by Clare Wocken, Greenheart Travel Teacher in the Republic of Georgia
The absolutely perfect harmonies struck a chord in me (pun intended or not) and I felt emotions welling up; I got very sad to be leaving this place that is so jam-packed with culture. I’ve felt like a part of a big, big family here. I’ve eaten with them, drank with them, attempted to speak with them, and as a result have learned some important things. I’ve realized the value of being able to be with people and enjoy their company for what it is, and not be constantly anticipating the next thing. I’ve grown much better at going with the flow and expecting the unexpected, for that is the name of the game in this country. I’ve learned to accept and enjoy awkward moments. And then, of course, there’s the importance of family and friends. All in all, I think I’ve grown from this experience (oh yes, and I’ve been given a picture of what teaching is like—I’m very glad to have seen that because it gives me an idea of what I will or will not do in the future). I’m aware that this may sound like an advertisement for the TLG program, but it is what it is.
Now that I’ve turned in my Georgian telephone and have received my ‘diploma’ as a volunteer English teacher as well as my letter of recommendation from the TLG program, I’ve purchased any last-minute gifts for my host family and fellow teachers and will begin packing my meager belongings and hit the long road to Yerevan, Armenia. After that, it’s home to Minnesota. Ah, the land of long aisles of chips and mini-vans. It’s been a while. I hope we can get along.