Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Empowering Lithuania’s Youth Around the World

Regular guest blogger, Aiste Zalepuga, attended this year's World Lithuanian Youth Summit that took place in Prienai July 10-13. She shares her story of the event.  

Young Lithuanians from across the globe converged on the Prienai region last month to get back to their roots, and encourage and strengthen ties between Lithuania and members of its youth community, no matter where they live.

The second World Lithuanian Youth Summit (PLJS2014) attracted thousands of young Lithuanians to Harmony Park July 10-13.

I believe the best part about the PLJS summit for everyone was the feeling of unity during all the days of the event,” said Darius Tamauskas, a PLJS board member who currently works in the United Kingdom.“Reuniting with old friends and making new ones is what made this event special.”

Lithuanian youth participated in discussions and lectures, sharing their own experiences and learning from representatives of business, education, politics, culture and innovation.

“Lithuania has a rich talent pool, which does not end at its borders. There are accomplished and driven Lithuanians all around the world, and bringing them together at an event such as this, or other similar events, is essential to Lithuania’s ongoing growth,” said Stasys, a former PLJS Chairman who currently lives in Canada. “Events like these allow Lithuanians all around the world the opportunity to feed off of one another’s passion, and to collectively do good for Lithuania.”

The World Lithuanian Youth Association (Pasaulio Lietuviu Jaunimo Sajunga, PLJS) was founded in 1972. Members focused on the organization’s approach to resisting the Soviet occupation and unifying Lithuanians across the world. Since then, PLJS has grown to include more than 40 chapters and maintains relations with governmental institutions and youth organizations.

Rima Gungor, an American Lithuanian from Illinois, filmed moments from the PLJS Summit for a documentary about Lithuania’s non-violent revolution. Gungor said she sees PLJS as a bridge between Lithuania’s past and future.

“The final part of the documentary is about present day Lithuania and how far it has come. PLJS represents that important phenomenon of a global Lithuania. I wanted those moments ideally to show the vitality of Lithuania and its investment into its own future and the energy of the younger generations to keep moving Lithuania forward,” she said.

President Dalia Grybauskaite was the summit’s Honorary Patron opened the event. She also led an exclusive discussion about politics and economics with PLJS delegates living abroad.

 President Dalia Grybauskaite answers questions after the opening ceremony. 

“It was a very straightforward meeting where the President explained her position and views of both domestic and foreign policy without ‘political correctness.’ Even those not interested in politics must have enjoyed the meeting and understood the position of the President and what she is facing on a daily basis,” Tamauskas said. “She was so open about what she wanted to share with us that at one point of the meeting she asked a current member of parliament to leave, so that only PLJS delegates would be present in the room.”

Archbishop and former PLJS Chairman Gintaras Grusas also welcomed attendees. Grusas, who grew up in California and now lives in Lithuania, related to many of the audience members through his experiences as an American-Lithuanian and as an active member of the organization during his youth.

Although times have changed significantly since he was active in PLJS, Grusas said it continues to provide many of the same benefits today that it did in earlier times.    

“PLJS fostered a strong sense of the international community of young Lithuanians throughout the world and created a network of friends around the world,” he said. “It deepened our experience of our Lithuanian identity through both cultural and political projects, all the while strengthening our ties with Lithuania itself.”

He encouraged young people to “strive to help Lithuania maintain its proper place in the world community.…The personal benefits are enormous, but as in many other areas of life, what you get out of it depends on what you are willing to put in.  Putting in the time and effort not only leaves one with a stronger Lithuanian identity and benefits the Lithuanian community, but also provides valuable experiences and friendships that last a lifetime.”

During the opening ceremonies, Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius recognized Ray Bartkus, a  New York-based Lithuanian artist. Bartkus designed the 50 Lita note and has done illustrations for numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. For this year’s summit, Bartkus created a life-size airplane landing strip from lights on the park’s main hill that lit up in the evening.

Keynote speaker, former U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, who encouraged the audience to take initiative through strong leadership, in his speech, “Responsibility to make our own history.” 

Hastert explained what he calls the “four P's”: purpose, passion, persistence and patience. Citing his own experience in taking up to 12 years to pass legislation, Hastert said a combination of the “four P's” is needed to achieve your beliefs and to be present for the final victory. 

 Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, delivered an inspiring keynote and encouraged audience members to create their own history through effective leadership.

Another keynote speaker was Andy Khawaja, CEO of the e-commerce giant Allied Wallet, whose speech was titled, “The sky is the limit.” J. Michael Waller, a scholar-practitioner in public diplomacy, political warfare, psychological operations and information operations spoke of “The role of the individual citizen in global security.”

“My favorite part was looking into the audience and seeing such a large mass of young people who cared, who were interested and interesting, and who chose to be there,” said Rima Garsys, an American-Lithuanian from Florida. “I was so impressed with the relentless spirit around me that I wasn’t bogged down by the cold or rain. I was proud to be involved and happy I made the choice to participate.”

During the course of the summit, more than  150 notable lecturers and professionals took part in discussions. Kuliavas was impressed with Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States, Zygimantas Pavilionis’  speech about youth becoming involved Lithuania’s political future.

Additionally, global Lithuanians presented various projects and shared ideas for future endeavors. Participants engaged in sporting tournaments, artistic creations, theater performances and Lithuanian films.

Lithuanian music legend, Algirdas Kauspeda, and colleagues discuss the formation of Lithuania's cultural future. Over 150 notable lecturers and professionals took part in discussions that covered education, politics, business, culture and innovation.

“I thought it was a well-rounded program in every aspect of what young people should be concerned about, ranging from a [cultural and political] zombie apocalypse to linty pop lessons," Garsys said. "I walked away a better person than when I arrived."

In the evenings, popular Lithuanian music groups performed, including Leon Somov & Jazzu, Liudni Slibinai and Jurga Seidukyte.

Seidukyte said she was impressed with the strong audience engagement and looks forward to the next summit.

“I believe that Lithuanians are a unique nation and we have to look out for one another,” she said. “It is always important to feel that you a part of something – a part of a community, a part of the world. I think that every Lithuanian felt this way at the PLJS Summit.”

Friday, May 2, 2014

Secretary Kerry: The Internet Iron Curtain

Reposting today a piece by Secretary Kerry on internet freedom and the fate of  +vkontakte.

Since the printing press, no technology has had a greater capacity than the Internet for individual empowerment, economic development, and human expression.
How telling then that, while countries around the world are devoting precious resources to expanding their citizens’ access to the Internet, Russia is doing the opposite.
Just yesterday, Russia’s Parliament passed a package of new restrictions on blogging and the Internet, a potent legislative cocktail of regression and repression.
It is part of a pattern. Russian-backed militias operating in Ukraine have been detaining legitimate journalists and knocking down television towers to block the truth from getting out. While the world celebrated the Internet’s potential for positive change at NETmundial, Russia isolated itself by objecting to the principles and ideals of Internet freedom.
Read more at http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/04/30/internet-iron-curtain

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Richard Stengel: Russia Today’s Disinformation Campaign

Today, we repost from Richard Stengel, Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy at the Department of State. 

Moscow is subjecting Ukrainians, Russians and the rest of the world to an intense campaign of disinformation that tries to paint a dangerous and false picture of Ukraine’s legitimate government. Russia Today, the Moscow-based TV network financed by the government, is a key player in this campaign of distortion. Along with its Russian operation, RT operates an English-language broadcast out of Washington.
Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry referred to RT as a "propaganda bullhorn," which was promoting Russian President Vladimir Putin's "fantasy." The result was a predictable howl of protest from RT's editor, who claimed the State Department knows little about what is really happening in Ukraine today and had the audacity to request an apology.
I spent seven years as the managing editor of TIME magazine before joining the State Department. I understand the difference between news, propaganda and opinion. Propaganda is the deliberate dissemination of information that you know to be false or misleading in order to influence an audience.
From assertions that peaceful protesters hired snipers to repeated allegations that Kiev is beset by violence, fascism and anti-Semitism, these are lies falsely presented as news. An opinion is subjective and not a statement of fact. Opinions, however odious, are defensible speech in a way that false claims are not. RT is a distortion machine, not a news organization. 
Read more at http://1.usa.gov/1mVOAbw

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Foreign Service : Benefits at Home!

Clay Moore here, the current American intern with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Vilnius.

Since I only have another month here in Vilnius, I thought that I should make a post about how the State Department both stimulates the economy and assists U.S. citizens domestically.  Since I am from Texas, I will focus on the benefits of the State Department in my state.

  • The State Department has facilitated trade agreements which have greatly benefitted Texas workers.  In Texas, international trade supports over 2.9 million jobs with customers in 223 countries and territories buying Texan products.  Over $262.3 billion in goods exports (2012), and $50 billion in service exports were the results of these agreements.
  • Flights between Dallas and China made an estimated financial impact of $205 million dollars to the Texan economy.  This was made possible by an Open Skies agreement negotiated by Department of State.
  • There are three Consular Affairs Bureaus in Texas to assist citizens with both obtaining and renewing their passports.
  • Texas is a world leader in hosting foreign professionals and scholars.  Over 11,106 physicians, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs as well as others have been hosted as part of Department of State work and study-based international exchange visitor programs.
  • SelectUSA is incredibly active in Texas, recently facilitating a $34 million investment from Indian company, Jyoti Industries, which created 157 jobs.
  • The State Department awarded a $2 million dollar grant to the University of Texas to establish two university partnerships in Pakistan both in the social sciences and music fields for three years.
  • The University of North Texas (my alma mater!) received $1 million dollars from the State Department to create a partnership in Pakistan focused on Linguistics, English Literature, and English Teaching.
  • The State Department facilitated 616 overseas adoptions for Texan families in 2012.
See more interesting facts here at the Department of State by State website.

These are just a selection of examples of the benefits to Texan citizens and businesses that the State Department provides.  These benefits are mirrored in each state across the country, thanks to the 1% of the federal budget that is allocated to the State Department.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

General Breedlove: The Importance of Identity

Today we borrow from General Philip M. Breedlove, SACEUR and EUCOM  commander, who shared his thoughts about the situation in Ukraine.

11 Mar 2014

If you have been following events unfolding in Ukraine you may have noted various claims regarding the identity and origins of the armed groups currently contributing to the unrest in Crimea. Headlines are reporting that heavily armed soldiers have surrounded Ukraine's military bases in Crimea and have taken control of 11 border posts in the region. Clearly, the situation is serious. But who are these armed soldiers, and who has given them orders?
Many media outlets have reported claims that these troops are "local militias" who are wearing Russian-style fatigues because such attire is available in army shops across the former Soviet Union. Other outlets are repeating an assertion that armed men deployed to Ukraine's Crimea region are simply ''self-defense forces.''
I would like to address these claims.
Here at NATO's military headquarters we have been closely monitoring and analyzing the situation in Ukraine and have been keenly focused on these troops. After extensive review of multiple information sources we believe these are Russian military forces acting on clear orders to undermine Ukraine forces in Crimea.
This conclusion, although hastily stated by some members of the press, is based on deliberate and painstaking scrutiny of the many sources of data available to our professional military analysts. As we move forward and continue to closely monitor the situation in Ukraine, it will be with the understanding of the real identity of these forces.

The photos below are just a few examples openly available that help paint the picture.

Example #1
The following several photos show military vehicles that are currently operating in Crimea. Note the Russian military licence plates on the vehicles.
The first picture is from the Crimean town of Balaklava.

Example #2
This example is from YouTube
In this video, local journalists interviewed a soldier who admitted he was part of the Russian military.
When asked why he didn’t have any insignias or symbols on his uniform, he responded that he was told
not to wear them.


Example #3
The pictures below are of soldiers currently operating within Crimea. The weapons and equipment they are
using certainly are not typical of ‘local militias' or ‘self-defense forces'.


"From the Cockpit"

Phil Breedlove
General, USAF
Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
Commander, U.S. European Command

Monday, February 24, 2014

Culinary Culture Tour with Michael Laiskonis

Clay Moore here, the current American intern with the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Vilnius.

Last week I got to experience not one different culture, but two!  Lithuanian-American pastry Chef +Michael Laiskonis was here on a media tour and it was my responsibility to escort him around the nation and take lots and lots of pictures.  As a man ashamed to admit that I can’t cook very well, I was thoroughly impressed by the skill and talent that Michael showcased for his relatives (he still has family in Lithuania) and other residents of his ancestral land.

Michael Laiskonis (left), His Uncle (right)

Michael was joined by his uncle who lives in Kaunas, an eccentric but delightful older gentleman.  The only language that Michael had in common with his uncle was French, as his uncle did not speak any English.  Even further, the only language I had  in common with the uncle was Russian!  I am so happy to use my Russian here, even more so if its use is related to work.  As I enjoyed kibinai and beer on the shore of Lake Trakai, I listened to Michael’s uncle tell me about the history of the partisans who hid in the hills around the lake and fought foreign invaders.  (They are referred to as “Forest Brothers”, look forward to a post on their history soon).

Michael visited Kaunas Kollegia (College) where he gave a presentation about his own path to success to up-and-coming culinary students.  They reacted with interest, asking many questions and more or less hanging onto Michael's every word.  After his presentation to over 300 people, he met students and sampled their creations in a meeting with faculty and staff.

Michael inspects the spread

Following Kaunas, we went to a Sodziaus Meistrai, a small school in the village, Rudiskes.  The students watched with excitement while Michael was crafting culinary delights and teaching them techniques that many had not heard of in their lives yet.

It was a long day full of traveling around beautiful Lithuania.  The weather was a snowy, wet mix, however the countryside looked great!  I am so happy that I have work-related opportunities like this to travel and see not only Vilnius, but the entire country!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Fulbright Grant for Art Historians

Today, we're pleased to report that Terra Foundation for American Art has just subsidized a new Fulbright grant for U.S. scholars interested in teaching American Art history in EU countries.

The Fulbright-Terra Foundation Award in the History of American Art offers two grants per year at any university in a European Union country (except France, Germany, and the UK, where the Foundation already has established teaching fellowships).  The grants are for undergraduate and/or graduate teaching in history of American art prior to 1980 and for research.  Scholars will be expected to aid host institutions in developing, modeling and adapting American art history curriculum.  They can also give seminars, workshops, and public lecturers, as well as advise graduate students on theses.  The award is for early career scholars up to the Associate Professor level, for one semester grants starting fall 2015.  A letter of invitation from a prospective host institution is required with the application.

Picturesque city of Telsiai
The grant amounts for stipend, housing, living costs and international transportation will correspond to your country benefit levels. Funds for books and for guest lecturing at other institutions in the host country will be included, as these are important to the foundation. Dependent allowances, including tuition reimbursement, will be available, if applicable.  Details can be seen here

We most certainly hope you can help us spread the word for this new program and encourage art historians you know to apply for a grant to Lithuania.  Vilnius Academy of Art and its campus in Telšiai offer great opportunities for art historians. 

Vilnius Cathedral Square

Wilson Center Grants available for Study of Eastern Europe

+Wilson Center's Global Europe Program offers residential short-term research scholar grants to scholars working on policy relevant projects on the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Projects should focus on fields in the social sciences and humanities including, but not limited to: Anthropology, History, Political Science, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Sociology. Find out more here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Labas, Readers! - New Public Affairs Intern Hits the Ground Running

Labas readers!  My name is Clay Moore and I am the spring 2014 intern for the public affairs section of the U.S. embassy here in Vilnius!  I am very happy to be here and am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that await me here over the next few months.

My international background has been entirely in Russia, Moscow specifically.  I have never been to Western Europe (aside from a layover in Frankfurt), so it seems I am slowly making my way east to west, and, accordingly, learning about European cultures from a decidedly different angle than most Americans. 

I was very fortunate to be able to use my Russian language skills for a very worthy cause last week.  When the embassy staff learned that I spoke Russian, they asked me if I could accompany them to a soup kitchen to deliver foodstuffs, clothes, toys, and other needed items.  As the soup kitchen is primarily run by older women (who lived during Soviet times and learned Russian as children), it would be useful to have a Russian speaker be able to communicate and ask what else the kitchen needed and how we could help.

Almost the entire embassy showed up to help make lunch bags to deliver to the soup kitchen so that they may pass on the lunches to those who are unable to physically get to the kitchen.  We quickly got the bags ready, assembly-line style, and then we were ready to head out.

As you can see, we had quite the haul!

Embassy work is varied and oftentimes requires heavy lifting!

It was a great opportunity to dust off my Russian to use in a practical situation.  However, we did learn some unfortunate news.  The food bank at the kitchen was going to run out on February 1st.  Luckily, the embassy collected donations through a bake sale in order to purchase the needed rice, chicken and vegetables to last for a bit longer!

It was a very interesting end to my first week here!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

American Embassy Raises Funds to Stock Food Bank

On February 5th, the Embassy community organized a bake sale to raise funds for a local food bank. We're thrilled to report we were able to raise enough money for  220 pounds of rice, 200 pounds of barley, 80 pounds of chicken, 110 pounds of potatoes, 50 pounds of carrots and 50 pounds of onions!  The food went straight to the kitchen because there was a very large group waiting to eat and all they had to serve was
some cold cuts and bread. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

American Officer Excited to be Detailed to the Ministry of National Defense

Lieutenant Colonel Judah Whitney, Bilateral Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Vilnius, admires his new office at the Lithuanian Joint Headquarters. After spending 18 months in Lithuania, Whitney is pleased to be the first US officer with office space at the Lithuanian Joint HQ. And with his new office assignment Colonel Whitney emphasized the potential for even closer cooperation as he and his Lithuanian counterparts will meet daily.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Deputy Chief of Mission Silberstein Visits Alytus to Donate Books, Connect with Community

On January 17, Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Silberstein visited  the city of Alytus. Mr. Silberstein  met with the Vice-mayor of Alytus to discuss local Lithuanian-American projects and events. Alytus is the sister city of Rochester, NY, and one of the signature programs of this partnership is the virtual orchestra bridge which connects the Alytus Music School Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra. On February 2, the virtual “bridge” will connect the two orchestras for a live performance. In the education sphere, the Alytus College will host a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, the first college (as opposed to a university) in Lithuania to do so. Dr. Joseph Bulsys will teach Communication courses and develop curriculum in public speaking; work with Alytus College on academic projects; and establish a partnership between the Alytus college and SUNY-Geneseo.

During his visit, DCM Silberstein also presented the U.S. Embassy book donation to Alytus Jurgis Kuncinas Public Library as part of the Lithuanian President's initiative ,,Knygu Kaledos” (Books for Christmas). In his remarks during the presentation, Mr. Silberstein said, “Today, reading is no longer a solitary pastime. People talk about what they’ve read on social media, almost, it seems, in real time. So I hope that these books will find their fans in every medium, and will be used to create many events and conversations that bring our two nations closer together.”
Mr. Silberstein visited the Maple Street Cemetery to honor the memory of  Sgt. Arunas Jarmalavicius, a native of Alytus who was  killed during an attack on an airfield base in Chaghcharan (Afghanistan), by laying flowers on his grave.

Mr. Silberstein also met with the representatives of Alytus Women's Center, a NGO that maintains a domestic violence crisis center. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ambassador McCarthy talks to The Politic about Foreign Service, Being a Diplomat, Lithuania, and the Maastricht Criteria

In December of last year, Ambassador McCarthy gave an interview to Yale’s magazine The Politic, for their series “Diplomatic Discourse,” a collection of more than 100 interviews with United States Ambassadors. More than 50 Yale students conducted interviews over the telephone, via Skype and email, and in person at embassies on several continents. This series presents two topics in detail: careers in the Foreign Service and contemporary issues facing American embassies. You can read Ambassador McCarthy’s interview and explore the series at http://thepolitic.org/diplomatic-discourse/.

A project of this scale and depth is unprecedented. The series strives to be the authority on the perspectives and experiences of the official American representatives to foreign governments. The reporting team asked all of the Ambassadors about their experiences — if any — in the Foreign Service, the person or event that has most influenced them, and their critique of American diplomacy today.  

Here's an excerpt from the interview -- you can read the rest here

For Ukraine — and today is an important day, because there are a number of important international personalities there as they further decide how to meet the opposition’s requests — it is an ongoing process. What we’ve said, and what Secretary Kerry said himself just a few days ago, is that in terms of not assigning an association agreement, it was a personal decision made by President Yanukovych. The people of Ukraine did not agree with that decision. What we’re seeing is the unfolding of that process.
Lithuania, just like other EU Member States — and I participated in some of the discussions — is clear that they’ve left the door open, and they continue to say this. They feel that the Ukrainian people should be able to express themselves, and that they should be listened to. They have to decide whom they affiliate with, without pressure. As far as the EU is concerned, they were going to keep the door open, which they have. So they never shut the door by any means.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

American Jets Begin Baltic Air Policing

On Friday, January 3rd, the U.S. Air Force took over the +NATO Baltic Air Policing mission from the Belgian Air Force at Zokniai Air Base. The Belgian air commander handed over a symbolic key to the Baltic airspace to the Americans. A detachment of more than 150 troops will police Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian skies for the next four months. Lithuanian Air Force air base commander Major Gintautas Slovikas welcomed his American colleagues in Zokniai and presented them with a loaf of bread as a sign of hospitality. Read more here.

Air Policing is a purely defensive mission. Since the 1970s, NATO has established a comprehensive system of air surveillance and airspace management means, provided by its member nations. The Alliance ensures constant surveillance and control of its assigned airspace 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
NATO members without their own Air Policing assets are assisted by other NATO members. Luxembourg is covered by interceptors from Belgium, while Slovenia and Albania by Italian aircraft.
Since March 2004, when the Baltic States joined NATO, the 24/7 task to police the airspace of the Baltic States was conducted on three-month rotation from Lithuania's First Air Base in Zokniai/Šiauliai International Airport, near the northern city of Šiauliai. Starting with the Turkish deployment, rotations changed to a four-month basis. Usual deployments consist of four fighter aircraft with between 50 and 100 support personnel. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lithuanian Fulbright Scholar Discovers San Diego--from Mindaugas Briedis

Our today's dispatch is from Professor Mindaugas Briedis from Mykolas Romeris University who is currently finishing his Fulbright Visiting Scholar stay at National University in San Diego, California. 

My Fulbright stay in San Diego lasted for four months and it is hard to grasp the entirety of experience that I’ve got. Perhaps the easier way to tell about it is to divide my story according to Fulbright goals.
The basic goal of the Fulbright was twofold: to get academic experience while being a cultural ambassador for my country. It is amazing how those two modes of stay worked perfectly in my case. As I lived in the very heart of San Diego (downtown), every day after my work I was able to enjoy countless outdoor activities – sports, beaches, hikes, etc. Evenings were dedicated to movies, books, glimpses of the night life of San Diego and, of course, reflection.
At National University I met many friendly colleagues who helped me during my first steps in online education. Surprisingly, I was able not only to watch others working, ask questions and get information, but actually to design an online class and teach it under the great supervision of prof. Paul Majkut. It is true that I have got compliment letters from all (!) of my students. This was certainly a great encouragement for my ambition to learn how to teach online.

Although the first month of my stay was pretty tough (perhaps because of all the paperwork that needed taking care of--banking, lease, social security number, etc.), later I got into a rhythm and found time for my next academic goal – research. National university provided me with all resources needed, thus I could work on my research on online education in humanities. I will present the results of the research at a conference in March and eventually publish the presentation in English.
These were my formal academic goals, but I also want to tell you how much I loved being amongst the people of San Diego in many creative ways. As I am an avid guitarist, I looked to continue playing in California, and we formed a temporary band with other professors at National and played three gigs at a retirement home, Christmas carol at the university and at the gathering of San Diego musicians. Great pleasure! Another great event was organized by San Diego Fulbright panel – we had a nice dinner, music and warm talking in one of the +Balboa Park venues

During all those events I was able to share my experiences with many great friends (students, professor as well as city folks) who also gave me a lot of excellent advice. Thanks to them. I visited most interesting areas and museums in San Diego and travelled California (six national parks – from the desert sands to mountain ice!) for a week. I lived downtown, so always felt the pulse of the city, but also found my solitary refuge with great books and movies as well. I can confidently say I am happy and looking forward to the future – I have determined to tie my life with Fulbright opportunities.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year, New Library

Well, we've had a great year, and to celebrate, the Public Affairs team at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius has given itself a present: A brand new Facebook page for the American Center Library.

The page features the latest and greatest news from the library: new acquisitions, program announcements, events etc. We're also running a series on English language and another one on essential American food recipes. Of course, we welcome your suggestions and comments, and please, help us spread the word!