October 28th, 2021
Hight's Sabbatical Pictures

Part 42: June 2008 - Leaving Tartu


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 back.

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 today.

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.

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