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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Ups, Downs and All Arounds so far…

THE UPS:

The food is awesome. It’s not that its just all that unique, in fact its just your basic veggies and meat, but the herbs and freshness are just awesome here. I sat down to lunch on Saturday to this conversation from a visiting sister and brother-in-law. “We have brought you a traditional Georgian dish prepared by our mother-in-law for you. It is made with cheese and corn and called ghomi.”

I’m looking at this flat, white, cake like thing and all of a sudden all I could think was, ‘did you say corn?’ That’s right people. Georgians have GRITS! Now, they aren’t the kind granny used to make, but grits they are. I popped the first bite in my mouth and that was all it took to confirm that yes indeed, Georgians make grits. My exact response was not understood by anyone since it was in English and spoken rather quickly, but I blurted out, “Hot damn! Traditional Georgian alright! The only thing you’re missing is the butter and pepper.”

If you can imaging making grits, putting them on a plate and letting them cool and harden just a bit then you’ve got the idea. I’m going to try and convince my host mom to make some one time and then try to step in mid way in the process to keep her from messing them up. They just need more milk, butter, salt and pepper, which apparently has not occurred to them over the last 2,000 years. Thank God I’ve arrived.

Saturday was a good day after a long week and I was glad to have a relaxing afternoon at home. We had some other good food and some awesome domestic beer. It was a lite beer that is produced with some local fresh spring waters. I didn’t really care though after me and my brother-in-law consumed 3 liters between the two of us. Afterwards, I kicked his ass in some dominos which apparently he’s pretty good at. 350-215 anyone? Boo-Ya! Score one for Uncle Sam!

Also, I learned that when drinking wine, you toast to things you love. When drinking beer, you toast to things you hate. Let’s just say that many a politician was toasted on Saturday. I even put one up for ol’ Gov. Mark and his cheating ass.

Technical training is going well. I feel like I remember a lot of the information about the teaching aspects from the last go around and I’m excited about finding some community development projects to work on. I won’t know exactly which areas to target for those projects though until I reach my community and do some site assessments and community needs analysis.

The country is beautiful, which I’m sure I’ve said before, but its worth repeating. We had a huge lightning and rain storm on Saturday night after a few days of some rather intense heat. It got up to around 96 here on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was cooler and that was nice since Sunday is our one day off every week. But, with that comes hand washing clothes which I am insisting that I do myself rather than letting my host family do it for me. I need to get back into the habit and it gets annoying not being able to do things for yourself. By the way, that is some back-breaking stuff there. Try being bent over for about half an hour picking up and scrubbing wet clothes. Oh well…

THE DOWNS:

My language training is not going too well so far. I am not picking up Georgian very quickly due to several factors. One, my teacher is in an extreme hurry for some reason and is not very attentive when it comes to questions or student’s learning needs. The program also seems disorganized since we are learning a lot of grammar and not a lot of functional language. I can tell the difference between dative and possessive case, but I can’t go to the market and ask about prices or products, nor have I been introduced to basic transportation and directional language. Two, my host sister speaks English very well and insists on using it at home, so there are no force factors to make me learn. I don’t mind this so much since I think it will do her a lot of good to interact with an English speaker more than it’ll help me at this point. And the third factor is just my host family environment. I have a one year old living here and he cries from the time he gets up to the time he goes to sleep. So when it comes time to do some homework and try to study… cry, cry, cry. I felt like I was on the edge this past Friday and was damn near ready to scream. I spoke about this with my host sister on Saturday and we’ll see if it produces any results.

There are three things I hate being woken up by: Babies, Roosters, and Dogs. One of these three things wakes me up every morning, no matter what.

I have an extreme sense of isolation at times and I had forgotten how tough this transitional period really is. This past Friday was really rough and this weekend has not proven to be all that much better, but I have relied on my old mantra of getting up every morning and facing whatever it is that’s thrown at me. I had to remind myself that I’ve only been in Georgia for just under two weeks, even if it does seem like two months at this point.

Did I mention the squat toilet and only showering three times a week? I did? Ok, enough said about that then.

The only other downer this week was when I talked to one of the training directors about mail from the US. He said it is very unreliable and that it can sometimes just be neglected all together. He told a story of getting a Christmas card in May and I wanted to puke. I did hear from my mom this week, so that was cool. It’s always nice to just hear people’s voices and say hey.

THE ALL AROUNDS:

A few of the other volunteers are leaning on me just a bit since I have some experience with dealing with all this new training methodology and the transition in general. It’s kind of nice at times because it takes my mind off my own issues and makes me feel like I have some importance in the group. Our Education trainer is funny though because when she asks a question that no one knows the answer to she just looks at me and waits on me to answer. I generally do, but I try to wait as long as possible to make her sweat and to see if anyone else wants to take a shot at it. Most of the time though everyone, including myself is exhausted by the time we get to technical training in the afternoons, so nobody is in the mood to play these training games and do group activities. Ah Pre-service Training, how I have not missed you. But, I will say this, the staff here is great and they are very organized. I have no complaints there.

We had some cultural training this week and that was interesting. This is a very male dominated society and while women are held in high esteem, there are some downsides. One is, I will not be able to form ANY kind of relationship with women in this country. Not friendship, nothing. Which is weird since I have a lot of female friends in the US. The reason behind this is that there is no such thing as male/female friendship. Men and women interact only if they are related or are on the path to marriage. Engagements here can last as little as a few days before people get married. And, since I don’t plan on getting married to a Georgian woman, I guess I’ll have to find my niche with the men and try to avoid what apparently is a problem here of being at a men’s party, getting drunk and being dragged to a brothel. No thanks! I’ll pass on the crazy Georgian hooker-fest. The other is being at a men’s party and having to explain to a village elder why you don’t want to marry his daughter or any of his relatives. Awkward!

Men and women eat separately (most of the time), socialize separately, and do not in general make eye contact in the streets. Men can drink and smoke. Women are not supposed to. For men it is expected that they’ve had sex before marriage. For a woman, sex before marriage can bring shame to the family. The only time it is acceptable for men and women to interact is in the presence of family members or in a professional context. And if you’re a single guy going to a woman’s house, you had better believe they are planning your wedding the next day. Wow! This really makes me wonder why they stuck me with a family of only women and a brother-in-law who only comes by once a week. This whole dynamic brings new meaning to the phrase, ‘Just Say No!’

The other major thing I’ve noticed is that Georgian drivers are Crazy! The line down the middle of the road is merely a suggestion and in fact the road itself can sometimes be bypassed in favor of a better route. Just a word of caution to pedestrians, look left then right, then left, then right, then left and then… RUN!

Oh, I’ve picked up another A name for myself. In Georgian Andrew gets shortened to Andro. Not pronounced like the ant killer though. More like Aun-Drro. I’m not liking that one to much just yet, but we’ll see if they use it all the time if it grows on me.

As of now (Sunday afternoon) that’s all I’ve got. I’ll try to come up with some more for you soon. Oh, and yes I did hear that Michael Jackson died. Hmmm… Oh yeah! In case you need another reason to make fun of Kevin Costner, he’s doing commercials on this side of the world. I just saw him the other night doing a long spot for Turkish Air. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for other celebs doing spot work for extra cash on Eastern European TV.

Peace!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tokhliauri

The place is beautiful. The people are very friendly and the food is awesome. I’m talking about my new home here in Georgia; Tokhliauri. (Tock-lee-a-oo-ri)

I wish that I would have had some free time over the past few days to go around and take some pictures, but for now you’ll have to make due with the “street” that runs up the mountain to my home and the central courtyard here. There are tons of roses, grape vines, walnut trees, apples, cherries, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, lots of herbs and some of the best honey I think I’ve ever had. The home’s livestock consists of chickens that give us our eggs for breakfast and, as was the case on Sunday, our meals as well. Nothing like seeing the chicken you’re eating later that day be choked out and defeathered right in front of you. ‘Do you like chicken?’ Yes. Yes I do. ‘Well pick one then.’ Awesome!

The family I’m staying with is very nice. There are no men in my family since the father died last year, but the mother and her two daughters that are staying here for the summer are very nice and helpful. The women here in every family wait on the men hand and foot, so they are happy to have someone to ‘look after.’ The mother (Nana) is in her late 50’s I would guess and the daughters are my age or a little younger. One is married and has a one-year-old child and the other lives in Tbilisi and is an English teacher at the university there. She is on summer break and stays with her mother during the summers to get out of the city. I think this summer she is even happier because she has a chance to practice her English with an American. Marika is her name and she is most helpful during this transitional time when my Georgian language skills are non-existent.

Everything seems to be going well. I’m picking up the language and the cultural transition is not that rough this time since I’ve been through it before. There are a lot of differences between here and Kazakhstan but some things are very similar.

As far as conditions go, the home does have an indoor shower, you just have to use a wood stove to heat the water about an hour and a half before you’re ready to take a shower. The toilet is outside though and is of the squatting variety. Not an outhouse so to speak, but a hole with some tile around it that you have to aim for. I’ll spare you the details on that one. There is a kitchen in the back house, a building that consists of another kitchen like room and dining room and another dining room that is larger for hosting guests and having parties. On the opposite side of the courtyard is the living house that is two storied and is comprised of the shower and my room on the ground floor and the rest of the family’s rooms on the top floor.

There is no Internet to speak of anywhere in the area, but I’ve found a home that does have access that I’m sure they’ll let me use it once a week, so I should be able to get a post up on here from time to time. Cell phone service is spotty at best, but most of you should have received an e-mail with that information and my updated number. The village I’m in is small and has a population of about 500-600 people. There are some paved roads in the center, but my road is like most of them; made of rocks and dirt. Basically the whole village sits on the side of a mountain so when I walk to school every morning I’m going downhill and then on the way home it’s an uphill hike.

I am a superstar though as you will see from this photo at the airport when we arrived. The photo was on the front page of the US Embassy website for Georgia. When I arrived in my village, people already knew me because they saw me on the news. Awesome!

Nothing much to report other than that. I’ll try to type out some “funny” stories when I come across them and post them up in the future. But for know, rest easy, I am doing well and adjusting as well as can be expected. I miss my friends and family, and I miss having everything on demand at all times, but the slow pace of life and the crisp clean air are wonderful. I wish you could all come and see this.

Be well my friends! Peace!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Second post in Georgia


Just a short note for everyone. I’m leaving the hotel tomorrow with the rest of my group to head out to our villages and meet our host families that we’ll be living with for the rest of training. I probably won’t have internet for about a week or more, so don’t expect much word unless you give me a call for updates.

View from my Hotel Room


Everything is going well here so far, but it’s kind of hard to tell since we’ve been in this hotel how things are going to be once they set us free and out into the wild. I did have my first Russian test today just as a look to see what knowledge of the language I brought with me. And, let me just say that I nailed it. Coming out of that test was probably the highlight of my day. Well that and throwing the baseball around with a couple of other guys who brought gloves.

Anyway, it’s kind of late here and I need to get back up to my room and study some Georgian language before I go to bed. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow with more classes in the morning and meeting the host families tomorrow afternoon. Please God let them be cool!

Hope all is well there and I can’t wait to hear from y’all. That’s right. I said y’all. I even taught some people (other Americans) today how to understand one of the cases in Russian and Georgian by relating it to y’all. They were all surprised that a Southernism could be so useful. Duh, don’t they know. We Southerners perfected the English language by adding as many compound words as possible.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Impressions of Georgia

So the flights over were hell on Earth. Of course all trans-Atlantic flights are, but I can not and never have been able to sleep on airplanes. So, I bout some of those Tylenol PM Simply Sleep tablets for the flight over thinking that they would help me sleep. They did, for about an hour. The flight from Philly to Istanbul was marred by turbulence some of it bad some of it just normal. It’s not that that makes me nervous, it just prevents me from ever being relaxed. Then we had a four hour layover there in Turkey in which all 30 of us had to wait in two different security lines as they changed our departure gates THREE times. So, not only are we in a strange airport we are listening to the instructions in four different languages.

It was interesting being in such a large international airport outside of America. The least common language was English and the staff was less than helpful. The flight from Istanbul to Tbilisi was supposed to only last three hours. It took almost four since we were stuck on the runway for about half an hour after we left the gate about 20mins. late. I was sick on the flight to Tbilisi because I was just so tired at that point and getting nervy about getting to Georgia. Not vomitous sick but just sickly. Anyway, we did all get here and it was interesting. All of my bags made it, however there were three or four in our group who are still missing either one or all of their bags and are having to borrow clothes from people.

The U.S. Ambassador to Georgia was there to greet us along with the Education Minister of Georgia (he could have been the finance minister, I’m not too sure, I was really tired and kind of running on adrenaline at the time). But, they put us all in this little roped off area so that we could pose for both the TV and print media outlets of Georgia. I did have a moment of stardom when a little Georgian kind of about three or four years of age wandered into our area just being curious. He was standing between us and the cameras, so I just stepped out of our little group, reached out and shook his hand. I could hear the cameras clicking and am sure that I’ll end up on somebody’s front page somewhere.

My rock star status aside, they took us to this nice café straight from the airport and fed us a ton of food. I wish I had time to describe it all, but let me just say… it was awesome! (YFY for those of you that know what that means) The food here is so much better than Kazakhstan so far. I’ve had three FULL meals today and can’t get enough of this natural and very delicious food. After the café, we came to the hotel where we will be until Saturday afternoon when we go to meet our host families. After some hanging around, everybody went to sleep including myself. Oh, the bus ride from the café through the city and up a mountain to the hotel was very interesting. I sat in the very front seat because I wanted to get the best view. I can’t say that was the best idea. There are lines down the middle of the roads to mark the two sides, but I pretty sure that’s just a suggestion more than a rule. Wow. And if you ever find yourself in Tbilisi and wonder why all the curbs are busted, just know that they’re fair game for cars, busses and vans on the road. And if your on the side walk, you need to keep that in mind as well. I saw a lady literally have to stop in her tacks to avoid getting hit by our massive bus as it rounded a corner half on the road and half on the sidewalk. Interesting to say the least.

This morning we all got up for breakfast at 8am and training started at 9. We had our first language lesson in Georgian today and… well… that’s going to be interesting. A lot of hocking sounds and not a lot of structure that I can tell at this point. After that I had interviews with all the different program managers and got a shot for tetanus. Fun. That all wrapped up around 5:30pm and dinner was at 6. I’m not sure why they decided to feed us at 6pm like we’re all in our 80s and need to eat 3 hours before the sun goes down, but whatever. The food was awesome. And, the Georgians are into PORK! There are also a lot of salads like the Russians eat too. YUM!

So far everything is good. The weather seems nice, the people are nice, I’ve mentioned food twice already, so I’ll skip that. Can’t wait to see what my host family situation is going to be like on Saturday.

I guess that’s all that’s happened so far really. You all have my phone number, so if you want to call feel free. I should be done at about 7 or 8pm my time everyday. It costs a lot for me to call out so don’t expect too many calls from me just yet until I figure out how all this works on my end.

That’s it for now. Hope all is well there and I miss you guys. All is well with me and I hope that I can get this and future posts up for my outlet and your reading pleasure.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One more...

Well I'm sitting in NYC at my gate unable to call anyone because my phone will not get reception in here. Oh well.

I think it's funny that I can get great WiFi, but no cell service. Most of you should have gotten a goodbye text from me earlier anyway. If not, well... goodbye!

Seriously though, I'll miss you guys. If you didn't get a phone number from me earlier today, then e-mail a friend and get it from them. I should have sent it to most everyone.

The bus ride up from Philly was interesting. Just long and boring for the most part except that I got a chance to meet some of the other volunteers that I didn't have a chance to meet yesterday. We sang Happy Birthday to one of the volunteers. I think that must be weird for her though. It's your Birthday and your not with friends and family, but leaving the country that you know with a bunch of people that you don't.

I feel much better today than I did yesterday. I was so tired yesterday after training that I almost felt sick. But, I relaxed at a nice place in Philly, had a fillet and lobster tail with a glass of Pinot then went to bed really early. I needed the sleep and being out all night, even if it was my last chance for a while, was not that interesting of an idea to me at the time.

I can't really think of anything else to type right now. I'll miss you guys. That's it.
Seeya on the other side of my journey. Be safe and as Jerry Springer would say, "Take care of yourself and each other."

Peace!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Philly 2 for 1

Starbucks as a Microcosm of America

I’ve always hated Starbucks. There coffee is just ok and I generally find people annoying that sit around there typing away on their laptops and sipping their cappuccinos. And really, I can make a better cup of coffee at home for less than a buck.

However, during my recent stay in the suburbs of Atlanta, I found myself without Internet access and needing a break from the monotony of daytime TV and nothingness. So, I found the closest place with wireless and went there. Starbucks.

Now, not only was I forced to become what I hated; a guy sitting in a Starbucks typing on a laptop while sipping on an iced beverage (with a straw no less), I was also talking on my cell phone at the same time! I wish I could have shot myself. But, the cell phone conversation did lead to a great night. I digress…

So as I’m sitting there on the phone and on my laptop with iced coffee on the table beside me, I notice a rather large middle aged woman waving her hand in front of my face. Interested in what could possible be so important, I looked up. She was in the process of placing her small child in the seat on the other side of a small (coffee) table.

“You should move your drink,” she informs me.
“Excuse me?”
“You should move your drink, he might try to grab it.” She was of course referring to the snotty nosed little urchin that she had plopped down into the chair.
I, not wanting to simply ignore her or worse lose my drink to this kid, looked right at the child and said, “Don’t to that. It wouldn’t be good for you.”
She had something smart to say that I ignored and went back to both my laptop and conversation. Of course she then proceeded to leave the child unattended and went to order her coffee. The child after a few minutes of staring around climbs down out of the chair and wanders off. Seeing as it wasn’t my responsibility to watch the child while mom was ordering her triple fat-ass latte, I let him wander off towards the door. To my disappointment, she returned in time to keep him from making it all the way out, but not before he had disturbed a few other laptop typing patrons along the way.

Having returned, Big Momma gets on her phone to discuss who knows what while continuing to not pay one bit of attention to her child that at this point began coughing randomly without covering his mouth. No matter, she was much too busy to notice the germ spreading brat anyway.

About this time I start looking around and noticing all the other Starbuckians in the area. A guy on his lunch break from the hospital, an English teacher and short story author who owns more than a few cats, two older women obviously out for a day of shopping on their husband’s credit cards, a college kid who looked like he had a term paper due in about an hour or he was just typing an angry blog about the germ spreading kid, and a few construction workers picking up coffee before going back to the work site. Then, as a topper in walks an older gentleman who had gotten out of his BWM convertible with his “niece.” And no she wasn’t his daughter unless it is now cool for dads to slide their hands in the back pockets of their daughters while waiting in line. Wait! I’m not done…

My favorite was the two 20-something white girls with mixed race child in tow. The mother of the child seemed to be dressed normally except for some really bad jailhouse tattoos on her arms and ankles. Her friend however was in a full pink warm-up suit of some sort as if she were preparing to either go for a jog or go to bed. Fine, if you want to wear that out, feel free. But, please don’t wear your Victoria’s Secret boy-shorts underneath with the word PINK spelled out in black letters all the way across your rapidly expanding ass.

Cough, cough, stirring and shifting from the kid. He at one point began to climb out of the chair and was rewarded with a smack on the backside from Big Momma who didn’t even bother to get off the phone to do it. His crying was ignored to the delight of the entire patronage. I guess she’s using the ‘let him cry it out’ method.

At this point I had been off the phone for about ten minutes and was nearing boredom with my coffee that I really didn’t even want anyway. I only went for the Internet and there wasn’t that much I really needed to look up.

Anyway, I still hate Starbucks! Thankfully I won’t have to see one for a few years and hopefully there are better parenting and fashion choices on the other side of the world

Air Travel as a Microcosm of America

Jerry Seinfeld was right, being on an airplane makes you really realize your place in society.

As I was waiting at gate B9 in the Atlanta airport getting ready to depart on my journey, I noticed all of these douche-bags standing near the actual gate as if they were going to rush it like teenagers entering a general admission Justin Timberlake concert. But, to my surprise, they were all first-class passengers who were able to rush in and get a drink in hand before the rest of us were even told to get in line. At least the douche-bag theory was right.

Then they announced that all these club and whatever membership people could board the plane. Ok, no problem, frequent flyers. Then there is Zone 2; whatever that is. I assumed it meant the people in the back of the airplane. Boy was I wrong! Because when they called Zone3, the zone on my ticket everyone was able to board. And, when I got one the plane I discovered that people were all over the cabin and that in fact, my seat was near the rear of the plane.

Wait! All of the first-class and Zone 2 people have taken up all of the overhead bins. I was like the third person to get on when they called Zone 3 so I know I wasn’t late. At this point a flight attendant informed all of the people standing in the isle, myself included, that we would have to check our carry on bags. Great.

Who gets served first at snack time? First-class douche-bags.
Then who? The people behind first class.
Who gets peanuts and coke last? The people in the back of the plane.

Who do the flight attendants go to first to collect trash from? The people in the back!
What? Do they think that because we were assigned seats in the rear of the plane that we are some kind of strange breed of people who consume whole packs of peanuts and mini cups of coke in a single gulp?

“Trash Sir?” Um… I haven’t even had a chance to open my nuts yet lady.
It was 8am. She should have been happy I didn’t slap her when she told me that the overheads were full much less was even able to comprehend what a peanut was after getting NO sleep the night before.

If you’ve never heard Seinfeld’s skit about air travel, you should look it up on YouTube. If I weren’t tired as hell and about to go into a 5 hour training I’d link it for you.

But, despite all the hassle on the trip up to Philly, I’ve made it safe and sound and so did my bags. The hotel seems nice so far and they have wireless without all the Starbucks fun. The Holiday Inn here is right in the middle of the Historic District. What’s next to the Historic District in Philadelphia? China Town! That was a fun walk in search of lunch. I almost died laughing at one point. Not only have I seen more Phillies shirts and hats than I have in my whole life, I’ve seen more Asians in the past two hours than I think even live in the whole state of South Carolina. The cheesesteaks are awesome by the way!

So, in case I don’t get in touch with you before I leave in the morning for the Republic of Georgia…

Heeerrroooo and Goodbye!

Peace be with you all and I’ll see you in a few years!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Braves Time!

So the week is grinding down and I am amazed that its Thursday. Actually, I’m not. This week seems to have been longer than it really has with all the coming and going that I’ve been doing over the past few days.

Tuesday night was awesome at Turner Field with Dave. Before the game, the Braves gave Bobby Cox a little ceremony for his 2,000th win as a Braves manager which he had gotten the night before. The Braves came back and won 4-3 and Lowe picked up his 7th win of the year, which was cool. We had awesome seats for the game thanks to Dave’s mom and it was a gorgeous night for baseball. We decided to tailgate in the parking lot before the game with a 6-pack of beer which is a good idea as beers in the park are over $6. Dave and I had a few laughs and in general enjoyed ourselves before he dropped me off back on the South Side.

Wednesday morning I went and met Elaine’s parents for breakfast at a local café frequented by the blue hairs of the area. It was good and it was good to see them again before I left. We chatted about what I was up to and what had been going on with the family since I last saw everyone.

After breakfast I drove up to Chattanooga, TN to have lunch with Marcie and wander around for a while looking at places I had visited as a kid with my grandparents. For example, the Chattanooga Choo Choo. There were some awesome gardens around the train and we had a good BBQ lunch. Shocking; I was eating BBQ. Some lady at the visitor’s center tried to recommend Sticky Fingers to me as a place to get BBQ in order to get me to stay in the tourist district. I laughed at her and told her to get real and direct me to a real BBQ place. Anyway, lunch was good at Porker’s and I had a great time visiting with Marcie.

My friend Eriana ended up not being able to make our dinner appointment and so I drove back to Atlanta after rush-hour and ended up hanging around my dad’s house for the evening.

This morning Dad and I got up and went to lunch before the game. We also had good seats and it was a beautiful day at the start of the game. The weather got progressively cloudier as the game went on and it ended up pouring down rain as soon as the last out was recorded. There were a ton of kids up in the upper deck because it was some kind of Summer Camp Day at the park. No bother to me though since I was down on the field level. I’ll yell no matter who is around me. I did censor my choice of words for this game though since there was a family in front of me with 2 younger kids.

It was a great game despite the Braves losing 3-1. Javier Vasquez struck out 12 guys and only gave up one run over 8 innings. But, blame it on the bullpen… they suck!

Anyway, no plans really for the next few days. Just spending time with Dad before I go. I’ll probably get back on here and post a blog about something other than my day-to-day during that time I’m sure. That is of course if I get some laundry done and get some packing squared away. Oh yeah, I do have to pack again before I leave out on Monday.

Hope all is well people. Sorry for the boring blogs, but really there isn’t much to do out here in the suburbs.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

In The Dirty Dirty a.k.a. The ATL a.k.a. Atlanta a.k.a. The Capital of the South

I thought I would send out word and updates since I have now left Charleston and am staying in Atlanta with my dad until I leave on Monday.

Leaving Charleston was a very “interesting” thing. I was sad to leave my home, my friends and family to be sure. But, I do feel better about leaving this time as apposed to when I left in 2004. I have a great support base there and know that if I need them they’ll be there.

This time around I think I have a greater attachment to Charleston and the people there than I have on any of the other occasions of my leaving. I felt a deep sense of loss but at the same time I felt good that I was forcing myself away from what I know to search out what I do not in order to fulfill my dreams. The loss was heavy especially since… well that’s not a story for the blog at this point. We would be here all day.

Anyway, the week at Mom’s house was fun. We went and visited my grandparents, saw my uncle, and had a lot of great food thanks to Mom. Meatloaf, Brats, Ribs… Mmmm…


I also got to go back downtown to see my friends once again before heading out this past Saturday. The picture is of Leslie, Andy, Christina and I at the Lost Dog Café on Friday morning. After that Mom, Leslie and I went out to Folly Beach to take some photos and get our feet in the water. Ahhh…Saturday Dad came and picked me up and drove me back to Atlanta.
Sunday I went to visit Elaine and Jeff then Monday went to visit my Dad’s parents. Tonight I’m going to an Atlanta Braves game with my buddy from college Dave.
Tomorrow I’m visiting Elaine’s parents for breakfast, driving to Chattanoga, TN to meet Marcie for lunch and then back down to Atlanta.
It’s a busy week but I gotta get it all in before Monday at 7:23am when I leave for Philly!

Be sure to check back later this week for a Braves game updates. I’m also going on Thursday with my Dad and Chase.

Hope everyone is well. Give me a call this week if you need/want to chat before I go.

Peace!