Six months later…

The flight home. Turkish Airlines is phenomenal.

For about six months now I’ve been meaning to have a little bit of a closure post here. At this juncture, I’m not sure that it holds a lot of value to do so, but I will rest easier knowing the digital record of my journey isn’t just hanging out there, forever stuck in Armenia.

It’s interesting my last post was from that trip—it was one of the highest highlights of my time in Eastern Europe. But lots happened after that too. Many of those memories may be too far gone to dig up now.

Saqartvelo, the Republic of Geor-jee-a, was quite an interesting place to live for six months. I gained 10-15 pounds in meats and oil-filled sauces and cheese-filled breads dripping with butter. I took years off my life inhaling second-hand smoke and politely taking shots of potent wine or tcha-tcha with every new acquaintance. I got bit by two dogs.

I was welcomed with open arms and treated in the best way anyone knew how by my school and my host family. Children stroked my hair and gave me hugs and presents. Their smiles broke all barriers of communication.

The opportunities for travelling—to Ukraine, Armenia, Greece and Turkey—were worth every penny and pound of pig brain. I took a boat across the Black Sea with a bunch of truckers and the Georgian Tae Kwon Do team. (Read that last sentence again for emphasis.)

Most importantly I saw the world through a lens I could have never understood in any other way. Come to think of it, I still don’t understand it. But I guess it’s the awareness of that lack of understanding that matters. That’s what I hope changed me a bit toward the more-informed, understanding of differences kind of person I want to be.

Let me know if you ever need me to show you around Batumi. I’ll try to drudge up some Kartuli. We’ll have khechapuri with our Turkish coffee on the rocks of the Black Sea shore while we watch dolphins jump. And then we’ll have shared a perfect Georgian moment.

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