Where did the time go? My whole life, my family has been planning a trip to visit Estonia and something always came up. Until last Saturday, where my mom, dad, brother and grandma flew out to Tallinn to meet me and finally see Estonia all together.
A LITTLE MURU HISTORY
For those of you who don’t know, both my grandparents on my father’s side were born in Estonia. My late grandfather grew up in Tallinn and got drafted to the German army but somehow managed to escape and join the Finnish army. He then moved to Sweden and from there to Canada where he met my grandmother. My grandmother was born on Kihnu. Her father was a fisherman and sailor, who sailed Estonians to Sweden during the war and eventually sailed his family there for their safety. She eventually moved to Canada after her studies, like many estonians, and quickly met my grandfather.
After searching for a long time in the metsakalmistu forest cemetery, we were able to find my grandfathers family grave in the forest cemetery, the most beautiful cemetery I’ve ever seen.
This was my most anticipated trip – heading back with my entire family to the island where my grandmother was born. Last Thursday, we drove through the beautiful Estonian countrysides and took a ferry to Kihnu. The first thing we did was visit my grandma’s childhood home, one she hasn’t seen since she was 10. Despite a few changes to the house, it was a beautiful moment that filed her eyes with tears as she reminisced about her childhood.
The rest of the island was beautiful, rich with culture and nature. It was a heartwarming trip to say the least.
No better way to end my Estonian experience than to celebrate summer solstice at the student summer games. I swear my body is still in pain from all the crazy activities. Sports all day, dancing, bonfires, and surrounded by my favourite Estonians – it was the perfect way to say goodbye.
5 months and 10 countries later, its devastating that my time here has come to an end. Throughout the past few months I’ve fallen in love with this country, its people and have a whole new understanding of my roots. It’s so hard to leave the life I built for myself here and the amazing friends I made, but I’m so grateful to have had this experience. Can’t wait to come back in a few years!
Much love from Canada,
Photos: Jackie Muru
Editor: Carina Kärt Mättikas