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arizona1Estonian Honorary Consul Michael Chan of Phoenix, Jim and Linda Abbott, James 'Ilo' Becker, Josiah Becker, Jess Williams and Tatum Wright, Peter and Ann Boyer, John Willis, Melissa Kula, Steve Martinez, Linda Becker, Hilja Hõplus-Martinez, Julius Becker, Janet and Erik Arro, Eda and Rees Fischer with Mari, Estonian Embassy First Secretary Oleg Dmitrijev, Susan Kuljus, Haili Grossthal, Ilmar Kuljus, Evan Grossthal, Darlene Grossthal, Uno Kula, Geoffrey Grossthal, Marina Rynning, Rumanian Honorary Consul Ileana Orlich & Anton Orlich (her son), Peter Vaga-Feldmann. There were four (Levon Aslanya, Michael Liddy,  Guido and Dottie Tihkan) who missed the group photo making for a total of 36 participants this year.

 

 

by Peter Feldman

 

arizona2Another annual Estonian Independence Day gathering has taken place at Jim and Linda Abbott's home in Mesa, Arizona part of the Phoenix metropolitan area on the 23rd of February 2014.

 

This event has become a tradition that brings together  widely distributed Estonians in the southwest desert of the United States.

 

Even though many of the participants do not see each other but for this special event we have grown to a familiarity and friendship from our common cultural roots.

 

A total of 36 people participated to catch up on yearly events and partake in delicious ethnic foods and to get a chance to speak their native language.

 

Of course there were many spouses and children of mixed nationality who never spoke Estonian but still felt pride in their family's ethnic roots.

 

This year we were honored in having two dignitaries join us by invitation by our local Estonian Honorary Consul Michael Chan.

 

arizona3Peter Vaga-Feldmann happily acquired his dual US and Estonian citizenship when Estonian Honorary Consul of Arizona Michael Chan delivered his Estonian Passport.

 

One of who was Estonian Embassy First Secretary Oleg Dmitrijev who spoke about the commonality of spirit of Estonians spread out across the US as well as the World.

 

The other was Rumanian Honorary Consul for Arizona Ileana Orlich who also brought her son.

 

This yearly event has been occurring over a dozen years. The annual collection of  photos taken from some of the years has been posted by John Willis on the "Arizona Estonian Webpage" at: http://azestonians.com/main.php.

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