The Summer Between

‘m long overdue for an update here. Once I arrived in the US after my week long journey filled with miscommunications and cultural frustrations, I wasn’t really in the right mind set to post on what the readjustment has been like. So, a month later I’m finally writing this.

There are days where Georgia seems like a long ago dream. There are others that make me regret my decision not to renew my contract. Overall, I’m making the big adjustments (transferring to UW Madison in the spring, moving to Madison this fall, getting a job) that I need to in order to continue on in life. I’m enjoying seeing friends and spending time with family. I can once again drive and understand all the conversations around me not just bits and pieces. I have all my luxuries like free wi-fi and easily accessed libraries. It’s been a good month back.

However, I still say “modloba” instead of “thank you” sometimes. I think our money looks weird and really, really miss Georgian coins (kinda an odd thing to miss, but I never said I was normal did I?). I have a ton of stories to tell people, but when I’m asked about my trip I’m at a loss of words. I can no longer cross the street like an American and find myself bracing for the crazy driving of Georgia. I miss bargaining for things at the market. Almost everyday I see or read something that gives me an idea for a lesson plan. Those are the days that I want to jump on a plane and fly back.

I don’t know how to bring this to a close. I’m still in an in between place when it comes to my thoughts and feelings about the whole experience. I wouldn’t change my decision to go to Georgia, but there are many challenges that I wish I could have been more prepared to handle. I recommend the program to anyone who is considering taking the risk of volunteering overseas. I walked away knowing and being more than I imagined (I had some pretty high expectations about how I’d change too, so that’s saying something).I want to go back, and I want to travel more.

I’ll just have to find some more adventures while I save up the money to do just that.

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