After much deliberation, I have made the decision to return to Georgia for another year. Yes, me. This came after only a lot of deliberation. Many times I thought, “There is no way! I am done! And I cannot be done soon enough!” For me leaving the village and the village school has literally revolutionized my time in Georgia. Now I feel that my time isn’t being wasted like it was before. Village life was stifling, depressing, and uninspiring for me. Moving to Batumi has provided me with opportunities to growth both personally and professionally, and I’ve been able to build meaningful relationships with people that would have not happened otherwise. All of which helped to solidify my decision to return.
In February, I began to think about much I was enjoying my opportunities that came as a result of teaching at the University, that is pained me to think about leaving after just beginning with such a new project, one filled with great potential for both me and the students. My time at the university has reaffirmed to me that teaching at the university level is for me. Now I just need to get a PhD to help ensure that I can do that.
What is curious about me pursuing a PhD is that a lady in Springdale for years told me this is what I would do. Jean would tell me that I was a good teacher (this based on a class I taught infrequently at Church), and that I needed to go and get a PhD to teach at a university. She mentioned this over and over for years, and I would always think, “Okay, Jean, whatever.” But part of me wanted to pursue it, however, I never thought it would actually occur. Now it is. I have begun to look at PhD programs in tourism management or development. There is a program at the University of Leeds that looks especially interesting, as it focuses on Responsible Tourism Management.
I will head back to Springdale next month for the summer to rest and refresh myself for another year of living in Georgia. I also need to get a new passport and restock on supplies to make life here easier, like peanut butter and hot cocoa. I will return to Batumi in late August and begin teaching school in September. Once again I will be teaching both at the public school and the university. Today I was presented with yet another teaching opportunity at another university.
There is so much to look forward to: more suphras, more passport stamps, more unique opportunities for growth and development, and of course, more khatchapuri. How will I survive for 3 months in America without khatchapuri? Just fine, thank you. Currently I am on “khatchapuri hiatus.” It has been almost a week since I ate it. It needs to be several more.
Finally, with my return Georgians will have another year to find me a Georgian husband, since they have failed this year in that regard, but they also have not tried very hard. Last week while at my friend’s house, my friend, Gvantsa, sat me down, took my hand, and gave me a talk about getting married. She sincerely wanted to know my thoughts on having a Georgian husband. She said she that they will find me a husband who is handsome and clever. Um…okay, Gvantsa. I wanted to add that he needed to be ambitious, educated, must have spent time in the West, a non-smoker, a non-drinker (very unlikely here), and that there is only one person in Georgia I would consider dating.