On the Friday after my trip to Lounakeskus, I arrived back in Elva to have tea with the mother of the American guy I met at the kid's day event thing. I met her in front of the big(er) store and we walked back to her house.
Once we got there, Peg and I made had tea and made brownies. While we baked we talked about family and cooking, and I learned that it is extremely hard to find vanilla in Estonia, as it is not sold in stores. Apparently there is one company that imports foreign foods and baking supplies that has it occasionally and I heard from a friend that there is a baking shop across the river in Tartu that might have it.
After the brownies finished baking, we took our taw and went into the living room. While eating the very delicious brownies, we talked about our families and it turns out that Vermont is her favorite state and she used to go on skiing vacations to Killington, which is just up the road from where I live. It was like an experience one of my uncles had, when he started talking to some random stranger on the plane and it turned out to be someone who knew Grampa. That's what it felt like to meet someone who had gone skiing near my home halfway round the world.
We also talked a great deal about dogs, especially very large ones, for which we are both overly fond. Books were something we both enjoy immensely, and so when it was time to go, I had a book on dogs to borrow. Peg walked home with me and I told her about Grammie and her read-it list and how we shared book recommendations, then proceeded to tell her about Stormdancer which I got for her when we got to the house.
I read the dog book that night and cried my eyes out as one dog and than the other died.
The next weekend there was a workday near the lake organized by one of the political parties trying to get votes for the upcoming election. There were lots of people there and the project was to clear out the forest area by the lake. There were several guys with chainsaws and others with weedwhackers. I helped load up a trailer with pieces of trees that were dragged out of the woods. Later I helped pile branches on the fires that were lit to burn up the smaller brush. They were encouraged to burn in the same way as the fire during Lunar Quarry: i.e. Throwing copious amounts of gasoline on the fire. Peg arrived an hour or so after the event started. We worked together and talked about different things, and then she showed me where a beaver was trying to bring down a birch tree and dam up the river. After a while we walked home together.
The woods were quite nice afterwards and you could definitely see how much work was put into it.