Area studies today was one of the best we have had.
But of course, we both (that would be me and you) knew it would be because...my wife was on the panel!
Seriously, it was a good class. We had the Poland, Estonia, and Lithuania Desk officers there along with the region's INR analyst. The Latvian Desk officer apparently had work to do!
We got to talk about our countries. And ask specific questions. And get answers about our countries and not Russia. By people who knew the answers.
It was awesome.
And here is a very telling quote from the class:
One panelist asked, "Have you talked much about the political situation in Latvia in the past few weeks?" (You know, where the president dissolved Parliament days before his own election, which he lost. He dissolved them because of the corruption of the Oligarchs in Parliament...an oligarch is now the president...).
And someone (not me) in the class answered, "No, not at all. But we can tell you all about this church in Kiev."