31 December 2008

A Look Back at...Me :-)

1. Yellow mums: We teachers of Tapa Gümnaasium were at the country house of Alo and Rita, husband and wife and boys and girls PE teachers. It was Rita's birthday, not too long after school started September 1. That's Tiiu, the German teacher, with her black-and-white pirates bandana on, if you could have gotten close enough to get a good look. She often gets the party started wherever we are, whatever we are celebrating. Just as it is proper - demanded at Tapa Gümnaasium - that a man pours the wine and champagne, so it was etiquette for me to present Rita with the birthday gift from the kooli collective.

2. Plastic pale: Not quite in the country this time, I was in the backyard of Kai's Tapa home. Kai's a music teacher, and it was her birthday this time.

3. Inner-tube: It is never all work and no play at summer English camp, especially when there is a pond right behind the cabin and especially when the rain lets up for an afternoon in July.

4. Airplane: A farewell in June as I embarked on another mission from the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History in Brussels.

5. Fireplace: Part of the real Estonian experience is here in the sauna in Tiit's brother's country house, situated on a hill at a bend in the Loobu River.

6. Apartment: Frank, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer like me, took the picture. Kathy, his wife, both from Washington State, stood by the door. We had all been at the theatre in Tapa one May evening, and we went to Maija's (with the glasses and big smile) apartment afterwards for a bite to eat and, of course, a bit to drink.

7. Standing around: Maija (a Russian teacher) and I stretched our legs somewhere in Bulgaria or Romania during spring break 2008.

8. YMCA group photo: Jenny, a former colleague of mine from the YMCA, sent this updated photo to me in March, showing who is and who is not still in the Financial Development Department back at the YMCA. Three are still there plus one who came back.

9. Beach: Like I said, it is not all work and no play at English camp, especially when (in July 2007) the sun was out! But, next time, tell me that that is no reason for me to take my shirt off. There were children around!

10. Ice sculpture: Estonian Independence Day, February 2007.

11. On the track: Tiit at a competition in Tallinn in the fall of 2006. I met him after shopping in Tallinn, naturally.

12. Two kids: Where did all of the legally responsible adults go? Tiit and his wife Lairi made me feel right at home back in September 2006, shortly after arriving from Ameerika.