A Postcard from Russia

Olga and Valerie in the Park

Well, well. Autumn is here and we put on winter tires just in time; we’ve just seen the first snow of the season. The picture above was taken a week ago at a park in St. Petersburg and many of the leaves have now fallen. It’s been a glorious Autumn.

After a tremendous amount of travel (Central Europe, Germany, Montenegro, Estonia, Finland and Norway), we are now at least settled in the same general area. I’m in Estonia for a few days taking care of some business (like putting on winter tires) and head to Russia tomorrow.

On Friday we had a board meeting of Sunbeam, the center for children with disabilities in Estonia. That program is doing very well (but is in need of financing, as is often the case). The director, Ursula, is a very good leader, and more children are joining the program. In addition to the wonderful paid staff, we also have two interns from the USA serving for several months. The leadership team is pictured below.

One VERY good outcome of the meeting is our intention to open a Christian kindergarten in one wing of the building. I hope to have more news about that in the coming months. This was Artur’s idea, and we all agree that it will be a wonderful thing to have a Christian school there, starting with a kindergarten. Continue reading

Antique Maps

I ran across a very interesting website. The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has overlaid several historical maps over Google Earth.

St. Petersburg is one of the cities covered, the map being from 1753.

Click HERE to see the maps.

The Shortest Day of the Year

Sun Path Diagrams interest me. Here is the sun path for today (the orange line) in St. Petersburg:

Notice how far south is sunrise and sunset. The sun does not get very high above the horizon.

I was talking with someone yesterday about how different the weather is here compared to the southern USA, where I lived until moving here. Of course, the colder weather is a dramatic change, but even more so the short days during the winter.

For comparison, here is the sun path for Murmansk, where a good friend lives, far above the Arctic Circle:

The sun doesn’t even get above the horizon today. Actually, sunrise there will be on about Jan 23.

Here is more info about St. Pete:

It’s interesting that 6 months from now daylight will last about 13 hours longer. Of course, above the Arctic Circle the sun won’t set for a couple of months during the summer.

from http://www.gaisma.com