Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The Latvian President bites her lip.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands...and her hat.
Since we are kind of on the subject of visits by famous former heads-of-state, we might as well include a current royal one who visited us last spring. It's certainly much easier to get up close to these folks in Latvia compared to the States. I guess Queen Beatrix isn't seen as much of a threat. Tomorrow, Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to visit. I'll bet that one will be a little tougher to approach so closely, but we'll try. She'll be in the same spot as the foto above, laying flowers on the Freedom Monument in Riga.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I think we need a break from fall fotos, so I'll put up some of Boris Yeltsin who visited us in Cesis a few weeks ago. Apparently he worked on a collective farm near here as a young man and wanted to see it one last time. Here he gingerly descends the stairs with his wife. The man over his left shoulder is the Prime Minister of Latvia, sometimes known as “Shrek”.
Latvia has a complex relationship with Russia and Russians. Almost 40% of the population are native Russian speakers, (though not here in Cesis), the result of 50 years of being the same color on the map as the old Soviet Union. Still, the folks were pretty warm to old Boris. They realize he contributed to Latvia's independence by not trying to prevent it. There were a few humorous comments in the crowd about his heavy-drinking days, but overall, they enjoyed seeing him.
With his wife.
Lecturing the Cesis Mayor.
I wish I could have that much hair at 75.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
My wife Inga and I walk almost every day, but Saturday is market day so it's always fun to see all the folks who come in from the country villages to buy and sell at the outdoor market.
I especially like to capture the faces of the older people who have seen and suffered so much. They are a fading generation, the likes of which we won't see much again after they've passed.
It says, "only homemade".
Sometimes, they look so frustrated and tired. I know their lives haven't been easy, living through war and the Soviet times. I hope they believe the future will be better. In most ways, it already is. Still, pensions are small. It's amazing to me to see their enterprise and energy. They're tough people.