Day 6 for the 6th of November
On this day I am thankful for my host family and my host community’s hard work during harvest and all the work they put into their crops. I can now appreciate the work of a farmer as every single person in my village is a farmer. I can appreciate the long and exhausting hours they work just to put food on their family’s table. I can appreciate the literal back-breaking labor of carrying heavy sacks of corn a mile down the road to the water powered flour mill. I can appreciate the hours of harvest and the supras (huge feasts) that follow to feed all those hands that helped. I can appreciate the fact that the food in front of me at dinner all came from our garden and our fields. I can truly appreciate that the people three feet away from me were the ones who made my food possible by planting seeds, caring for them throughout the season, harvesting, and preparing my food.
Day 7 for the 7th of November
On this day I want to give thanks to host family in Kakheti. My host family in Kakheti- I appreciate and I am thankful for them being my first host family in Georgia. They opened their arms and embraced me right away as one of their family members. They cared for me and even though my language skills were not strong in the beginning, they constantly loved me and laughed with me along the way. They welcome me back with open arms whenever I visit and I really appreciate it. Vano – you are so kind, so smart, and my best friend here in Georgia. I couldn’t ask for a better first host brother as you took the time to explain Georgia to me and your perspectives.
Day 8 for the 8th of November
On this day I want to give thanks to my host family in Chala, where I will reside for the next two years. Throughout Georgia, families have opened their homes and their arms to embrace, live with, and communicate with Americans for the next 2 years. That is a huge commitment when they had no say in who would be their volunteer (besides the mere suggestion of characteristics). As my friend Alex once said: Do you ever look around the dinner table and wonder why you are here? How is it that you and your host family agreed to live together for the next two years when there is neither a shared language nor culture….Words cannot fully express how much I appreciate everything you all do for me. During my site visit (which was only 2 days) I was so ill on the first full day. What an impression I made! They cared for me and made sure I was okay though I spent the whole day with my face in my pillow or my face in the toilet (graphic- I know). When I arrived back to Chala in the end of July to permanently reside in this village, I literally set my bags down and played with my host siblings in the yard. I chased them around the yard and we were laughing so hard. It was home right away. Nona, my host mom, goes out of her way to find new recipes online for me. She finds recipes and translates them when necessary to make food I may like. Since I rarely eat meat here in Georgia she continues to try new dishes that I may like. Sometimes we bake together and a week later she reproduces the dish to surprise me. She goes out of her way to make me more comfortable here. Truly the best host mom I could ever ask for. She is so patient with me and my Georgian language skills. She is so kind. My host family here is truly so patient and caring. They are so supportive of me and understand that I come from another culture. Sometimes I want to be independent and sometimes I want to be surrounded with family. They respect that and yet know I love them tremendously. I truly appreciate them.