By Trina Nahm-Mijo, Instructor of Psychology
What city is the medieval pearl on the Baltic shore? It’s Tallinn, the capitol of the Baltic state of Estonia. Estonia is located 80 kilometers from Finland across the Baltic Sea. It’s southern neighbor is Latvia and its eastern neighbor is Russia. One could not imagine a more 180 degree environmental shift from the balmy, tropical lushness of the Big Island, constantly being enlarged by fiery lava, to the icey white landscapes of Tallinn dominated by medieval spires, cobblestone streets, and stonework from the 1400’s. Temperature has been running at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. A “warm” day is 15 degrees, often accommodated
Trina with international students Sara Naddalini from Italy & Silvia Hrosova from Slovakia standing on Pirita Beach on the Baltic Sea — anyone for a swim?
by fluffy snowflakes.
If you want an effortless way to lose weight, come to snowy Estonia. I’ve lost 5 pounds in two weeks, because the cold burns all excess fat off. Its unusual to see a hefty Estonian here. A daily challenge is not slipping on the ice or getting hit by falling icicles. At some point, if you live in Estonia, you’ve slipped and fallen—young and old, rich or poor, the ice doesn’t discriminate.
I’m teaching in the Department of Applied Creativity at the
Fine Arts Institute of Tallinn University. Classes run in 4 hour or 3.5 hour blocks, often with two or three week gaps in between. Estonians tend to be polite and somewhat reserved, but they do light up when you teach them to say “Aloha”. It must be a function of the language. It’s hard to say it without smiling and feeling warmth rise through your body. Fire had met ice. Trina Nahm-Mijo, Fulbright Scholar to Estonia