The next morning we were off to Lina's dad's farmhouse, where the wedding pre-party would take place. As promised, we got to hang out among black current bushes, edible mushrooms, apple orchards, the family's bee-keeping operation, and some hearty Lithuanian sheep. Lina's dad built and runs this farm solo and keeps up its rustic Baltic charm.
After we had completed the tour, we gathered on the front lawn waiting for Lina to make her big reveal. When she stepped out of the house in her white gown, our group inhaled a collective gasp. She was stunning. And statuesque. And, OMG how was Nate going to carry her across a bridge in that dress?
Next we moved inside for snacks and spirits and several heartfelt toasts that were translated back and forth with the help of Lina and Mendogas. The brother-sister translation team had to be exhausted at this point, and the day had barely begun.
English-speaking guest to Lina: "Lina, please tell your father that his farm is lovely." Lina passes on the message and responds on behalf of her dad: "My father wants to thank you for your kind words." Mendogas for his father: "My father invites everyone to please enjoy the spread of food." Guests: "Oh, please tell him the dill spread is delicious and we appreciate his warm generosity." It went on like this all day.
Soon enough we were shepherded back into the foreigner van, now with several cars full of friends and cousins lined up behind us to follow our lead. As we pulled out of the farm, I took one last look at the sheep while Mendogas translated for the driver. "Please, everybody, sit down."
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