I left from Chicago on Friday at 9PM for Georgia. Luckily, I met up with some other Greenheart travelers at the gate. We chatted about where we were from and what was bringing us to Georgia. Then we all boarded the largest airplane I have ever seen for a ten hour flight. I have to say Turkish Airlines treated us very well. We got two full meals and had personal TVs at our seat with new movies, tv shows, music, and games. They even gave us little kits with slipper socks, eye masks, and a toothbrush. Perhaps you get all these convinces when flying internationally no matter which airline you use, but since it was my first international flight, I felt spoiled. We then landed in Istanbul, Turkey, for a seven hour wait. Some people bought a visa and went out into the city to explore. I stayed in the airport (it was full of perfume!). I didn’t want to get lost and miss my flight. Our last flight was only two hours long and also included a meal.
Landing in Georgia finally was extremely exciting. You could see all the city lights as we came in, and I got a slight idea for the size of Tbilsi (their capital). When we left the plane all we had to do was stand in line for the visa and get our passports stamped. I only had to tell them that I was with Teach & Learn and they took care of it all. I got my luggage downstairs and went out the doors to a waiting area. A couple very nice Georgians were waiting with a sign. They pointed out where we could exchange money and we gathered as a group to wait for everyone. Even though it was 3:30AM and I hadn’t really slept on the planes, I was wide awake. The airport looked like any other airport, but I knew that right outside was a whole new country. A place that I’d never seen. No one I know has seen it either.
I got my first real look at the city on the bus that took us to our hotel. Many of the buildings we passed were run down. However, there were plenty of trees along the road side and some decent green space here and there. All the signs are written in Georgian. There were a couple that had English as well close to the airport. When roads are built on bridges above each other there are neon pink and blue lights on the sides of the bridge. Gas was terribly cheap. The two stations that we passed were all priced under 2 lari (at least I think I read the sign correctly?) which is less than a dollar.My hotel room’s window has a view of the city and the mountains behind it. I’ll see if I can’t get a decent picture of it sometime this week.
Hopefully, I will get to see more soon. Today was just spent sleeping at the hotel. We have a welcome meeting and dinner soon. I’m sure we’ll get a schedule for the next week of training and such tonight. I can’t wait to get started on it all.