Leaving a place…

This will be a short post…

I left Zestponi today. What does that even mean? It means Shorena, Shalva, and Tomas were there to hug me goodbye. Mya and Ucho stood by as well. It was a small gathering at the minibus in the street-alley in front of Mya’s 2-flat. An insignificant scene replicated millions of times across the globe. It was simply time for good bye. But for us, the few standing together on a beautiful, cloudless day with the North and South Caucuses in view, it was rather sad. Shorena and her husband Shalva were teary-eyed. I felt my heart breaking. How is it possible that only after a week together, a parting would cause such emotion?

I don’t have an answer.

What I think…well…I think we were thrown together with varied expectations. The Department of State chose us and all were on their best behavior; we were representing the best our countries had to offer. But rather than just be representatives, we connected. We tried to become friends but ended up being like family.

Shorena kept saying “next time, next time” because she did not want to say goodbye. I did not want to say goodbye either.  I don’t want to say goodbye now.

We celebrated Amanda’s birthday in style tonight back in Tbillisi. It was fun to hear all the stories and kind of nice to share humor without hand and arm signals. But it was also quite empty. I had left my new family. They were not here to help us celebrate.

There’s no right way to end this post. I already miss Shorena, her family, the teachers of Public School #5, and especially the kids.

I feel lost…


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