It's been another busy week and a half. Snow and I finished drawing up a new (and hopefully final) draft of the constitution building processes chart we were working on. It was long and difficult to produce, but I think we did a pretty good job. The chart is to go along with a concept/background paper for the upcoming South-South Dialog that will be held in Pretoria, South Africa late this fall. The agenda and theme for this meeting are currently in the finalization stage, so we may be doing some more tweaking on this chart. We also have to looking into constitution building in some other regions.
The last weekend in June fell over the midsommar holiday. It's one of the major holidays in Sweden. Traditionally, Swedes dance around a maypole-like structure, singing songs about summertime, eating meatballs, sausages, new potatoes, pickled herring, and strawberry cake. Some of Snow's friends from frisbee practice were having a midsommar party and they invited us. The party started with lunch, but we arrived around dinner time. The food was delicious and plentiful, and we were quickly included in singing the songs that preceded toasts. It was a lot of fun. On the way home, the girls picked seven different flowers to put under their pillows that night in hopes of dreaming about their future spouses. I cannot yet say if I dreamed about my future spouse, but the bouquet under my pillow certainly had a pleasant smell the next morning. Luckily, there were no ants tagging along on my flowers. Snow was sadly not so fortunate.
July is shaping up to be a pretty busy month. The CBP team has a lot of stuff going on: the Handbook, the training curriculum, the south-south dialog, and policy meetings. That means that my colleagues have plenty of work for me to do. Now that Snow is on leave for a week to go to her Ultimate Frisbee World Championship in Prague, I am shouldering the work on my own. So far it's not so bad as far as the work load goes, but it is awfully quiet in my library cubicle. Luckily the other interns stop by and say hello, and there's always lunch and fika (coffee break) to look forward to. I'm actually really looking forward to getting to work on the handouts for the training curriculum.
Last weekend I went to visit my grandfather in Vilnius, Lithuania. He lives there part of the time, and in Chicago part of the time. It was my first time visiting Lithuania. I loved it. It was very interesting to see the differences and similarities with Sweden, which is just across the Baltic. Also, the food was much less expensive in Vilnius, and, having grown up with tastes of Lithuanian food when they happened to be available, I took great advantage of this lower cost. I got to meet a few relatives I had only heard about before, and got to see places my grandfather often mentioned in his stories about his home country.