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home : current news : current news June 28, 2016


9/10/2013 11:58:00 AM
Estonians visit Sisters Country
A group of Estonian visitors enjoyed the wonders of the Sisters Country. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
A group of Estonian visitors enjoyed the wonders of the Sisters Country. photo provided


A group of Estonians visited Sisters during the Labor Day weekend, taking in Central Oregon sights and activities such as hikes, river rafting, art galleries and shopping in Sisters.

The five visitors are from Tallinn, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Estonia, located on the Baltic Sea in northern Europe. It was the first visit to the United States for any of the distant relatives of Sisters resident Marci Trahern. The group also visited Portland and the Oregon Coast, to see the varied landscape, cities and cultures that Oregon has to offer.

One of the highlights of their trip was a guided tour of the Whychus Creek Wild and Scenic Area, where Maret Pajutee, ecologist for the Sisters Ranger District, spoke to the group about the ongoing preservation of the canyon in their native Estonian language. Pajutee grew up speaking the language as a child, and has recently been working on refreshing her language skills. The hike was especially interesting to Olaf Räim, who is completing his doctorate degree in ecophysiology (forestry) at the University of Tartu, the oldest Estonian university, established in 1632. "We have many trees, but very different than these." Räim said, referring to his work which focuses on birch trees.

The country of Estonia is about one-fifth the size of Oregon and is approximately 50 percent forested, has 1,400 lakes, and a highest elevation of only

1,043 feet. The country was incorporated into the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin at the end of World War II; however the annexation was not recognized by many of the Western countries including the US, UK, France and Italy. Estonia officially regained its independence in 1991 along with its neighboring countries of Latvia and Lithuania. It is currently a member of the European Union, and has one of the highest literacy rates and advanced technology in the world.









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