For much of Kathy's and Brian's lives, Estonia was simply a part of the Soviet Union. In fact, it's one of those countries with a sad history of repeated conquests. From the 13th century onward the country was run by a succession of Danes, Teutons, Swedes and Russians, with the Germans taking it over for awhile in WW II.
According to Wikipedia, "Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991. It has since embarked on a rapid programme of social and economic reform. Today, the country has gained recognition for its economic freedom, its adaptation of new technologies and was one of the world's fastest growing economies for several years. However, Estonia's economy was second worst hit of all 27 European Union members in the 2008-2009 economic crisis, contracting sharply in the first quarter of 2009."
We enjoyed our visit and we wish the Estonians well as they continue to build their own country.