German the Russian / Friends / The Mailing

Monday, January 26, 2009
Tartu, Estonia
Our day goes more smoothly than I thought it would. Today I have a long list of things to in getting our January/February Good News annd other literature mailed out. It's a bit different this time because we have received many many new subscription requests from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Moldova.   This will more than double our mailing from this time.
OK. We start. First, I print out the added articles for the Good News that will go into the GN mailing which in most foreign countries as well as here requires an envelope. There are two articles from the current GN that are translated into Russian (by Natasha Weatherhead in Barbados) and two articles into Estonian translated by Toomas Schvak who lives in Tallinn. He has been a tremendous help to helping put more of our message into the vernacular. I format the articles to fit on A4 paper and with a slightly smaller font to fit on a page less. I print them and Bev and I walk into town and drop them off at a copy shop for copying, collating and stapling.
We then go to the Post Office to pick up the mail. There are some new subscription requests along and express mail to pick up from Johnnie of more literature. Among the subscription request is an address from Transcarpathia, Ukraine where I visit often. At the PO I buy lots of envelopes. We take the taxi back to the apartment.
Then Bev and I walked back into town. The last labels from Johnnie have come from the US. The printing is ready. On the way we stopped at two hotels to see about what rates they could give us for the Feast of Tabernacles. One was the Park Hotel and the other Barclay. Hotel owners are very anxious for business and i know that we can negotiate some favorable rates. We will take a look at a few other options as we stay the next few days. We will have to have something definite soon for 2009 Festival Planning.  The we get some groceries to take back home. All is well.   
A note about our taxi driver. We found a taxi driver across the street from the Post Office. He is Russian, he is friendly and talkative (unlike most taxi drivers). I tell him about our Tartu stay and he says that he'll be happy to take me anywhere and help out with the things we do. Unusual (the helping part, at least). He gives me his cell number and name. His name is German. That's pronounced "Herrmon."  So we have German the Russian Estonian cab driver. No problem. And, he's friendly and helpful.
He gives us both rides back and helps pack all the copying from the copy shop into the taxi. He'll pick me up the next day to take me to the prison when I go visit Valdur.     
He tells us about his big fall off in business. Estonia is really going through a tough time economically as much of the rest of the world.   
We asked UCG brethren Andrus Ripps and Katrin Kaasik to have dinner with us. They both arrived at 6 pm and we went to the Chinese Tsink Tsink Plekk Pang restaurant in the center of town. We had a great evening of discussion that covered everything from our families, the Church, the Economic Crisis, Katrin's job as a nurse. She works in surgery and is getting a higher degree in her nursing work. We also covered subjects that ranged from the Mormon Church to the Flat Earth Society.
At our table there was no one common language, unless is the lowest denominator would be English. So with the four of us we had three languages going all the time: Russian, English and Estonian. Bev speaks only English, I speak English and Russian, Katrin speaks Estonian, some Russian and English and the same for Andrus. At points in the conversation we would stick with either Russian or English and then when our guests came to an impasse they would translate to each other in Estonian. Surprisingly, this still allows for lots of enjoyable interaction and even laughter. We really had a great time. We even ordered one of Johnnie Lambert's favorite dishes called "Angry Cow" (note - NOT Mad Cow) just to feel that he was with us. They both had the kindest words towards the work and almost superhuman effort of JL.  
Andrus took us back to the apartment. Bev called Christina Davis in Malawi, Africa who just made a very knowledgeable post to her blog. At 11 PM I had to be on a one and a half hour Council of Elders conference call back to the USA. Tomorrow is the visit to the prison and tackling the big mailing. Thankfully we have German the Russian to help us out. I had told him about our work here in Estonia and he told us he'd be very glad to help out. I've got the Good News and other literature all set for him to read after he takes me to prison tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. See you tomorrow!
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Bev and Vic
I'm sitting here at the dining room table watching the snow fall and reading your blogs on my new laptop. I believe you're on your way to Sweden soon. Please give my regards to Stefan Saxon and his family. Please, ask him if he has a job. I know he was looking for one after finishing his master's degree. Looking forward to seeing you for the men's breakfast bible study in a week.
Your friend,


Re: Bev and Vic
We'll be on our way to Sweden Friday. We're still in Tartu....our blog gives a report. Stefan won't make it this time over to Paul and Kira Spenser's...I'm posting a video of the Vinogradov kids singing 'As the Deer' on YouTube...will be up within the hour.