Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Paper Wars

In our Civilizations Outside Europe class today we talked about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, I discovered that people over here know a great deal more about US operations in those countries than I do. It makes me think about how little we hear about our own military operations in school and in the news. Personally, I have heard only vague statements about where in the world troops are, but I don't know much of anything of how long they have been there, how long they plan to stay there, and what they are trying to accomplish.

Brittney knew a bit more than I did because in her school in Kansas they have a current issues class where they discuss such things and debate over the merits. I dearly wish we had such a class in Rutland.

I also learned that there are or were Canadians in Iraq and most Canadians support pulling out.

In other news, I went to the Rotary party two Fridays ago. I got my hair done and wore my new dress. My host sister also helped me do my make-up. The party was alright. There was mingling and lots of speeches, and then finally food. I talked to quite a few people and met my next host father. He is very cheery and acts like Grampa, but not quite as boisterous. On that note, I saw another man that reminded me of Grampa at the bus station the other day. He was loudly singing what sounded like a folk song while trying to get people to join in. I'm pretty sure he was drunk though.

Anyway, back at the party there were performances of dancers and a bartender and lots of couples dancing. I met Linda, a Rebound who went to Florida, and we talked for a while.

The party went on until three, but we left around midnight.

For more old news, a couple weeks ago, my History class that we have with the whole class went to the printing museum for a field trip. It was great; unlike most museums, they didn't keep the old printing equipment on display, instead they put it to use and used it for making all kinds of cool printed materials. While we were there, we got to make notebooks for ourselves. We also got a tour of the all of the equipment.

The tour started in Estonian, but when she realized that four of us weren't fluent, she switched effortlessly to English after confirming that we all spoke it. We got to see the letters for printing as well as the frames that they were held together in and we got demonstrations of most of the machines, except the one that is really hard to set up and hardly ever works right anyway.

There was also a cat as well. There were four people there, and I saw an instruction sheet for volunteers. I'm pretty sure most of the people there were volunteers, and almost certain that at least three of them weren't from Estonian at all. One of the guys wasn't from Europe, maybe from Russia.

I had a great time, and I have to say that it was one of the best field trips I've ever been on as well as the best museum by far. I wish we had one at home in Vermont somewhere. I am certainly of the opinion that museums are better when the old things are being used for their purpose instead of sitting behind glass.

I got sick a while ago with the flu and Brittney had it for a long time, almost two whole weeks, but she's back now and feeling better.

I have started feeling slightly homesick and missing my family and friends, but I am good at distracting myself. I don't feel it too bad, but it's still there.

Estonia's day of Independence was Monday so we didn't have school. There were song festivals all over the country and we watched them on TV. We had a nice dinner with celebratory champagne which I was assured was non-alcoholic, but it still tasted like alcohol none the less. I definitely like the kids stuff better, but champagne is alright.

I made brownies yesterday from a recipe that I found online. They turned out really well and were very fudgey. I brought some to school today to have for snacks. They did not outlive the first class.

I managed to gather up the paper work for my visa application and sent it yesterday. With luck, it will arrive on time.

That's all I can think of for now. I will try to update more often, I promise.