In the idyllic summer of 1980, I was an AFS exchange student to Finland with the Pitkanen family. Outi is my one year younger Finnish sister. I absolutely adore the family and the Finnish culture and landscape they introduced to me.
At the time, Outi and I talked about how the Finnish landscape was perhaps not so different from Lithuania where my family was from.
It turns out this is very much the case and I have been reminded by the landscape, food, and architecture every day that I am geographically near to Outi but was stupid to neglect to make plans to visit her.
Thanks to Facebook, Outi realized I was in Lithuania and sent me the gift of an invisible thread that connects Vilnius holocaust museum to a lovely girl named Heli I met in Orimattila, Finland in 1980.
That lovely girl grown up is now living in Austria and is the mother of a lovely son who is doing his army service as Holocaust education service...she is Sebastian's mother.....Just a coincidence but I am very happy to be connected to the young man who gave us such an eloquent and thoughtful welcome at the green house of the Vilna holocaust museum.
See post on the green house.