This past week was overflowing with after class activities. Aside from our usual afternoon meeting and movie night on Monday, we were finally able to celebrate Independence Day, even though we were a few days late. The celebration itself was certainly a fun time, especially considering we were able to get traditional American food (hot dogs and hamburgers), as well as play American music despite the fact that we were literally across a river from Russia.
Thursday afternoon wasn’t quite as much fun as the party the night before, but it was interesting to see not only all the different war monuments hidden throughout Narva, but the staggering differences between those of opposing sides and from different wars. I have run down that road almost every day since coming to Narva, and it’s amazing to see all the things that were so close to me without my ever noticing them. On the other hand though, it is sad that many of them are so easy to miss. While I do not care for Nazi or Soviet soldiers, I can still respect their sacrifice and am surprised that other people are so unwilling to take care of their graves.
My favorite part of the week was definitely the trip to Tartu. Tallinn was an interesting place, but we didn’t have nearly enough time to explore the city as we did this weekend. It was truly eye opening to see how different Tartu is from Narva, despite the fact that it is still on the eastern side of the country. The fact that the hotel rooms were so nice and had excellent wifi certainly didn’t hurt either.