by: Aubrey Meyer
Today we got to do some incredible things. We got to go meet with the Vice Minister of Culture here in Vilnius. He talked about some of the new projects that he is doing, including a project called YIVO. This project is trying to promote the establishment of Jews in Vilnius. After meeting him, we walked and saw some beautiful synagogues and churches on our way to the United States Embassy. Once we got to the Embassy, we checked in (no phones allowed!) and went to meet some of the officers.
Everyone asked tons of questions like what was the health care system like, what was the family life like, and also personal questions as well. I asked one of the officers a specific question about the Peace Corps. He participated in the Peace Corp right when he got out of college (with a finance and business undergraduate degree), which can really relate to what I want to do. I also got to personally talk to him afterwards to ask about his experience and what areas I should go into in the peace corp. One of the officers also talked about his family life and how adapting was difficult for his daughters. Something that was really hard for his daughters was getting the question of “where are you from” because moving around for different assignments never gave them a steady place to say where they were from.
Being able to talk to people with such high value was such a gift to us and I know we all really appreciated their time. These officers were so impressed by the work we are about to do that the ambassador wrote a letter to Father Graham about how special we are for doing this job, and how honored she was to have us there. Even the Vice Minister of Culture was so honored to have us there.
Meeting such important people really opened my eyes as to how lucky we are to have great opportunities and be able to express ourselves. This puts things into perspectives in viewing the things that have happened in the Holocaust, that our problems are not even close to the things that happened to those people. Hopefully I will be able to take this experience and apply it to my everyday life when we get back to the States.