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Friday, August 28, 2009

Georgia (1)

To all,

Okay, this one will be a short one due to my continuing battle with jetlag!
We (Michele and I) began our trip on Tuesday afternoon and arrived in
Georgia at 3am local time. It was good having a traveling companion
especially during the nine-hour layover in Munich. Had I not, I think I
would have gone crazy from boredom! The trip was without incident and
arrival was relatively hassle free. Our contacts picked us up at the
airport and deposited us at the hotel within the hour.

Speaking of the hotel, it's so convenient for us. The service is much
better than what I had expected for an ex-Soviet state and that's probably
because the owner is Georgian-American. What few problems we've had have
been quickly resolved with a humble apology.

We've also met some interesting guests here. Apparently, this hotel is the
base for several NGOs and journalists. One British gentleman we met works
for UNICEF. Another man from northern Italy is visiting Hazelnut
plantations for his company in the western part of the country. They shared
wonderful stories with us about this country and neighboring countries. We
hope to meet many more like this.

As for the locals, they seem a bit reserved but warm up immediately when
Michele practices the two words of Georgian she's already learned
(Hello--'gamarjobat' and thank you--'madlobt'). Unfortunately, Georgian is
not a Slavic language and isn't even related to any other languages. But,
we can use what little Russian we know to communicate until we learn the
local language.

I've enclosed some pictures of the city from above. I'm not too happy with
the quality of them but will have many opportunities to take more. We're
planning on going to some churches and ruins tomorrow on the edge of the
city.

As always, feedback would be appreciated.

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