Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Think I'm Riding the Roller Coaster of Emotions

I don't think I've ever felt such different levels of emotions than I have in the past month.  As the final week of my ten months here in Georgia approaches, I'm completely nostalgic for my time here and am just trying to soak everything up, while being incredibly anxious and excited to see and hug my family and friends next weekend.  

A beautiful river up in Mestia
The past month has been full of last minute trips we want to get in before we leave our dear country, spending time with our families, saying goodbye to TLG friends and spending time with each other.  We managed to survive our trip up to Svaneti, one of the most beautiful, mountainous areas I've ever been to.  When I say survive, I mean that literally as the drives both and up and down the mountains in our Marshrutka were absolutely terrifying, ridiculously bumpy and overall just  really not fun.  Tara even had to shut the curtains on the window so she couldn't see how close we were to falling off the cliff to our death.  I also had another brush with death (might be a slight exaggeration...) while we were horseback riding.  Sadly, our experience horseback riding in Mestia wasn't quite as happy as our experience in Bakuriani in the fall.  My horse was older, with bad knees and hips, and was quite unruly and stubborn.  We eventually reached a point in our relationship where he refused to follow the trail I wanted to go on, and in his unruliness, lost his footing, sending us sliding down the mountain! I knew I was going to fall off and just kept praying I didn't break anything, which thankfully, I didn't.  I fell off, rolled down the hill a ways and then right into a thorny bush.  A few scrapes and bruises later, I hopped back up, looked at the horse and decided walking back to the stable through the river was a better idea then jumping back in his saddle.  *Side note: the fall did not make me afraid of horses...just of that particular horse!* 

Eating at our restaurat - Cafe Ushba!
We spent the rest of the weekend hiking to glaciers, exploring the Svan Towers and eating at the same restaurant every evening.  Not because the food was delicious, but because it was the only option! 

Hanging out at Gonio Fortress
Last weekend we headed to one of my favorite places in Georgia, Batumi.  We were got some time in laying on the beach, ate at several yummy restaurants, climbed up to the top of the lighthouse and overlooked the city of Batumi all lit up at night and then hiked around Gonio Fortress.  Then, on Saturday I'm heading to Vardzia with a bunch of TLGers, to explore some underground caves.  I've been wanting to go to Vardzia all year, so the timing is perfect! 

Crossing a scary wall in the fortress
When I'm not off traveling around and actually give myself time to reflect and think, I'm literally so torn as to how I'm feeling about leaving.  To be honest, the last 2 months I have very much been ready to come home.  I love so many aspects of Georgian life, but I have missed life at home dearly and am ready to be surrounded by friends and family.  However, these last couple weeks, the sun has popped out, it's been consistently warm and life here has been so much fun.  Like I mentioned, we've taken fun trips, I've loved taking long walks in the evenings, I even love how much more I sweat when I work out now that it's super hot out.  The food is also better! We've been eating so many yummy fruits and vegetables, some straight from our trees in our garden.  Every time I walk downstairs, I walk right past our cherry tree, so I have been eating my share of cherries! I've also fallen in love with a Georgian fruit called bushmala.  It's so fresh and yummy and I'm going to miss it! 

Yesterday Tara and I went swimming in a river in Kutaisi and had a blast jumping off rocks with some of our other friends from TLG.  We were all chatting about how we're all sadder to leave than we thought we would be just because of how great life has been in these last few weeks.  Georgia is just so different in the winter.  To be honest, it's not fun.  And it was a LONG winter.  Now that it's nice out, life here is so much happier.  I feel like I have just been so all over the place.  One minute, I'm frustrated by something at school and literally cannot wait to jump on the plane, and the next minute something hilarious or adorable happens at home with Cici and I can't imagine the thought of leaving my home here.  One minute I'm playfully arguing with the girls about something silly like which marshutka we should take to Kutaisi and the next I can't imagine the day where instead of being 5 minutes from Michelle, I'll be half way across the country where our relationship will be reduced to Skype and cellphones.  

Enjoying our afternoon at the river!
 I know that this is only the beginning of more mixed emotions as this week ensues, and even throughout my first few weeks at home.  Adjusting to life back in the states terrifies me a tiny bit as I've been living in a culture that is literally the polar opposite of our culture in the states for ten months.  However, I know that along with everything that I'm going to dearly miss in Georgia, I will be greeted by everything that I've dearly missed in America, that for which I am very excited about! 



  2. Hi Emily,

    Firstly can I just say thank you for writing such a detailed blog. I am heading to Georgia next month and I have read every word of your blog to try to soak up as much info as possible. It seems you had some great experiences couch surfing while you were there and I was just wondering how you found these. Did you use a website or was it all through word of mouth? Thanks,


  3. Hey Emily,

    I don't know if you'll actually see this but I first also wanted to say thanks for such a great blog. I was so undecided about where to teach abroad and then I came across your blog then subsequently read all your friend's blogs as well and they convinced me that Georgia is where I wanted to be. I'm still in the process of getting things together to apply but I was hoping to ask you some questions if you have the time to answer them. Would love to get a girl's perspective on certain things. If you're up for answering questions feel free to shoot me an email at: Thanks and hope to hear from you!

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