Sunday, January 30, 2011

Understanding from a Georgian American Girl

This morning I woke up to a beautiful morning in London. The skies are clear and the sun is shining. Before making breakfast I got on facebook and decided to check my messages.

I had a new message from a girl named Bella Gevondyan, this is what it read:

Bella Gevondyan 30 January at 07:57 Report
Hi, Nicole

My name is Bella and I would just like to tell you that I was very saddened to learn about your termination from the tlg program. I have nothing in common with the program, in fact I accidentally heard about the program from a friend in georgia and went on facebook to see exactly what it was. That was when I saw the link to your blog about your (colorful!) adventures in georgia.
I was born and raised in that country (i currently reside in the usa) and quite honestly I couldn't help but nod at everything (from racism and sexual harassment to your witnessing of an elopement) you had written because it was all so true!
Anyway, obviously, I do not know you, but I feel that the program has missed out greatly on a terrific teacher, as reading your blogs was so refreshing and even educational; I automatically pictured you lecturing it to a class full of students!
I wish you nothing but the best in future! You; whom, again, I do not know, are a great teacher. That program, by the way, was probably trying to come off as 100% squeaky clean and perfect; that's why they used the old "we are so offended because we are so non-european" trick. georgians are famous for having those double standards: one day they suck up to america because that suits them, and the next, refuse being criticized (which is like a total contradiction to democracy). but why am I telling you all this, you probably know it all too well already.
well, I never thought that a termination of a person whom I did not know would ever infuriate me this much, but here I am, typing I am though very saddened for the students who are going to miss out on your teaching as georgians need english asap...but what can you do but be strong and move on


Bella Gevondyan :)

For some reason her understanding everything that I experienced so clearly just from reading my blog made me weep like a baby. I just started crying, and I realized that I hadn't allowed myself to feel the pain of my termination. Sure I let myself feel anger, spite, and malice for TLG but I didn't allow myself to feel the loss of the amazing friends I made in Georgia, both my host families that loved me so much and accepted without question into their lives. My host mother Nana that did everything for me and treated me like a daughter, my host brother Abo who is such an extraordinary young man, the twins, and of course Irina my first host sister who is an angel. I did allow myself to mourne this loss and this stranger, Bella who felt so compelled by my blog made me feel all of that.

I had no idea how to respond to her. I was so overraught with emotion that I just said thank you.

It is amazing how someone who knows nothing about me could understand so quickly what I and other TLG members go through. I suppose it is because she is Georgian and she now lives in America she is better equip to understand these things.

The fate of TLG is uncertain of course , but if it continues to operate the way it is, the program will not be a success. Which is sad because I really believed in the vision, I just hated the operation.

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