Sunday, April 27, 2008

Karin is a year older again...

-Getting older isn't
a bad thing at all
If you see it as another year
we've been friends-
(from Minna's birthday card)

It's strange how quickly years pass by, and how often I get a chance to celebrate my birthday :). I'm not going to talk about my age, as it's not imporant anymore, when you're over teenagers' years (in our age, it's much more popular to say: I'm always staying young in my heart:)); but I want to share the impressions of my birthday party organized for friends.
This year, I had a very special birthday, as besides all my good friends from universty years, I also had 3 penpals present in my party: my dear penpal (and friend) Eda with her family, my dear penpal Piret with her daughter and... my dear Finnish penpal Minna with her husband Tomi! It's the first year I'm having an international birthday party, where people used 3 different languages to communicate with each other; and I think it was fun.
THANK YOU ALL* coming and sharing my confused feelings of getting one year older again...

*ALL means: Erik, Kert, Kristi, Pille, Avo, Marit, Tanel I, Kairi, Tauno, Tanel II, Eda, Andres, Märt, Elika, Piret, Maris, Minna, Tomi
**And hopefully others, who weren't able to come this year, will do it next year...
*** And thank you for everyone who remembered my birthday one way or another (greetings cards, SMS, phone calls, presents...)
My birthday cake - made by Erik. It's probably quite clear what is says: "Happy Birthday Karin".
My guests this year - Front: Piret, Maris, Kairi&Tanel, Pille&Tanel, Kristi, Elika and Kert
Back: Tomi, Märt, Minna, Andres, Tauno, Eda, Avo&Marit, Erik, Karin.
My flowers and the birthday cards...
I'm with my cards and flowers on my birthday morning

My Finnish friends and I on my party
Eda and I
Marit,Tanel, Pille, Kristi, Kairi and Elika
My friends from university times: Kristi, I, Kairi and Elika
Tanel wants to become a photographer in the future...
Tauno, Tanel in front; I, Eda, Minna and Tomi having conversation in the middle, and Pille, Kristi and Avo talking to each in the back.
Half of me, Tanel, Minna, Tomi, Maris and PiretHalf of Maris, Piret, Tanel, Kristi, Kairi and ElikaMen (Avo, Andres and Erik) talking about fishing, hunting and photo-hunting...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Black Grouse

Photographed by Erik, Lääne county, Estonia, April 2008.

The Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix in Latin, teder in Estonian) is a large bird in the grouse family and breeds across northern Eurasia mainly in the bog areas near to woodland.
In Spring time, the male birds (which are much more colourful and majestic than the modest female birds) gather to fields where they display themselves to attract a female mate by strutting with their tails spread and heads held low.
These photos are taken during one of these attraction games, in a very deep bog, where you can see nothing else, than a few ailing pinetrees and lots of low bog plants and ... of course water.

Photographed by Erik, Lääne county, Estonia, April 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friends - Part III

-Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend-
Lets meet my friends!
In 2005-2007 I was lucky to meet both some of my closest and "old" penpals as well as some new! You can see the photos here.
Amy, Robert, Heike, Karin, Annette, Marta, Minna - I don't know what I'd do without you!
Photo: I, Bethu and my Finnish penpal Minna, Kiia village, Estonia, August 2007.
Photo: I and my Portuguese penpal Marta, Porto, Portugal, September 2006.
Photo: I and my Estonian penpal Eda, on a small island near Pärnu, Estonia, August 2006.
Photo: I and my Norwegian penpal Annette, Palmse, Estonia, July 2006.
Photo: I, my Italian penpal Brigida and her friends, Forli, Italy, June 2006.
Photo: I, Kert and my Scottish penpal Amy's family, Muhu island, Estonia, August 2005.
Photo: I and my best friend Kristi, Plitvicka, Croatia, August 2005.
Photo: I and my German penpal Heike, Nürnburg, Germany, August 2005.
Photo: I and my Polish penpal Robert, Kiia village, Estonia, August 2005.
Photo: I and my Norwegian penpal Karin, Skaret, Norway, January 2005. Photo: I, my Norwegian penpal Annette, and her boyfriend Anders, Oslo, Norway, January 2005.

Friends - Part II

- A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out -
Lets meet my friends!
Here you can see some of the photos (from 2003-2004) together with my penpals and with my best friend Kristi.
Thank you - Laima, Eda, Kristi, Marina, Svana, Ande, Cindy, Brigida - being there for me for so many years!
Photo: I and my Latvian penpal Laima, Riga, Latvia, September 2004.
Photo: I and my Estonian penpal Eda, Jurmala, Latvia, August 2004.
Photo: I and my best friend Kristi, Pärnu county, Estonia, July 2004.
Photo: I and my Danish penpal Maria, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2003.
Photo: I and my Icelandic penpal Svana, Rutshellir, Iceland, August 2003.
Photo: I and my Estonian penpal Ande, Palmse, Estonia, June 2003.
Photo: I and my American penpal Cindy, Muhu island, Estonia, June 2003.
Photo: My Italian penpal Brigida, her ex-boyfriend Marco, Kert and I, Türisalu, Estonia, March 2003.

Friends - Part I

- A hug is worth a thousand words. A friend is worth more -
Lets meet my friends!
You can see some photos from 1999-2002 when I met some of my precious penpals.
Karin, Cynthia, Eda, Annette, Marta, Mari, Brigida and Amy:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP! Photo: I and my Norwegian penpal Karin in Tallinn, Estonia, October 2002.
Photo: I, Kert and my Dutch penpal Cynthia in Paide, Estonia, July 2002.
Photo: My best friend Kristi, my Luxemburgish penpal Anouk, my Estonian friend Eda and I in Pärnu, Estonia, May 2002.
Photo: My Norwegian penpal Annette, I, Annette's niece Ingrid in Fagernes, Norway, March 2002.
Photo: I and my Portuguese penpal Marta, Helsinki, Finland, October 2001.

Photo: I and my Finnish pal Mari in Helsinki, Finland. October 2001.
Photo: I, Kert and my Italian penpal Brigida in Saaremaa island, Estonia, July 2000.
Photo: My Scottish penpal Amy and I in Bath, England, March 1999.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Boys' fun

Kert spends all his weekends in Muhu island. Here you can see what he's doing there most of his time...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

You know you are from Estonia when...

You know you are from Estonian when...
1. You use the word ‘normal’ if something is ok.
2. When visiting friends abroad you bring along a box of Kalev chocolate.
3. You attended a song festival at least once either as a performer or as a spectator.
4. You know that going to the sauna is 80% about networking and 20% about washing.
5. You are nationalistic about Skype (it is actually an Estonian company)
6. ‘Kohuke’ belongs to your menu
7. You declare your taxes on the internet like all modern people
8. You actually believed for a while that Latvians had 6 toes per foot when you heard that as a child
9. You are convinced that Estonia is very strategically located
10. You spent at least one midsummer in Saaremaa, Hiiumaa or one of the smaller islands
11. You can quote films like "Viimne reliikvia" and "Siin me oleme"
12. You spit three times around your left shoulder for good luck
13. Words like "veoauto", "täieõiguslik" or "jää-äär" sound perfectly pronouncable to you
14. You are disappointed that Jaan Kross never got the Nobel prize in literature
15. You have been to Finland
16. You say 'Noh' (sounds like NO) even when you speak English, just to confuse people
17. You know the lyrics to "Mutionu" and "Rongisõit"
18. You would never mistaken Kreisiraadio for a radio station
19. You would agree that wife-carrying is a real sport (at least as long as Estonians are winning)20. Your best friend's girlfriend is your English teacher's daughter and they live next door to your grandparents, who were colleagues with your advisor, who is friends with your...
21. You check the thermometer before going out
22. When someone asks you "where is Estonia?" you quickly reply that it's located in Northern Europe close to Finland...
23. Sour cream tastes good with everything
24. A foreigner speaks to you in broken horrible Estonian and you go on and on about how wonderful their Estonian is compared to "the Russians'"
25. You have ever worn or seen anyone wear "karupüksid"
26. You have heard the phrase "Estonians are slow" at least once
27. Kui sa saad aru, mis siia kirjutatud on
28. You find yourself continually ignoring the gender in other languages
29. When someone says "Estonians are so beautiful" you answer almost without emotions "I know"
30. You don't think that terviSEKS is a funny word
31. You think that the combination blue-black-white is cheerful
32. Everyone in your family has pictures from funerals
33. You are so proud of every Estonian that you correct foreigners who say that the population is 1 million, not 1.3 million as it actually is.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April has arrived...

Spring is approaching - and the nature will soon be blooming. At least, in Muhu island it is already so - my mom has brought me hepaticas already twice: in March 21 and in March 30. My favourite spring flowers!
Photo: Hepaticas on our kitchen table.