I have been to Lithuanian camp and back!
There is no air conditioning at Lithuanian camp. There is no Internet and no cell phone service. You share a bathroom with ten other families, you sleep in a bunk bed, and you let your children run rampant sporting Kool-Aid mustaches. All in all, it’s a jolly good time.
I’ve told you a little bit about my family’s cultural background, yes? But I can’t recall whether I mentioned that V-meister and her brother are bilingual. I’ve been speaking Lithuan1an with them since they were babies, so they are both fluent. And, see, there’s this total immersion sleepaway camp in Michigan that I used to attend as a child where we conversed in our mother tongue, drank Tang, sang ballads, folk danced, and occasionally re-enacted ancient pagan solstice rituals. It was always the highlight of my year.
I loved it so much that I used to be inconsolable for weeks after returning home. When I became too old to attend as a camper, I signed up to be a counselor. So, when the opportunity presented itself to attend a week long family camp, the Ramas were among the first in line to attend – even the P-Dawg who has not a lick of Lithuanian in him, went with us.
He was quite a trooper, eating cold beet soup and kugelis (potato and egg casserole) with the best of them, teaching a childrens’ juggling class, participating in a campfire skit, and learning a few choice Lithuanian phrases (“Let us drink ale.”)
Now we’re back, fighting off a summer sickness and digging out from underneath a mountain of laundry. But it was definitely worth it.
The V-meister and her cousin dressed up for Lithuania’s one thousandth birthday party. She is actually older than that, but was first mentioned by name in the annals of history about a thousand years ago.
So we had a birthday party. The kids dressed up all medieval-like, ate pizza and cake, and later watched Shrek II dubbed over in Lithuanian. And while they did, we adults drank mead and ate whole chickens with our bare hands in the next room over.
Okay, not really, but we had a beer pairing dinner featuring everything from maple cured ham, to Lithuanian garlic bread with Havarti dip, to cured salmon finger sandwiches, to shrimp gumbo, split pea soup, black bean chili, and sour cherry pie. It was a pretty sweet birthday party.
Some other scenes from our trip:
That’s all for now. I hope to be back on a fairly regular posting schedule soon!Subscribe to the blog. (It's free!)