On Tuesday, February 9, eight soldiers from Iron Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry got to experience some Estonian culture when they visited Vasta School to celebrate Vastlapäev with the school’s kids.
U.S. Soldiers spoke about the work they are doing in Estonia and showed students some their military equipment. Students jumped at the chance to try on heavy armor, and the kids asked soldiers many questions about their life back in the U.S.
The school gave the U.S. Soldiers a real Vastlapäev experience with traditional Estonian Vastlapäev foods — pancakes, pea soup, and vastlakuklid.
Second Lieutenant Matthew Chapman enjoyed this opportunity.“It is great to get out of the field and interact with local population. We love working with Estonian Defense Forces, but getting a sense of Estonian culture and doing something interesting outside of our work is very valuable for all of us.”
And the school community was absolutely thrilled to host the soldiers. Little ones were eager to get a few English words from the soldiers. The older students had fun taking selfies with the servicemen.
“What a Vastlapäev!” said the school’s extra-curricular activity coordinator, Krista Leppik. “We could not have wished for a better celebration! We really wanted some U.S. military representatives to visit our school and make this day special for the kids, and it is our dream came true!”
The U.S. Soldiers and students also took part in new unusual tradition: a pancake rally! Dressed in aprons and holding frying pans with pancakes on them, kids and soldiers raced against each other in the park of the manor school.
Iron Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry arrived in Estonia in January and will continue its training deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve until the spring.