Johnny come lately

Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
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Trip End Jun 29, 2007


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Friday, June 22, 2007

Overnight I left the window shades in my hotel room open to just enjoy the brightness all night.  It's the longest day of the year and it almost got  dark at about 2 am. From 3:30 it's been as bright as can be.
 
My thoughts run to where Johnny Lambert might be.  I have no cell phone for him and he lives in a gated area.  He may not know I'm here yet.  So, I send him a big HELP! email indicating I'm here in Tartu.  Maybe he'll respond.
 
In preparing for the Feast here in the fall, I then went through our guest list and talked to the hotel manager Iris whom we have known for ten years.  She's done our Feast hotel arrangements for all that time.  She is very personable and ultra-competent.  She has always enjoyed our presence at the Feast. We went down the list of who has reserved rooms and who hasn't.  I'm writing to all the people who have not. 
 
Back in the room the phone rings. It's Johnny!  He made it, but not until midnight last night.  He came in from Zurich, Switzerland. His earlier flight was cancelled due to bad weather.  Then his luggage never arrived. And, he's jet-lagged and there will be a house full of people over to his apartment tonight and we have all the activities for the Sabbath. I want to help him all I can today. 
 
Our literature from Ukraine has not arrived.  This is an aggravation.  We still have things to mail out, but we will be limited in what we do. 
 
Johnny will come by at 1 pm and we'll do some shopping and get ready for the Sabbath.
 
Here in Estonia the same pagan Festival of the Solstice that is observed in Scandinavia is kept  here. It is called "St. John's Day" or "Jaanipäev." It is so pagan. A main feature is building bonfires and jumping through them.  It actually reminded me of a Ukrainian summer camp that I went to as a youngster where we had these same observances giving homage to Dazhbog, the "nature god."  It was accompanied with bonfires and jumping through them.  Needless to say, this is not why we are here at this time. 

Here is a bit of history of St. John's Day:

Jaanipäev was celebrated long before the arrival of Christianity in Estonia, although the day was given its name by the crusaders. The arrival of Christianity, however, did not end pagan beliefs and fertility rituals surrounding this holiday. In 1578, with some disgust, Balthasar Russow wrote in his Livonian Chronicle about Estonians who placed more importance on the festival than going to church. He complained about those who went to church, but did not enter, and instead spent their time lighting bonfires, drinking, dancing, singing and following pagan rituals.

For Estonians, Jaanipäev celebrations were merged with the celebration of Võidupüha (Victory Day) during the War of Independence when Estonian forces defeated the German troops on 23 June 1919. After this battle against Estonia's traditional oppressors, Jaaniõhtu and the lighting of the traditional bonfires became linked with the ideals of independence and freedom.
 
More to come.  Come back and read the rest of today's blog.
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Comments

krikketgirl
krikketgirl on

Estonia Memories
My favorite thing about our visit to Estonia was the late, bright nights...not feeling hemmed in by the setting sun...and then not having to get up early, so I could go to bed whenever I wanted! : )

That is aggravating about the literature, but all else is going well, it seems. Do please give my love to everyone.

--Katherine

rc45
rc45 on

Literature
I know the brethren in Estonia, that will be vistiting in the apartment will be estatic that you and Johnny Lambert are in Tartu. I pray that the Literature will arrive before you leave. Are any of the brethren able to help with mailings?
Reggie Warren

rosehill
rosehill on

Estonia
Hi,
You are there!
Give our love to our Estonian brethren.
It is 3 months and we will see them.
Feasts there are a highlight for us.
We love you all - Helga, Elle, and everyone else!
Gail and Karen

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