Nearly 11 months after I first arrived, it was suddenly time to leave. I
will miss Raekoja plats (above) and the city, but mostly I will miss the
people and the 'European' lifestyle. Teaching at the university was
refreshing and stimulating. I hope to return to Estonia, but I would
also like to spend a full year somewhere else - living and learning. I
discovered that going someplace for a few days or even a month is not
enough. It took me at least four months to adapt and start to be
admitted into genuine Estonian social circles in Tartu. I regret the
many things I did not have a chance to do - especially now that I have
left. But I will not remember my time with regret - it was a great year.
At right: one of the many museums in Tartu - the Tartu Toy Museum. It
was a huge collection of dolls from around the world as well.
Me on the morning of my departure. Some of those suitcases are Paula's -
she came to help me return. I took two suitcases and mailed one box of
books to Estonia. I returned with two suitcases and mailed two boxes
A manhole cover in Tartu. The city was founded in 1080 (hence the date),
although it had different names at different times. The German name for
the city is 'Dorpat,' which is how it was known for a long time.
While in Tartu I made friends with Erik and Pene Piip. Erik is the
grandson of a former Prime Minister of Estonia. Above is the front of an
original diplomatic copy of the Treaty of Tartu. In the treaty Russia
recognized Estonia's independence. Estonia behaves as if the treaty is
still in force.
The famous 'Bronze Statue.' In April and May 2007, the state was the
center of a controversy. The statue commemorates Soviet soldiers who
fought in the Second World War. In recent years the statue has been the
site of urban violence involving Estonians and ethic Russians. In the
spring of 2007, the statue was moved out of the center of Tallinn to a
military cemetery (which is where I am above). The relocation of the
statue caused riots and heightened tensions between Russia and Estonia.
It is a symbol to me of the political and ethnic issues Estonia faces
An burned down apartment building in the Kopli area of Tallinn,
inhabited mostly by poor and/or unemployed people on the outskirts of
Tallinn. For all of Estonia's recent economic success, there are
obstacles to overcome.
The beach not far from Kopli in Tallinn. A wistful picture I think.