Sunday, May 25, 2008

There's no place like home

The lack of internet access anywhere except during my brief stay in Tbilisi at the beginning and end of my deployment resulted in me being "off the grid" for a while - but I'm now home and ready to upload my photos and make a few posts to get you all caught up on my most recent adventure.

My assignment in Georgia with the OSCE took me to the out-of-the-way region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, where I was based in the small city of Akhaltsikhe.

Akhaltsikhe, as seen from a nearby hilltop

Located in the southern part of the country, in the mountains near the Turkish border, my duties involved covering election day activities and vote tabulation in the small villages around the town of Aspindza.

It was a beautiful area - situated in the narrow valley of the Kura River, it is home to small family-cultivated plots of land that supply just enough produce for the region, with cows, goats, and sheep grazing on the steep rocky slopes (when they aren't blocking the road along the river or the small, rough cart-paths that lead up into the villages).

Kura River, near Aspindza, running fast and high

There were few luxuries here - though there were some interesting cultural sights, and overwhelming hospitality. Most of the homes were simple cinder block affairs, although many did have satellite dishes attached to their corrugated metal roofs.

Now that I'm home again - and back to a more regular schedule (and reliable internet access) - I'll start uploading my photos and stories - about one a day for the next week - and hope that you will enjoy them...


No comments: