Peters Traces His RootsOctober, 1994

Page 57

Some Progress

Arno's friend, Janis, has been living out here four days a week, working on getting the place going. He couldn't afford to buy a share in his privatized workshop, and had to leave it. Last year, the lumber saw perched over a hole in the ground. Now it's finally cutting lumber. The old kiln (the new roof blew off last year) is pretty much demolished. Janis has been putting up new rafters - he diplays confidence in his handiwork as he poses underneath. We climb up for a look. Maris says Janis is making progress here, but right now it's a building without a purpose.

All is not work, though. Behind the old kiln house is a little sauna, complete with windows. The best therapy after a hard day's work is to go perties pirti, literally, "to spank oneself [yes, each other is more fun and socially acceptable] with birch twigs in a sauna."

A new sawmill of sorts
Nothing but burnt timbers left where the kiln once stood. Russians burned it down on purpose as they left the disbanded kolkhoz.
Page 58
Janis, rebuilding
Maris looks back to make sure I haven't fallen through anything
A good sauna to relax at day's end

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