Last year I found out there was a non Peace Corp/ non TLG American in Ozurgeti. When I first met him, I thought he was a little too cryptic for my taste. For example, he didn’t give a straight answer to, “Where in the States are you from?” or “What do you do in Georgia”. I even had to wrestle his actual name out of him (as he goes by several variations). But he was an ex-Pat, and we are few and far between. Small social circles make people group and connect out of necessity.
He and his family moved to Georgia five years ago. Even before TLG was put into place. So he was a true pioneer to this country. He moved with his wife and two little kids.
Over time I learned that he was working with a company to train Georgian English teachers to teach through Civic education. HE worked with one of my co teachers, so we interacted pretty frequently, professionally.
My first Thanksgiving in Georgia was spent at his house. I got to know his wife and kids. It’s cool to see ‘American’ kids growing up naturally bi-lingual. He and his wife bought a house in Kutaisi and planned on settling roots here.
But it just wasn’t meant to be… for now. Because of education discrepancies with the kids, they have decided to move back to the States. It’s sad to have him leave. He was one of my first friends here. And the more I spent time with him, the more I realized what a good dude he was. We differed GREATLY on social and religious issues, but still, the guy was quality.
Toma, you will be missed. See you around, eventually.
And if you never stop when you wave goodbye
You just might find if you give it time
You will wave hello again
You just might wave hello again
Wheel, John Mayer