Thursday, January 26, 2012

Külm ilm? Tere tulemast Eestis!

Cold weather? Welcome to Estonia!

So far this year I've been pretty lucky in terms of avoiding cold weather. In fact, the weather here in Tartu has been rather mild, considering the fact that there is usually snow by late November and that this year the first real snowfall only just appeared this month. Granted, there's not that much snow (maybe eight inches or so), but that's still enough to be a pain in the tagumik to walk home through.

Speaking of which, I moved to my second host family this month, and now I live about 10 minutes (by bus) from the center and school. After school I take a free bus from the city center to Lõunakeskus (a giant shopping mall) and then walk across a field to get to my cluster of houses. Actually, I technically live outside of Tartu now, but only by a few meters or so.

Around 2:30 p.m. and the sun is already setting...

Two paths diverged in a white field, and I-
I took the one on the left.

Living farther away from school has certainly changed my schedule though. Now that I can't walk, I have to either take a bus or drive. And since I'm not allowed to drive, I have to be driven. Oh how I miss automatic transmissions and having my driver's license actually be useful!

Taking the city bus (or public transportation in general) is something I've never really had experience with before. In Peterborough, we don't have these newfangled devices... And the first time I took the bus, I didn't have my bus legs yet, so it was a bit difficult to keep from falling over. Now, I have become a professional buswalker (Estonian = bussijalutaja) and am not even tempted to sit in open seats. Tubli.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Head uut aastat kõigile!

Happy New Year to all!

I have got so much to write about, yet I can't seem to find the motivation to write about it.
So instead, here are a few random pictures to hopefully tide you over until I can muster up the energy and vocabulary to write a real entry!

My host Rotary Club: Tartu Hansa Rotary Klubi (plus some guests).
The First Lady of Estonia, Evelin Ilves, signing my copy of her book!

Rotary Club Christmas Dinner (photo by Jaanus Jagomägi -

My class ring and a 2011 Estonia-themed Euro.

Miina Härma Gümnaasium
Just to make sure you're awake.

My pin... RYE stands for Rotary Youth Exchange and 7870 is the number of my home district!

As I said, I have a lot to write about (too much), including a trip to the Arctic Circle and my experiences with Christmas and New Years in Estonia. Those posts will be coming in the near future!