Hi guys! Its unbelievable how fast the semester moves… tomorrow morning, we’ll be on a train bound to Moscow, Russia but we’ll keep you updated on our many adventures through Instagram!
This post will feature a halfway point reflection by one of our Fall ’17 study abroad students, Katie Wells. Read the full post on her blog Kate In Klaipeda!
As everyone should know, I’m a regular at probably three different coffee shops. They all know I’m American now and so interactions go one of two ways. The first is I walk in and greet the barista, “Laba diena!”
“Oh hey! Welcome back!”
“No, gosh dang it, I’m practicing Lithuanian.” And then they laugh and ask me how classes are going.
The second goes more like this: “Laba diena, prašom maža latė” I order, feeling pleased, until the barista asks me a follow up question and I stare blankly. I reluctantly huff out a “kalbateangliškai?” and the barista smiles pleasantly and asks “for here or take away?”
“Oh, for here.”
“Okay, that’s čia in Lithuanian.” Bless your precious souls. Whenever a Lithuanian is eager to help me fill in the blanks, I always get excited
For another interaction, we started ordering in Lithuanian and the worker just cut us off completely and asked us to speak English.
Probably the funniest interaction (at least to me) was trying to order pizza for ten people and I started listing the order and the worker just smiled at my attempt at ordering in Lithuanian when she could clearly hear my accent when I said “pepperoni” and “Hawaiian”. Nevertheless, she let me do my entire order in Lithuanian and only corrected me once because of a grammatical error.
Despite some of the challenges, I’ve embraced every moment to speak Lithuanian. We did presentations in Lithuanian class on our families and I enjoyed each small sentence that was successfully constructed. I then went to the mall by myself a week or so ago and managed to do an entire transaction, even after I miscounted my change and she had to ask me for ten more cents. Even at LCC, I try to find a Lithuanian and talk about my day (although I still don’t know past or future tense and I end up asking how to translate something anyway).
In any case, I’m determined to learn as much Lithuanian as I can and get out into the world every day. Which is typically getting coffee, but it’s still good enough practice for now.
With all of this going on, I’ve managed to see more of Lithuania! Just two days ago, the study abroad kids split into groups to attend Russian Orthodox services in preparation for our Russia trip this Saturday! My group went to a church in Palanga and I spent nearly the entirety of the two hour service staring at the pretty walls and listening to the choir that I couldn’t understand. I also mainly tried to focus on anything that wasn’t how my feet ached from standing during the service. After the service, we had brunch at an adorable restaurant in Palanga, before hopping on the bus ride home to Klaipeda.
The SALTy ladies went out for a girls night in Klaipeda and it was such an enjoyable evening of food and chick-flicks and dressing up. We tried to be the least annoying people at the restaurant, even though the group was so large. Our waitresses were at least very nice and helpful, so that made it better.
Kinzie and I also took a bus down to the beach last week to watch the sunset because fall is slowly turning into winter and it gets dark around dinner time. So with the last days of fall, we’re taking advantage of the sun and slightly warmer weather.
And then, surprise surprise, we’ve kept up with our weekly family dinners! It’s apparently so favorably talked about that even the recruiters and coordinators and our roommates want to join us, so soon enough we’re going to need a new building to host our meals. In any case, I am so happy with our SALT groups and how we all still get along. They keep warning us it’s all going to change after we get back from Russia, but I can only imagine we’re going to become closer.