Khertvisi Castle, Khertvisi, Georgia

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sam says goodbye to Georgia (for now)

Sam said his final goodbyes to Georgia on June 15, and took off for his next adventures.  It was tough saying goodbye (for him, for me, and for all the people who have made this experience so rich and wonderful for us).  My own turn to say goodbye will come soon enough.  But even though it is really difficult to face leaving, both Sam and I really do believe that we'll be back here in Georgia again before too long.  We hope and plan to come back, whenever the stars align to give us enough free time and money to make it.

Here are some of the things we did in our last few days together here in Georgia, and many of the reasons we have already started planning our next trip back.

Goodbye, Kortaneti!

Sam, signing Akaki's bolo zari (last bell) shirt

Sam with Akaki, in the aforementioned shirt

Sam and Zurab

Me and Maia

Me, Maia and Zurab toasting at lunch

The roses in bloom in Kortaneti

Tamila making khinkali

Goodbye, Borjomi!

Borjomi Park

A waterfall in Borjomi Park

Some pretty flowers on our hike in Borjomi National Park

Me on our hike in the national park

The view looking up as we hiked

The view looking out as we hiked

The Green Monastery outside of Borjomi

Relics in the Green Monastery

Flowers planted outside the monastery

Stream on the way to the Green Monastery

Paintings inside the Green Monastery

Goodbye, Akhalkalaki!

Farewell lunch with Sergei and Shushan

Farewell dinner with our host family (from left, Akop, Amalka, Emilia, Shaen, Armine, Lilit, Sam and me)

Mt. Abul shrouded in clouds

Sam with his bag (and Lilit showing how she was going to ride with Sam when he left)

The view from the road on the way to Tbilisi

Goodbye, Tbilisi!

Looking down on the city one last time from the fortress

 Sam in the fortress

Sam saying hello to the bees kept outside the church inside the fortress

Goodbye cookout for PCVs at the American Ambassador's house

Sam and Christopher at the Ambassador's cookout

Ambassador Bass, Sam, me and PC Georgia Country Director Rick

Goodbye, Sam!

Sam on his last time in the Peace Corps office, with the Snickers bar that he was given on his first day in Georgia on April 28, 2010.  Yes, he kept it the whole time.  No, he did not eat it (call it the nagging wife effect or the it-was-already-1.5-years-expired effect).  In the end, he decided to preserve his health so he can come back to Georgia again and again.