Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Toy Museum

We all know that the Soviets were not good at making cars, tractors, or fostering agricultural growth. It turns out that the Soviets weren't any good at making toys either!
This guy was way creepy

Maris is beautiful.

The last thing on my list of things to do in Tartu before moving to Tallinn was go to the Toy Museum. There are always tons of museums in Estonia, most of them are pretty good. There was a KGB one that I would recommend, but in general I don't get out to museums very often, almost never. So I figured that I had to go to the Toy Museum before I left. It turned out to be fantastic! It was very big and they had lots of cool stuff in there. Most of the stuff was old Soviet toys, so a lot of it wasn't familiar to me, but toys are all pretty similar, trains and space stuff for boys, dolls for girls. Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Last Sunday in Tartu

This Sunday was the last one in Tartu. The Tartu branch is great, I was here for a semester in 2005, and then for the last 2 years. Time goes by very fast, it is hard to believe that I am leaving. A lot of people have come and gone and the branch is in a new place too. Maris and I both enjoyed our callings and our time in the branch, we made a lot of friends and a lot of good memories. The Tallinn branch is quite a bit bigger, with lots of families. We are excited for a new experience and a new challenge. We move on Saturday! Tallinn here we come!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hansa Days

This weekend was the Hansa festival. Tartu was a member of the Hansiatic league and so they have these mid-evil festivals every summer. There were lots of people and it was great. We met up with Karoli and Katre! Karoli has been in Spain, and Katre looked like she has been in Spain, she was so tan. It was great to see them, they will both be at the University of Tartu next year.

The last days in Tartu!

We are moving soon. We will miss Tartu a lot, it is a fantastic city. One of the things that I wanted to do before I left was to go to the Dome Church. Half of it is restored and half is not so restored, but it had a great viewing platform! Here are some pictures.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

University of Tallinn

The University of Tallinn was founded in 2005 when several smaller universities merged. It is the fastest growing university in Estonia and now has 9,500 students making it the third largest university in Estonia. Its main strengths are in the humanities and the social sciences. The people there have been very nice and we are very excited to be studying there. University of Tallinn here we come!

Friday, July 16, 2010


As most of you know I finished my masters here at Tartu last month, life has been in limbo for a while but today I got some good news! I got accepted into my PHD program at the University of Tallinn. Some months ago I applied to a lot of jobs and got a lot of rejections. The good jobs I was looking at wanted a PHD or a Masters plus lots of work experience. I think the PHD program will give me a lot of skills that will be valuable in the future. The main goal is to become a scholar not just a student. The PHD would be in Political Science, my supervisor is from Finland and is fantastic. My dissertation will be on Russia's energy transit policy in the Baltic Sea region. Maris will be getting her Masters at Tallinn to become a teacher, so things all worked out very well. We really feel that our prayers have been answered. We are both excited for a new challenge and a change of scenery.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Small world

We had visitors yesterday! Uncle Randy and Aunt Kelly came to Tallinn on a Baltic cruise. We went out to lunch and enjoyed the beauties of Old Town! It would have been nice to have more time but what can you do. I haven't been to the family reunion for a while so I can't even remember the last time I got to see them. If anyone else wants to come visit us just let us know! Estonia is beautiful! We also got to go to church in Tallinn, it was nice to see some of the members there. Then Maris had an admissions interview at the University of Tallinn, she stepped up to the plate and hit a home run! She has been accepted to both the University of Tartu and the University of Tallinn. She is a superstar in the making! I have my interview on Thursday, hopefully it will go well. Check back next week for more updates. I know it isn't as exciting as when Lebron James was making his choice where to go, but it is still kind of exciting right!?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July!

Hopefully everyone had a great 4th of July! We had hot dogs, french fries and cheese cake to celebrate, other than that we didn't do too much. It gets dark at midnight here, so fireworks were out. Their big firework holiday is new years. The 4th of July doesn't make me too homesick, but once the NFL starts in the fall I will be.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My wonderful wife

Maris had her graduation ceremony yesterday! She has a BA in Estonian language and literature. She wants to get her MA in Education so she can teach Estonian in high school here. She is the best and I am so happy with her!