You would think a little time away would have helped with that. But it did exactly the opposite. It just fed my longing. You have no idea how much I’ve come to appreciate order and courtesy. The British people made me want to cry with joy with their reserved warmth, self-deprecating humor, and affinity for queues. I felt as if I were in some sort of dream in which everything made sense. Let’s call this fantasy land the West. Visiting Warsaw was like being gently roused from the dream only to drift back into it with the scene changed only slightly. But then I awoke boarding a plane to Georgia of all places where orderly queues are for suckers and airplane etiquette is for pansies. And the level of relaxation and peace I had reached over the previous ten days disappeared in a matter of minutes before I even stepped foot back in the country of Georgia. As we landed, the Georgian passengers cheered, they were so happy to be back in their beloved Georgia, and I wanted to cry. It took quite a few days for that feeling to dissipate. But I’ve finally returned to my former state of: I’m not crazy about Georgian culture in general, but I care about a lot of people and things here. And for the next 7.5 months, I’m going to do what I can in Georgia. So, you can see now why I’ve not been writing. Nobody wants to read that!
Here are a few of the things that have helped me get through the past rather rough week. 1. The old man who lives off of the courtyard at my office. Everytime he sees me, he lights up with a huge smile and proclaims “Amerika!” and calls me over to him where he takes my hand in both of his and slips a hard candy into it. And sometimes he goes on to ask when my boyfriend is coming to visit from Amerika and can’t understand why he isn’t coming. 2. The 14 year old girl, Ana, in my conversation class who is bright, enthusiastic, and speaks English well. She is applying for our winter GLOW camp. She wants to study international relations and visit the US someday. My goal in the time I have left is to get her on track to be a great FLEX candidate in a few years so she can achieve that goal. FLEX is an exchange program that some of the best and brightest students of Georgia participate in. And they come back and do great things in their communities. Most of our GLOW counselors are FLEX alumni.
Some other things you might want to hear about: GLOW work goes on. We are working on plans for the January camp and an April GLOW Ambassadors conference. We are also working on a new website and hopefully a new logo. And a number of other things. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m helping my organization with a fundraising campaign that will launch in December. At that point, we’ll need to get 40 people to give $10 or more to the campaign. When the time comes, I hope you’ll consider being one of our 40. We also need to raise a total of $5000 in the month of December. That is the harder part of the goal. Hopefully we can achieve it!
Also, PCVs celebrated Halloween in style this past weekend in my city, Kutaisi. Our second annual Halloween gathering in Kutaisi thanks to my sitemate Ann. It was exactly what I needed to get me out of my post trip funk. In two weeks we’ll all be gathering again for the annual All Volunteer Conference where the tradition is to celebrate Thanksgiving as a Peace Corps family. I am once again on the cooking committee which is in charge of making Thanksgiving dinner for 120 people this year. It is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. And the following week, actually on Thanksgiving, some of us will be gathering for a smaller Thanksgiving celebration. REALLY looking forward to this because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. What’s better than an entire day dedicated to nothing other than food (and, in the States, football)?