Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Transit

I flew from Boston; to New York City; to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine; and finally to Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. I was reviewing the Georgian alphabet at Logan Airport, and another TLG volunteer found me, so we stuck together. When we got to JFK, we found out that another group of young people was flying to Kiev. It turns out that they were a Taglit-Birthright group Israel, but we did finally meet up with a bunch of folks from our group at the airport. The longest leg was nine hours, but all in all, I really lucked out. I sat next to a wonderful Romanian woman, and I had the window seat. Random note, but I found it interesting that Aerosvit, the airline, had tomato juice as a beverage option. Other than noticing that Cimber Sterling, a Danish airline, has a Viking logo on its planes, nothing noteworthy happened. I arrived in Tbilisi with all of my luggage, which wasn't the case for everyone, TLG met us right after the baggage claim, and I exchanged some money.

View from my hotel room
Taking a mini-bus from the airport to the hotel was reminiscent of my first hour in Cairo. However, I soon discovered that Tbilisi was very different. One of the first things I noticed was that people drove in the lines; I hadn't expected this. I was genuinely excited about it. I also saw police cruisers pulling drivers over and patrolling, which was reassuring. The buildings in the city are a lot shorter than I had anticipated. Sure, there are plenty of Soviet-style apartment buildings, but there are lots of little houses and shacks too. Since it was evening and I hadn't really slept in 24 hours, I don't have any more observations yet, but I'll fill you in after I check out my surroundings.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Teach and Learn with Georgia

It has been over two years since my last overseas adventure, so I'm due for another one. This time I'm bound for the Republic of Georgia to teach English abroad for approximately four months. I submitted my application to Teach and Learn with Georgia via an agency called Footprints Recruiting on January 9, and I didn't find out whether or not I'd be going until last Tuesday. I could be leaving as early as February 25 and as late as March 2, but I probably won't know my exact date of departure until a couple days before I fly out.

This opportunity is very important to me for a number of different reasons. First, while I am thankful to have been hired at CVS, I feel as if working there has really taken a toll on me. I am optimistic that going abroad again will restore my sense of self-worth and self-confidence. In fact, I already feel more upbeat. Second, I have itchy feet in a completely non-fungal and non-bacterial way. Ever since I was old enough to read, I've loved learning about different cultures and languages, and this has translated to an overwhelming need to travel. The world is my playground. Finally, I have always loved school, and I see myself going into the education field. Teaching abroad will undoubtedly help me to explore this career interest.

Insha'Allah, this experience will everything that I need it to be and more.