Missing from the Celebration of Freedom—Two Leaders Who Died Too Soon

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA:  As the world marked the 25thanniversary of freedom returning to Eastern Europe, it is sad that two of the wisest post-communisleaders are no longer with us. In the extraordinary events that followed the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Poland was the inspiration. It had elected a non-communist government months before the wall came down. Lech Walesa, Pope John Paul II are true heroes … Continue reading Missing from the Celebration of Freedom—Two Leaders Who Died Too Soon

Adventure Bus Travel in Kaliningrad-Russia and Baltics

KALININGRAD, RUSSIA: The first problem is language. If you’re a Russian speaker, it’s easier. This sign at the Kaliningrad bus terminal tells the story.  The destination beneath the number is ‘Bremen,’ the one at the bottom, ‘Tallinn’ and above that ‘Riga.’  There’s not a word in Latin script anywhere. Inside it’s no better as I found no one at any window who could speak English. … Continue reading Adventure Bus Travel in Kaliningrad-Russia and Baltics

Bare Bones Life for Estonian Pensioners

PARNU, ESTONIA. Enno Kuusmets is a sturdy Estonian who at age 77 has experienced tough times.  Enno Kuusmets at Parnu’s bus station  Born four years before the Soviets took over in 1940, his homeland in southeast Estonia was soon occupied by the invading Germans. His father was forced into the Wehrmacht. Enno remembers soldiers digging trenches in his yard as the Germans retreated from the … Continue reading Bare Bones Life for Estonian Pensioners