We have completed day 3. Todd and I have developed a pattern in the morning before class. We meet in the hotel restaurant for breakfast and it is quite a spread. Todd tries to communicate effectively, but it seems that he needs a substantial intake of caffeine to sound coherent. We then take a 10 minute walk across the river to the Academy. The last few days it has been in single digits, which makes the walk brisker. But with everybody walking, we don’t feel so alone.

In class today we covered perceptions and several models of how to change thinking. The students were a little more interactive. There was a discussion about what truth was and if can we actually know the truth. Then they worked on a case study that they energetically discussed and presented to the class.

Meelis has been our translator. He is an energetic man who is willing to help as he can. He has been invaluable in helping us communicate to students who speak mainly Estonian. At times when he has been  translating, he has struggled to find the right words. Some of the student have helped him with the phrasing. While Meelis is apologetic, it is also good to see how others help when he feels inadequate.

Classes have run about 4 hours. There is a range of students in the class. One is going into youth work, another is a nurse. One is a businessman studying to become a minister. Another one talked about wanting personal growth. One is a Sunday School teacher who has a heart for children. What they all believe is that God has them where they are to help others.

The first day, the class felt very stiff. It was explained by Meelis that Estonians are very shy. It feels a lot like guarded and cautious. Over the last couple days the students have gradually gotten warmer. Today there were some very good discussions going on in class. It makes it particularly interesting when the translator has to field rapid fire response from different students and Todd and I.

After class we put on coats, hats and gloves, and slip and slide our way back to the hotel.

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