Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My semester in photos: go to traditional events - Travis from Waynesburg (Part 1)

I was asked to pick my ten favorite photos from the semester and write something that explains the photo or why I picked it. With over eight thousand photos from only four months, the task was hard, but I narrowed it down. While these ten photos might not be my ten personal favorites, they all represent an important moment in my time overseas.

Photo: Anna Goeglein eating a potato pancake at the Stinta Fish Festival in Palanga, Lithuania.
Keywords: Friends, Fish Festival, Tradition, Potato Pancake

Lesson: Go to traditional events!

In the first month in Lithuania a neighboring town to the north, a thirty minute bus ride, holds a weekend annual fish festival. The festival is home to arts and crafts venders and is situated in the coastal beach town of Palanga. Pictured however is the best part, the traditional Eastern European food. The potato is much more than a staple food here in this region, and in so there are many different forms it may take. The potato pancake is easily a godsend as it can be stuffed with meat, vegetables, fruits, - you name it. I loved it so much the first time I went that I went back two more times as it became a nice little get-a-way.

More photos to follow!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Internship - Samantha from Eastern

At my internship today, the teacher told the kids that I only have one day left with them. One of the little girls raised her hand and said something to the teacher that made her laugh. She then turned to me and said, "She told me that you are going to marry her brother and then you will have to stay in Lithuania forever because she loves you." Then, when her brother came to pick her up, she ran around screaming, "meilė,meilė, meilė!" ("love, love, love"). Man, I couldn't have gotten a better internship.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bucket List - Lizz from Messiah

Upon my decision to study abroad in Lithuania, I desired to soak up all that it had to offer. I wanted to make a wish in Cathedral Square in Vilnius, I wanted to taste the potato pancakes (and potato everything, for that matter), I wanted to see the Baltic Sea and sit on the large sand dunes in Klaipeda, I wanted to dance to the karaoke songs filling Memelis Bar, I wanted to do it all. A lot of these have been ‘checked-off’ the bucket list. However, still a few stragglers have escaped my time the past three and a half months, including those majestic sand dunes!

However, as I was challenged to physically write out a bucket list for the last week or two, I found that my aspirations switched from objective to relational. The thing I have found to be most important in Lithuania is the beautiful people that reside here. It is the relationships that are built here that must be cherished the most, because no sand dune will ever imprint upon your heart the way a lifelong friend can.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Some moments from the Tallinn - Riga trip

Last weekend study abroad students spend exploring Baltic capitals - Riga and Tallinn. Here are some of the moments from the trip:

Enjoying architecture in Tallinn. Photo by Kristen
Ben's road rage in the old town. Photo by Kristen
Pure joy in Tallinn. Photo by Kristen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Being Present - Samantha from Eastern

I am continuously shocked by how quickly time passes. I only have a month of classes left, a week of finals and then I leave Lithuania for my own personal travels in France and Germany. I can pretty much see home at this point.

It’s been increasingly harder to keep up with friendships at home. At first, I would do anything to find time to skype with friends (I still do that for skyping with my mom…) because I wanted to share everything with them. Then homesickness hit me pretty hard so I wanted to talk to them a lot. Now, I make plans to talk but often forget because I’m so caught up in the daily life here. Campus has a lot of stuff going on and I’ve made so many other friends. I know that in a few short weeks, I’ll see my friends from home and things will be okay/we’ll catch up. My focus right now is being present here.

Enjoying brunch. Photo by Kristen

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Travels

In London. Photo by Anna
Happy Easter!

This Easter Study Abroad Lithuania students scattered all over Lithuania and Europe to experience the spirit of Easter.
Here are some of their insights about Easter and destinations where they went.

Ashlee and Anna from Taylor went for Easter to London, England.
Ashlee on Easter " I experienced the Sung Eucharist service at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England. While Easter may be celebrated differently in every country and language, the world can't help but recognize the promise of new life and new beginnings."

A large group of students went to visit Warsaw, Auschwitz and Krakow in Poland. One of them was Justine from Azusa Pacific University.
Justine about her Easter experience: "I spent Easter in Krakow, Poland with some study abroad students. It was a great weekend to travel there because of the Easter celebrations. On Sunday morning we went to Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in the city center, although "Easter Saturday" is the bigger day for celebrations in Poland. It was nice to honor another tradition and experience something unfamiliar to us, I really enjoyed observing the traditions. On Saturday many masses go on and many people are walking around the city with baskets of eggs, bread, and sweets getting them blessed by the church."

Samantha from Azusa Pacific University and Taylor from Bethel University were in Dublin, Ireland.
Samantha about Easter and time in Dublin: "Taylor and I traveled to Dublin, Ireland for the long weekend. While we were there, we really wanted to be able to go to church on Easter Sunday but weren't sure if we would be able to. We ended up being able to attended an Easter service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. We were able to take communion with the rest of the congregation and the service was wonderful."

And some students stayed in Lithuania

In Ireland. Photo by Taylor
Daniel from Taylor spend his Easter in Palanga, Lithuania.
Daniel about his experience in Palanga " I went to Palanga, walked to the beach, drank coffee, and found a good local Russian restaurant."

Samantha from Eastern stayed in Klaipėda "While a lot of the other study abroad kids traveled over Easter, I stayed on campus. I took advantage of the long weekend to enjoy quiet dorms, a girls night and lots of movies! It was a great way to relax and reflect on all the great stuff that's been going on this semester!"

Jessica from Cedarville University went to another city, Šiauliai, to spend Easter with her roommate's family.