The Call

The Call

Sunday, July 30, 2017

YW Camp . . . again!

Nestled along the shore of Lake Võrtsjärve, straight West of Tartu, is a rural recreation site with small cabins and a few other amenities.  It was here where we held the annual YW Girls Camp for all of Estonia.  Sister Allred and I were once again tapped to serve as camp cooks and were delighted to do so.  Not knowing what cooking facilities may or may not be there, we decided to prepare some of the food ahead of time.  We are really glad we did.  It saved us a lot of time.  I made a four big batches of cookies ahead of time to be served with each lunch and dinner.  I think that it went over pretty well, especially the white chocolate/macadamia nut cookies.  We were also asked to give a devotional for one of the evening campfire programs.  The theme of the camp was "Toetame Üksteist" (we support each other) we decided to talk about unity.  We told the story of the Dutch potato harvest and how they had been asked to give their harvest to the German saints.  Go check it out.  Anyway, aside from cooking, cleaning, building fires and chopping wood, we had a wonderful time with the girls and the beautiful scenery.  The wind blew constantly from off the lake and we always wore a sweater in the evenings and early mornings.

A view across the row of cabins.  

Our dining room

A fun time in the boat

An evening view across the lake

One of the camps devotionals

Enjoying a nice cozy fire

What's girls camp without camp songs?

One of our BYU interns paints her foot to help make a flag

Even the baby got involved

Our dining room before the crowd

Sunday, July 9, 2017

XII noorte laulu - ja tantsupidu
(12th Youth Song and Dance Festival)
Every 5 years, Estonia holds a national song and dance festival for the youth (7-27).  This year the theme of the festival was "Mina jään" (Here I'll Stay). We feel so blessed to be here when it was put on.  The dance part was held on Friday and Saturday at Kalev Stadium and the singing part was held on Sunday at the Tallinna Lauluväljak (Tallinn Song Festival Grounds).  A couple of months ago, we secured some tickets for the YSA group to attend.  We bought them in a block so we could sit together.  Come rain or shine, the show goes on.  Wouldn't you know it, the weather was rainy all weekend.  The thing about watching an outdoor event in Estonia is that umbrellas are not allowed, so we all wore rain ponchos.  Even the dancers wore ponchos! The dances and the music were very emblematic of the Estonian love of the land and it's rich culture.  Every parish or county in Estonia has their own traditional costume and you will see this as you look at the videos.  I can't really do it justice to try and describe what we saw and heard.  I'm hoping the videos will do it for me.  At the end is a time-lapse video of the whole program.  The song that is dubbed on the video is called "Kullakera kandjad".  It means Gold Sphere Carriers. It was written especially for this event.  It speaks about the connection of the people with the earth, the forests, the sun and sky.

The whole show in just over 3 minutes