I have been in Lithuania for almost a full week and this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and write. Not that I have been incredibly busy. I haven’t, really, and certainly not enough to warrant such silence. But since I landed in the city I have had the most stunning case of jet lag, and I mean that literally, as in I felt like I have been shot with a stun gun. Both body and mind have been lethargic and it has been all I can do to stay awake until 8pm, and stay asleep until at least 6am. Usually I get hit with a wall of tired around 6pm and struggle to make it a few more hours, but then I wake up rearing to go at 4am. Ugh. What this really brings home to me is how weak I am, or rather, how dependent I am upon the whims of my body. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Actually, I think it is rather healthy for me to be reminded of my limitations, whether they are physical, emotional, and certainly spiritual. I must depend on God for strength, even if it is to haul myself up off the couch to cook a little dinner. I am humbled by my inability.
There are some few hours during the day when I have been fully conscious and able to manage the most basic of necessities and to begin to make myself at home here. I have ventured to the grocery store across the street a whopping total of five times; I have now managed to ride the bus to the university twice by myself (though the first time was with the assistance of a little old lady who sat beside me, who spoke no English. We pantomimed and pointed to pictures in my guidebook. Nonetheless, it was a success. Again, talk about humbling. But the woman was very good-natured, and I am thankful for her help). I have filled out employment paperwork at the university and met my director face to face for the first time, not counting Skype. On Sunday I went to church with some of my friends who have lived here for several years, and was introduced to several others who I hope to count as friends in the near future. They took me to a traditional Lithuanian restaurant for lunch after church and it was lovely. The food bears close resemblance to what I have had in Poland, which is not surprising considering so much of their shared history. I had potato pancakes stuffed with meat, with sour cream on top. So good.
Today, after my second visit to the university (for a little more paperwork) I enjoyed the day exploring the Old Town. And by explore I mean get lost. Still, I took some pictures, enjoyed the sunny day, and finally made it back to my bus stop to again test my solo traveling prowess. As I am at home now writing this, it is safe to assume I made it.
Below are some pictures of my rambling today. I don’t know what half of them are, but you can get a sense of the city. The first two, at least, are of my university, and the third is St. John’s Church, which is a part of the university campus.