A couple of days ago, we were told that the Lithuanian president is 'in town' and that he would be coming to our 'village'. For those who have been around a while, you'll know I don't live in a village, but in the Lithuanian community of São Paulo... very much city, except for the village-like atmosphere. Tickets to the presidential lunch were being sold at R$100 each (that is around US$63 ) per person. Naturally, we didn't go. We heard later that he would be coming to the village today to speak at the church. This church is Catholic, but unique here, as they have regular services in Lithuanian.
But... I had shopping to do. Jorge went off to the meeting. After French plaiting Tat's hair, just for the heck of it, I called Jorge to ask him how I'd get the house keys to him. He said just to call him when I got to the church, and he'd come out to collect them. We arrived at the church to see the speachifying was in progress, so I snuck in to give Jorge the keys. Once there, I saw him standing with the camera, not taking photos. That's not on! I grabbed the camera and went to the front, snapping away, not taking in a word of the speeches, as he spoke in Lithuanian and the interpreter spoke very badly... not very clearly and I need clear Portuguese.
Meet the president.... I have to confess at this point that I have absolutely no idea what his name is!! Edit: Just looked it up. Meet Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania!
He commented on the Lithuanian spirit that was very evident in the crowd he viewed...
He was a riveting speaker - as I was told. The lady is the interpreter...
The car.. well... just another car, really...
This little girl was cute as a button. So full of life and enthusiasm, in her Baltic amber necklace. Her mother kindly gave me permission to photograph her.
The president apparently loves children : ) This photo was taken over the shoulders of the crowd pressing around them.
The motorcade escort...
The sun was high. I found this trio of girls crammed onto a tiny porch. The little cub scout and Lithuanian mascot wanted in on the photo.
Jonas, Jorge, and Vladis - the 3 cousins
In all, it was a festive day. Tat was asked to join the Lithuanian club dancers. She sure looked the part with her plaited blonde hair and fair looks. The dancers are apparently going to Lithuania next year on a sponsored dance tour. We eventually made our way to the supermarket for long-overdue shopping. Tat got many comments on her hair today. It was odd, really, as it is a style she wears quite often. Today, she looked Lithuanian : )
A more formal write-up of today's happenings can be found here.
A photo on the presidential site of the dinner arrangement we missed can be seen here.