21 September 2010


I'm not ready to leave yet! This has been the most memorable trip I could imagine. Our relatives in Estonia are some of the sweetest people I've met. Yesterday, we spent our last day back in Tallinn and visited the old town, the president's house, and the arena for Estonia's many song festivals. 
The President's House - You can walk right onto the grounds! 
The best part of the day was going to Aunt Aino's flat for dinner and a Skype party. Gathered in a Starbucks in  Seattle were my mom, brother, Aunt Tracy, Nanna, Papa, Aunt Lydia, Doug, and Uncle Bill. Aunt Aino made us a lovely dinner, which included two kinds of lihapirukad - one with meat filling and a sweet one with an apple filling. It's only fitting, right? After dinner, we had a long conversation with our family via Skype. Papa couldn't hear too much of it but Aino was so incredibly happy to see him and had a lot that she wanted to say! It was great to see my family online but it did really hit me that I won't be seeing them for months on end. I mostly held it together... It was fun to get to introduce everyone to each other! And Scott and I finally got to meet Sirle, who Nanna talked about so much from her trip to Estonia fifteen years ago. 
Aunt Aino, my Papa's younger sister
There was a fiasco the night before when we tried to Skype with them and couldn't get the video to work on their end. They could see and hear us but we couldn't see or hear them. One way conversations are hard - especially when there's so much you want to say! We had some other family with us that night that weren't with us last night, which was too bad because they were really looking forward to seeing Arno and his family. At least it worked last night! After the long awaited Skype party, we enjoyed the rest of the evening looking through old photos of the family, being spoon-fed her homemade apple sauce, talking about Obama and getting a lesson in our pagan roots. I loved that Aino would look directly at me to talk and then we'd both look to Jane or Signe to translate. She's very excited that I will be a teacher, as she taught for chemistry for nine years before becoming an award-winning chemist. She emphasized that there are jobs available in Estonia and even an international school if I wanted to move here and raise a family! I really wish more of our family from home could have been on this trip with us. Note to any Salu family reading this - write to Aunt Aino! Mom, she wants to know why you stopped? 
Skype fiasco night - Lembit,  Rain, Margo Scott, Jane, Tiina, Liivi, Sirje, Marju, me
Saying goodbye to family is hard, whether you've been around them your whole life or only a week. I definitely have a wonderful family here that I will be back to visit - hopefully in the spring with mom and Tracy! 
Singing festivals are a major cultural event in Estonia and are held here
So now I get to pack up my things and move to France! This afternoon, I fly from Tallinn to Riga to Brussels, where I'll be picked up by my roommates Cody and Sébastien. I can't wait but it's very, very bittersweet. 

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