When we were given the chance to join an exchange group going to Lithuania, we jumped at it. A hosted exchange is the best way, by far, to visit anywhere. You have the opportunity to have cultural exchanges that go beyond the guide book. You can truly begin to understand the people and their way of life.
Before our visit, the only thing I knew of Lithuania was from reading “The Hunt for Red October.” In that novel, the Soviet half-Russian, half-Lithuanian submarine captain defects with his state of the art ship. What we found in this former Soviet-controlled republic, was that much as the unlikely hero of that Tom Clancy novel, the Lithuanian people had clung desperately to their own history, traditions, language, food, and self-identity. And despite the odds, the country has survived Russian occupation. There are still many worries and difficult times ahead; but after our visit, I’ve no doubt this small Baltic nation will continue to grow in strength and national character.
Have you been to Lithuania? Do you want to go?