Back in Georgia

Arrived back in Georgia at 4am this morning, somewhat later than scheduled due to the plane arriving late and someone being taken off the plane prior to leaving Istanbul.  One of the more eventfulsome journeys I have had, but fun all the same, and lovely to be in such great company and with two of the best friends Helen and Lothar.  Been crazy to think that I really haven’t known them that long, but I missed so many of my new friends so much over the short Christmas break.  Which is a really new feeling for me, but reflects on just how much being away in a foreign country brings you close to people so you can support each other, especially when you are going through culture shock and the likes.

Am finding it hard to make much sense today, as my brain is still a bit fried and shocked after the past three or four days of about 3 hours sleep a night! I would definitely not cope if I had children, I really need my sleep!  But after luggage being lost, and found, and having to spend all our money on luggage, and almost missing our flights for several ridiculous reasons that were nothing to do with us, I finally made it to my new home, stayed up chatting until the morning, then slept until about 3pm, some four hours ahead of British time.  Now I have to get my head back into the language, direction of traffic, lack of driving rules and regulations, and settling in to a new area and home, prior to school starting next week, wherever that might be.

I didn’t think too much about coming back to Georgia, because there were several points of the journey, where the three of us were starting to question whether it was actually worth us coming back to Georgia.  But the same thing kept us strong….the friendship and hospitality of the Georgian people we have met so far.

So arriving at the airport with no one to meet us, and no taxi waiting, we were again a little anxious and unsure of our wanting to come back, but we were excited to see freshly squeezed (and totally overpriced) fresh orange juice at the airport cafe, and decided that it was worth the price given that we all missed our vitamins and dietal variety the last time we were in Georgia, and after two days of travelling, a health boost was what we needed!  Kind of good that we did really, as the man at the cafe ended up sorting out all our travel needs, and got us a better price than we would have got as pure foreigners!

So, with a car full to the brim with luggage, my heart sank a bit as we neared my new place of abode, and I still could not get my head around turning up at a total stranger’s house at 4am, having no Georgian language, and having never met them, to just arrive on their doorstep, introduce myself, and move in for the next 6 months or so.  Especially having travelled for two days and not slept, and being a bit smelly from my travels.  Not the best way to make a good first impression!! But it was fine, and I said goodbye to my two travel buddies from the past four days.  Chatted for a bit, then eventually headed to my new room and new bed….and slept, into the afternoon!

When I finally woke up, I was surprised to see that I had several missed calls on my phone, and I smiled as I remembered that this was why I loved Georgia.  I had four missed calls from my old host family, and several from other members of my group.  Its all a bit of a mixed emotion time at the moment.  Happiness to be back amongst good friends, excited about the prospect of new adventures, curious to discover what the next few months have in store for me, happiness to speak to my old host family, annoyance to hear that another volunteer will now be moving in with them (angry because its like it trivialises everything that I have just gone through with my kidney being damaged from the parasites I picked up, and maybe the next person will not be so lucky and get away with it!),  sad because I miss my last family and the close bonds I made with them, sad that they have not learnt from my experiences and still have not told anyone that I am not coming back, so the school is still expecting me and everything thinks I got sick because I had a drink of coca cola, happy because my family want to have another volunteer stay with them and that they are still in touch, excited about meeting my new family who are due back from holiday at the weekend, and excited to be making new friends in the city.  Its a crazy time! On the one hand I feel kind of neglected, but on the other I am loving my freedom, and am torn between anxiety and excitement.  Things could just go either way at the moment, and I hope that my feelings of something bad happening are just a reaction or defense mechanism from all that happened when I was ill before christmas and the excitement of what might be to come.  I just hope that I am not disappointed.  So many friends think I am crazy for returning, but somehow I am not done with Georgia yet, and I hope that the efforts will reap their rewards over time, and that it is just a question of acclimatising to a culture which is new to me.  But either way, I am happy to have such great friends here, and its pleasing that I missed them so much.

I still have no idea about when I start school or where it will be, but I am sure that all will be revealed in time, and there is plenty more of adjustment to be made in the meantime.  I’m struggling to write or think today, because I am just so tired, but I’m sure that once I get back into a routine, all we be well, that ends well.


About Sarah Rows Solo

British YouTuber and Founder of Environmental and STEM education charity Oceans Project, preparing for a solo row around the coast of Great Britain.
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