Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Day to Celebrate Family, Near and Far


Well, it is that time of year again.  To me, holiday season, in Georgia, begins with Barbaroba or St. Barbara’s Day, on December 17.  It does not feel like it has been all that long since I last wrote about this special day, but here we are again.  Something about having a holiday with my own mother’s namesake makes it more special.

An interesting element of Georgian holidays is that they are very often celebrated beginning at midnight, rather than the evening of the day of the holiday.  So, it is 1:30 in the morning and I have just come from a supra (Georgian fest) and I was the first to leave.  Another fun fact is that any Georgian family I have ever stayed or lived with has been able to stay up much later than I, and they wake up earlier!

This was not an all out feast, only my host parents and two neighbors, even still it was one of those times that while it is happening one knows will become a special memory.   As I sat in the same place I sat a year ago, understanding significantly more of the conversation, I did my best to enjoy the time I have left with my second family.  There was banter between my host father and me, hugs with my host mom, and shared conversation with our guests.  My host dad toasted Americans and said ours is a country with good ladies, which he now knows because of knowing me.  There was nothing particularly special or out of the ordinary about this evening compared to the many other supras at which we have spent time together, but it was just the kind of memory the Peace Corps experience is all about.  It was another night of spending time celebrating a holiday from a different culture with people whom I will always treasure and who have taken me into their home and family.

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