Vids of Val

Here are a couple of recent videos of Valerie.

By the way, she’s doing great. Beth Shanklin, a good friend who is a neuro-developmentalist, visited recently from the US. Beth assessed Valerie about a year ago and wrote a program to address some developmental issues. Olga has been faithful to do the program over the months.

Beth checked Valerie last week and Valerie is almost at her age level developmentally, with just a few small issues. Remember, just over a year ago Valerie said about three words (at age 3). She’s really catching up, speaking more and more English, too.

We went to a park:

And today she did something really great. I’ve set out my small travel hammered dulcimer for her to plunk around on, hoping she’ll take interest. I showed her how to play the Alphabet Song (she doesn’t know it as Twinkle Twinkle yet). Today, after some rough starts, she did this:

That’s m’girl!

Hõreda Manor

Estonia is dotted with old manor houses. The other day I went for a drive to see the countryside and visit an old manor that caught my interest.

This is Hõreda Manor, one of many manors that are now abandoned.

The building was finished about in 1810. and was decorated inside with marks and filigranes stucco decorations. After it stood without a roof in 1980s and 1990s, it has been completely ruined. The manor now stands in private ownership.

I originally found this manor on this site, which has many interesting pictures from the back roads of Estonia.  There are more pictures of the Hõreda Manor here, and you can see many more manors here and here.

Crossing from Russia to Estonia

I’ve just arrived in Estonia after a very nice drive from St. Petersburg. I took a little video while I was in No Man’s Land on the bridge between Ivangorod, Russia and Narva, Estonia.

Two fortresses face one another across the Narva river: on the Russian side Ivanogorod Fortress was built in the 1490s, to fend off the Livonian (German) knights. Herman Castle, a Danish and then Livonian Teutonic fortress from the 13th century, sits opposite on the Estonia bank. It’s quite beautiful, really.

I’ll be here a few days, working on a few items related to the center for disabled children we plan to build here in Johvi, and I’ll also visit with our good friends here.


Here’s a bit of familiana (I don’t think that’s a word, but it’s like Americana) from a recent breakfast. Valerie thought I was going to take a picture, but she didn’t know I was making a video.