Thursday, June 7, 2007

Imminent Departure

Five days left until the adventure begins! In honor of this fact, I began writing a list in my journal something akin to this: five days of hot water on demand, instant access to imformation, quality toothpaste and deoderant, effortless linguistic understanding, daily showers, movie theater movies (in English, of course), bowls and bowls of pasta, being behind the wheel of an automobile, feeding the internet addiction, indoor plumbing, etc. The list could go on and on really. However, in the midst of my frantic list-making endeavor, I realized that in exchange for all of the quotidian conveniences and extravagances of this American life, relocating to a remote country in the Caucasus and living like a Georgian for two years will afford me opportunities beyond my wildest imagination (and believe me, it can be quite limitless at times).

It's really an even trade-off of sacrifices and benefits. I'm happy to sacrifice a daily shower for the opportunity to attend an authentic Georgian supra. I don't mind giving up 24/7 internet to connect with a Georgian student or maybe, if I'm lucky, to instill in my future students my love of learning. Swapping an indoor toilet for the chance to visit the Black Sea or stand before the stunning Caucasus mountain range? In a heartbeat! This is why I signed up for Peace Corps. I know I will periodically succumb to the frustrations and occasional lonliness of living abroad, but I think remembering the reasons why I decided to embark on this journey will help me keep it all in perspective. I think I have a healthy respect for the seriousness of this commitment, and just enough trepidation to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. Right now I have that breathless sensation of butterflies in my stomach because I know, at least metaphorically, that once again I'm standing on the covered bridge over the Contoocook River and preparing to jump. All I have to do is take the first step. The rest is all inertia and pure experience. So here's to taking the plunge! May this journey to Sakartvelo and back be the adventure of a lifetime...

By the way, here are a few links to info about Sakartvelo for those of you interested in discovering more about my future home:
(Informative website about all things Georgian)
(Georgian National Anthem)
(A quite bucolic and romantic depiction of Georgia's landscape)