Last Day. Summing Up. Reports. Final Meetings. Had breakfast, then went over to the CNFA-Minsk offices of take care of all the paperwork for the trip. Wrote up my final report in a nice little office they maintain there.
Then Lucy and I went over to the US Embassy, where we met with the Charge d'Affairs (the USA does not currently have an Ambassador to Belarus) and I briefed him on what I consider the excellent prospects for the development of an organic agriculture industry in Belarus.
After that it was back to the CNFA offices for an exit interview with a local journalist and then the ride to the airport for my departure. On the way to the airport I was able to persuade my driver (no longer Denis) to stop long enough for me to get a picture of the National Library of Belarus, which is an impressive architectural monument (they have a number of wonderfully unique buildings).
Ah, and my last picture? Just before they called the flight to Frankfurt? I was sitting in the little pub at the departure gate, looking out at our plane as it taxied to the gate, and the light caught through the bottle of "1864 Premium" that I was enjoying struck me with its beauty, its asymmetry, and its fleeting temporality. Beauty is all around us, grasped in wonder. The complement that results if we just say YES! is what makes it all worthwhile. YES, I will go to Belarus! And YES, this trip WAS worthwhile -- I know for me, and I hope for my hosts -- so PROST! and on to the plane home to my family and my loved ones and my everyday life.