This week marked the first step in the departure from the United States by the present Lithuanian ambassador to the USA, Žygimantas Pavilionis. After five years of serving his country in the USA there have been a number of farewell ceremonies for Ambassador Pavilionis over the last few weeks in the US capital. During a ceremony earlier this week, a large number of well-wishers, including several ambassadors came to bid the chief diplomat goodbye. Several members of Ambassador Pavilionis staff will also depart this summer for their home country and they too honoured for their time and role promoting and supporting Lithuania in the USA.
FLTR Ambassador Pavilionis, his wife Lina, Artūras Vazbys, Liana Vazbienė and Vida Vasiliauskaitė. Photo Ludo Segers

After a brief introduction, the Lithuanian Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Krista Bard, honoured the ambassador. Ms. Bard explained how she was impressed from the first meeting by Ambassador Pavilionis' energy and desire to get things done. She said, "You have been writing history here and to ensure that you will keeping on writing pages in that book, a pen seems the right symbolic gift."

The Ambassador then introduced Monsignor Rolandas Makrickas of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States as one of the two Lithuanians that are domiciled in the Vatican. As representative of the Holy See, Monsignor Makrickas expressed the hope that the spiritual element always may be part of the Ambassador's future ventures.

Ambassador Pavilionis then introduced the photo exhibition by the New York based Lithuanian photographer, Vytenis Jankūnas. His series of photos on the New York subway entitled 'Stuck on a train' have been taken incognito with a mobile phone. Taking 20 to 40 captures, they are then morphed into an image of which Mr. Jankūnas uses 2 to contrast a situation he created. Vytenis Jankūnas images evoke dream-like silent movie stills of a familiar world that are yet distant to most.

It is always difficult to write about oneself, but your Washington correspondent was introduced as the photographer of 'Fast Photography'. An exhibition of many of the places travelled over the last year, a series of landscapes and portraits were shown to a receptive audience. Fast photography refers to a recent meeting with a 'slow film-only' photographer. The work of a news photographer find him or herself often in a situation where taking photos of visiting personalities has to be completed in maximum 2 minutes.

Ambassador Pavilionis will return at the end of July to Lithuania.

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