Got back from Tbilisi yesterday.  Stayed with another alumnus of my old university.  Didn’t know him before I came.  Wild thing is that my mom back in Texas actually met his sister and sent me this guy’s email.  So, through that email, I contacted him and arranged a visit. At his apartment we chatted about chapel, Bible studies, our “World Famous” cafeteria, and favorite professors.  He’s a bit older than me, not much, but old enough to have hung out during college with someone on whom I’d once bestowed the title, “My Favorite Babysitter”.  (Cue the song… it’s a small world after all…)
He also works as my one of my NGO’s Programs Coordinators for the region I’m currently living in, and we came up with some great work ideas, some program opportunities I’m excited to start working on in my NGO.  I, in fact, had a moment in which we were discussing how to hold village classes on safe migration, and I thought to myself, “Your doing it!”  That I am really living my dream out here.  Of course, then my thoughts digressed to, “You’re doing it, Peter,”  and I imagined the food fight scene in Hook, forcing me, moments later, to awkwardly jump back into conversation as if I’d been completely attentive.

The main streets of Tbilisi are currently covered in Christmas lights.  It puts almost any other display to shame, even College Station’s Santa’s Wonderland (believe it!); the romance of an ex-Soviet city, peppered with evergreens, covered in gaudy light chandeliers and dripping-light icicles is certainly enough to bring a lump of Christmas warmth to your chest.  It might even move you to joy if you are able to keep from thinking about the many Georgian villages without electricity who would greatly benefit from the rumored $2 million spent on the city display.

Still when visiting a city the highlights seem to always be cibarious (new GRE word!  Ուրախ!).  And this trip it all came in twos.  Two trips to McDonald’s, two cheeseburgers, two fries.  My sister said it right over Skype: “Deathfood!”  But what could I do, those golden arches MADE me.  I also had two pieces of cheesecake.  But by far the best was when we ordered-in American style pizza TWICE from Ronny’s.  I couldn’t believe my tastebuds.  Rich pizza sauce slathered below melted mozzerella, italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers and onions!   And get this: The American owners were cycling from Western Europe to Kazakhstan and decided they liked Tbilisi enough to stay.  So, they actually found small Georgian cheese and meat factories and TAUGHT them how to make mozzerella and pepperoni.  I literally stuffed myself with so many slices that I’m still full.

Now I’m back in town, blogging from my desk, thinking about the grant I need to write this week, and the house I’m moving into IN TWO DAYS!

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