, I felt a joyful happiness because now I have a son. Before, I admit, it was difficult for me to be attached to Katan because my husband and I were trying for years to have a baby. Being near any child was painful for me.


Now, in my blog I am able to show a more cheerful side. I realize that even when you are carrying a sad heart (as I was before Zoárd was born), you can always do good in this world. Changing even one person’s life will change yours forever.

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31 Responses to Reader of the Month: Eszter (Kukolina)

  1. helenscribe says:

    What a wonderful opportunity to see the results of your kindness. Mentoring others gives such great rewards. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Wow, very inspirational. Loved reading the article.

  3. melo funkademic1 says:

    How amazing!

  4. Tony Lobl says:

    A very nice story. Thanks for sharing it. My dad is Hungarian, so that adds an extra touch of joy to reading such a positive story. Well done, Ezster!

  5. Tony Lobl says:

    P.S. Have shared it with my Facebook friends. Cheers.

  6. Simplicity and constancy of respect and care shines through here. What a lovely piece. Best regards to you all.

  7. A beautiful and amazing story! Take heart in the change within…because it will become the change we wish to see in the world!

  8. kukolina says:

    Hello Everyone!
    I am pretty new at blogging and this is just so exciting for me! I appreciate you reading my story and big hugs and kisses to Christine!

    xoxo, Eszter

  9. Christine: Thank you for sharing this amazing and inspirational story. Check out “The Power of Literature” on Bookshelf. Young people have so much to teach the world. Cheers. Alex

  10. robannsbeef says:

    What a beautiful inspiring story and so well told!

  11. Kindness begets kindness

  12. That story was so beautiful. What I loved most was that your father went to the United States to do research on a philosopher and got a scholarship to do that and you all came with him. That to me is romantic. I wonder what he said in the end in his paper or what happened with his research? Both you and Katan are so incredibly beautiful as well. I find beauty living in difficulty to be one of the saddest things as well, which is wrong of me. No one should live amid such difficulty and one always thought that communism was better than capitalism, except that I have been told the truth of it from someone formerly living in Russia. To believe that you could say something against the government and be punished so harshly is beyond my understanding when you consider what communists went through in Tsarist Russia. We never learn that a man at the top is afraid because he can only trust who he knows and even then he cannot trust them. He becomes lonely and paranoid, like Stalin or Richard Nixon. When you reach such positions of power you realize how tenuous and artificial they are.

    I marvel at how your pictures are completely illustrative of the events you describe.

    I am so impressed that you studied psychology for 7 years living in a dorm and then sleeping at people’s houses on weekends and holidays. I would have gladly let you stay with me, but then you would have had to check my intention. This is what I meant by beauty amid adversity. It is only there that ugliness feels worthy, but of course this is delusional. Such unequal relationships are polluting the world given the rich-poor gap. People are forced to make great sacrifices to survive where only a few are seemingly free because they monopolize.

    One might think of your final position with your husband as elitist and yet in your awareness and action, you’ve taken care to equalize or at least help another, who could not do it without you.

    There is an older version of you at the Safeway, where I shop. From a distance she is haggard and firm. And every time I see her I am drawn to talk to her because she is attractive to me. I keep asking her if she is from Russia because I do not see her with great frequency and she always corrects me with anger: “No, I am not; I am Hungarian.”

    I am going to print this story and give it to her. She is married like you. I want to tell her how attractive she is because of her apparent hardships. At work, she comes across as a leader as she tells others to take their breaks and she corrects their errors. She smiled last time I went through her check-stand. I was her last customer. I almost told her that I had a crush on her because she had such credibility. She is powerful and true. I know she is married, but I like that she is strong.

    • Thank you for this wonderful comment Mario. I agree that the beginning of Eszter’s story is so romantic and it’s really nice to hear you’re going to print out her article and give it to the cashier at the grocery store – love it 🙂

  13. Pingback: Choose Your Own Adventure…(Topic) | kukolina

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