Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Saturday at the Lake! Basically, the best ever.

Exhaustion, sunburns, horseflies from Toledo, and squished car rides.

Basically, today was the best day ever. Ever.

Last week, Viktorija (one of the awesome girls we met in the Lithuanian branch) invited us to come out to a party with her! Her cousin (Sebastian) owns some property in the countryside outside of Vilnius, complete with a glorified pond.  He was inviting a bunch of people out for a BBQ/Party, so Vika invited us along!!

We started out by meeting Sebastian at at nearby bus stop, driving out to Akropolis with him and Danielius to meet up with the rest of the group.  There, we met up with Mantas, Edwin, Antony, and Gregor, juggled people between cars to make sure everyone had a spot, and headed out of the city!! The drive itself was only about 40 minutes long, and was super fun with Sebastian, Edwin, Elise and Danielius to keep me company.  Once we arrived to the lake (also known as the "glorified pond") we were met with this welcome sight:
The "lake" - pretty small, but supremely amazing! Only downside - there were horseflies there that seemed bent on murdering us! We're not sure exactly why they loved chomping on us so much, but they were EVERYWHERE!
Along with this little joy - just a little house off the lake, complete with bathroom for us girls. The joys.
 Once Sebastian managed to round up all the troops (he had to make a couple trips to pick up everyone) we started off the party!
We started off with some fun "get to know you" games - Gregory was our master of ceremonies for a shooting game here
Whilst Mantas looked on with the random Polish neighbor who heard the hullaboo and decided to join the party. Oh, and he doesn't seem to have a bellybutton. He was nice though - at one point, he told Bailey she was beautiful :)
Areil and Janese laughing at Sebastian during "signs"
After that, Vika gathered the masses and organized doing a charade game!
Julius (Vika's younger brother) reading the charade slip
I can't remember what he was trying to be here, but he seems rather happy about it.
Manats in charades
Danielius, being too cool for charades :) He was quite a character - both him and Mantas knew Sebastian from the University here, all three are Electrical Engineering students. At one point, they were even trying to explain their plans for a hovercraft project they were making together before school started. Danielius also said his dream was to make and drive a giant robot. And also replace all the woman in the world with robots. He had a pretty good argument going on there, too.
Janese was my teams salvation during charades - she rocked at that game!
Areil, being a cow.
After finishing all the group games Vika had organized, we spent the next couple of hours goofing off, swimming, snacking on all the food everyone brought, learning Lithuanian cards games - basically, just enjoying the day :)
Vika, chilling by the food
Manatas and Janese
Charles, floating his sorrows away with a blow up raft. They make great company.
Sebastian, Julius and Edwin having a wrestle fight over the air mattress (which we threw in the lake and pretended it was meant to be a water toy. I've always wanted to do that...)
Romanas, Danielius, Antony and Gregory having a man chat
The food!! We did a potluck sort of thing, and everyone just pitched in on food
Our masses of food/drink/clothing
Monkia and Arnold - they were a cute couple
Julius, just being a male model. You know.
Julius, Janese and Sebastian.
The whole fam + Janese.  Julius is Vika's little sister, and Sebastian is their (distant) cousin. Since families don't usually have that many children here, the cousins seem to think of their cousins as an extension of their family - even if they didn't have the same parents, they were basically siblings. I loved it.
Janese, Sebastian, Julius, Mantas and Elise - just being silly
The whole crew! (Minus me, since I was taking the picture) From left: Antony, Janese, Sebastian, Vika, Areil, Bailey (top row) Julius, Romanas, Danielius, Mantas, Elise and Gregory.  Great bunch of people :)
Once again, just being silly :)
The boys floating away. Seriously. That wind would blow you right out of the lake if you weren't careful.  Seriously though, these tubes were so fun to have! We had a couple "king of the air mattress" wars too.
Sebastian, Vika's cousin, and the best host ever! He was so kind to us the whole time - so accommodating, always trying to make sure we were having fun, dishing us out food while he was still cooking, and just being so cute. At one point, Janese, Bailey, Elise, Edwin, Sebastian Romanas and I had a killer game of volleyball! And by killer, I don't mean our skills or aptitude for the sport. We all stunk. But it was still fun!
Vika was so cute - she really wanted Elise to bring her guitar, so she could sing along with some songs. She even picked some songs out, sent Elise the music, and printed out the lyrics so everyone could sing along. It was adorable, and yielded quite the jam sesh :) (Charles, Romanas, Vika, Julius and Janese)
After we had all exhausted ourselves with goofing off for a while, Sebastian (who was being such a wonderful host) called us all in for dinner - aka, the most AMAZING grilled chicken I've had! Or maybe I just miss grilled chicken, so it seemed that much better... whatever. It was delicious.
The grill, getting prepped for cooking
Chicken kebabs, cooking away!
SO GOOD!! We were ready for that deliciousness. Also, fun fact I learned - Lithuanians really love their ketchup! They were dumping it on their chicken, the bread, everything.  Also, Edwin was super proud of his homemade pickles that he brought :) They love making homemade pickles here!
Gregory (who doesn't look too happy - I promise, he was :), Elise, Areil, Janese and (half of) Mantas enjoying the food!
Areil, Janese (in her hospital patient outfit - it's a towel), Mantas and Charles
Julius, who probably had more ketchup than everyone else put together. Really.
Amazingly enough, we hadn't managed to exhaust ourselves quite yet, and headed back out to the lake for our second wind of play time!
Bailey, shuffling the cards for another game! Mantas and Danielius taught Bailey, Areil and I some Lithuanian card games... though they refused to translate what the game was called, and warned me to never say it to anyone. Hm. Anyway, it was a fun game! We taught them spoons and Egyptian Ratscrew in return :)
Bailey and Elise, doing some latin dancing to the blasting music
Precious, right? Love these girls.
Elise, just being her cute, happy and crazy self :)
After dinner, Antony and Gregory even broke out their hooka!
Honestly, I found this alot more amusing that it probably deserved. For some reason, seeing someone smoke the same device that a giant blue caterpillar uses in Alice in Wonderland was hilarious to me.
Mantas, Elise and Danielius fascinated by something, whilst Julius hung on Areil and Bailey. Not sure why.
The whole gang! (minus Vika) Front row: Sebastian, Edwin and Gregory - Second Row: Areil, Bailey, Danielius, Monika, Elise, Mantas, Hillary (me), Charles - Third row: Janese, Romanas, Antony, Arnold.
The five of us ILP teachers even managed to get some pictures of all of us, which was a miracle in itself.  We have hardly any pictures with all us "American Girls" :)

Before we manged to stand still long enough for a picture though, we were all enthralled by the smallish and adorable frog we found :)
Janese, Elise, Bailey and I, obsessing over the baby frog's cuteness.
Janese, with her new friend. She loves him.
Transferring the love to Areil
Elise with the froggy friend
She even puckered up for that guy! Gregory though it was hilarious.
Beautiful miss Bailey and the frog
Eventually, we all stood still long enough to get a picture :)
All us teachers with Vika (Bailey, Janese, Areil, Hillary (me), Vika and Elise)
All us ILP American girls!
We finished off the night with one last jam sesh in which Bailey enthralled the world with her ukelele.
Most of the people had never even heard of a ukelele! And if they had, Danielius admitted he always through it was a toy guitar, like for children. Nope. Bailey amazed them all, despite the killer horse flies.
After Bailey wowed them all, we gave out hugs and walked off to catch the bus home.
Plus, it was super cute - on the bus ride home, we discovered the Vika loves Norah Jones! Elise and her were listening to some of her songs on the bus ride home while Vika sung along. It was so fun.
Overall, one of the BEST days of my entire trip here to Lithuania. I loved spending time with the Lithuanian young adults, hearing about their lives, sharing in their humor and enjoying the countryside.  It was such a fun day, and one I will definitely remember.  We headed home that night, exhausted, sunburned, and SO dang happy :)

NOTE: Also, apologies to anyone who isn't used to seeing European men and their short shorts/the lack of shorts in these pictures. Nobody cares over here. At all.

1 comment:

  1. Bahahaha great blog post. Not sure what I'm doing in half of these pictures. But hey. Truly the best day ever!