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People know Keila juga and Jägala juga, accessible tourist attractions, located just west and east of Tallinn respectively. And a lot of people who have visited them from abroad might have been tempted to call them a KOSK instead of a JUGA. ("Niagara kosk" sound familiar?) Niagara is in fact a juga – a steep fall of water off an escarpment. A kosk can be extremely steep as well; the distinction lies in free-falling water (juga) vs water cascading along the surface of rocks (kosk). A series of many falls (pl. = joad) is called a joastik. With a decreased gradient, we arrive at rapids (kärestik), the home of parvetamine aka rafting.

A surprise awaited Estonia’s president on March 19 in Washington, D.C. when he spoke  in the Atlantic Council’s global leadership discussion series. Frederick Kempe, president of the Council, asked  Mr. Andrew Prozes, the director of the Council’s board to introduce Mr. Ilves because Mr. Prozes and Mr. Ilves had something in common.  As it turned out, Mr. Prozes, who is also CEO of LexisNexis, also has Estonian parents, from Saaremaa. The Prozes family fled to Germany where Andrew was born, and emigrated to Canada in 1948. Mr. Prozes, referring to Mr. Ilves’ background in psychology, called him Estonia’s First Therapist.

The Estonian American National Council announ-ced elections for the XX Council on January 18, 2010, with a closing date for nominations for candidates of March 2, 2010.  The Elections Committee is extending the nomination period for 60 more days (until May 3, 2010) as the committee did not receive the minimum of 50 candidate applications as required by EANC by-laws.

On the 22nd and 23rd of April, Tallinn will be the host for the annual unofficial meeting of NATO countries’ Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which will be attended by delegations from up to 56 countries and nearly 400 journalists.
The event will be hosted by Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet.
The preparations for holding the summit already began in November 2009, when  NATO’s technical workgroup arrived in Tallinn in order to discuss the technicalities of the event.

According to the leader of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), on a political level, Estonia is welcome to the Eurozone since its financial state is extremely strong.
Discussing the issue of the adoption of the single European currency and the words coming from the Bussels-basedthink tank, the Estonian national broadcasting reported that the economic analytics believe that if Estonia would join the Eurozone, it would not escape from helping countries as Greece, if it is jointly decided. - 8 March (BNS) - During the last decade the  life expectancy for both men and women has risen  in Estonia, but currently the difference between men's and women's life expectancy is nearly 11 years.
According to Statistics Estonia, the life expectancy in the country in 2008 was the highest of all time, 79.2 years for women and 68.6 years for men. In ten years the life expectancy for women has increased by 3.5 years and for men by four years. - 6 March (BNS) - The rector of Tallinn University, Rein Raud, flew to China on Saturday to complete the process of establishing a Confucius Institute at Tallinn University that started one and a half years ago.
An agreement with the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing has already been signed and on Tuesday Raud will sign an agreement at the Estonian embassy in the Chinese capital with the new partner university, the Guangxi University in Nanning.

I've wanted to introduce distant readers to the Estonian word for snowshoes for many winters now. Finally, I got my chance before the snow melts! At least our snow over here in Eesti, because we've still got a lot of it to melt. My friend Andres Ideon had barely managed to post some winter hike pics on Facebook when I knew my chance had arrived, since I myself have yet to experience a räätsamatk (snowshoe hike), rabamatk (bog hike) with the help of räätsad, or what I can only imagine to be the glorious experience of strapping blades to your boots and skating on the ice-capped sea.


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