Lithuanian ingenuity

Romas built it straight out of scratch. His very own tractor. That's what you do when there is little money but lots of smarts.

The day is ending, and they are done working in the fields. There is a lot to be done on the farm, but Romas has his ways of making things easy, even fun.



Ana Gabriela, nine years old.

She never knew her father. And now she had to watch three men kill her mother.

At the mission she eagerly wanted my company, sometimes offering chewing gum for the favor. One time she asked to borrow my little phrasebook and she sat at a table concentrating for a long time, occasionally glancing up at me with those eyes. She was composing in English!

After half an hour she triumphantly handed me the masterpiece:

Be pink
cookie I eat.



Venice Beach, California.

You cross the country, you go west to California. Then Los Angeles, then all the way to the Pacific Ocean, as far as you can go, and then there is a feast on the beach. A veritable orgy of Yankee creativity.


Monte Tabor, Mexico.

The mural depicts Mary appearing before the children in Fatima, the spiritual birthplace of sister Ana and sister Francesca. They are Carmelite nuns living on this mountain between Tijuana and Mexicali.

It is a magic mountain.


Pauliai, southern Lithuania.

If you want to do some timetravel, and you don't mind driving over roots and rocks on a no-lane forest road, then you just have to come here. I spent last winter with the handful of hardy folks that remain and keep the old ways of living alive.