Discover Georgia
Former Swiss Ambassador to Georgia Lukas Beglinger settles down in Ujarma
14 May, 2019
Lukas Beglinger, a former ambassador of Switzerland to Georgia has left the homeland to live in Georgia. After serving as an ambassador for 3 years, Mr. Beglinger have explored different parts of Georgia and decided to settle down in Ujarma, a village in eastern Georgia. He feels privileged to have been experiencing countries as an ambassador, especially Georgia.

Settling down in Ujarma, Mr.Lukas has found the village and the folks very welcoming and hard working. He is particularly impressed with the
fact that Georgian farmers still grow vegetables and fruits in a natural way, enable their domestic animals freely wander the pastures rather than being kept in factory farms. The former ambassador, together with his wife Barbara Kohler Beglinger is planning to arrange vegetable and fruit gardens, build a wine cellar in their currently under construction house.

Their house offers a spectacular view of the Caucasus Mountains that are covered in snow during winter time. Fresh air, green nature, and tempting hiking paths make the whole place even more enjoyable to the newly-settlers and their two lovely cats. The Beglingers are very grateful to their neighbors who are very helpful to them. Communicating with them, they are picking up more and more Georgian words and phrases every day.
Apart from arranging their own house, Mr. and Mrs. Beglingers put efforts into the popularization of the Georgian wine to Switzerland. They get in touch with the local producers of the Georgian wine, especially the qvevri wine type and export them to their homeland. Although, at first foreigners found the qvevri wine a little bit strange, the Georgian wine’s getting more and more attention today. According to Mr. Beglinger, it is the long-standing history of the Georgina wine and its unique taste that makes it different from other well-established wine types around the world.

Besides, they believe that the Georgian tea and dry fruits have high potential to be exported to Switzerland. They have observed that Georgians have a special attitude towards indigenous herbs that are usually used as ingredients in traditional medicine.

Despite serious challenges that the Beglingers and their neighbors face in Ujarma, such as frequent water and electricity cuts, lack of infrastructure, they believe Georgia’s moving forward and hopes these problems will be solved in the near future. Mr. Beglinger talked about the abundance of sulfur waters in Georgia that are thought to have medicinal properties. According to him, there is an area with sulfur springs near Ujarma which should become a Balneological resort if backed up with the necessary infrastructure. He is also concerned about youngsters leaving the Georgian villages to find jobs in larger cities or parents heading for foreign countries to support their families financially. Mr. Beglinger hopes this tendency will change and the number of jobs and opportunities in Georgia will rise for the youth.
Although their house is being under construction, some of the parts of the house are already completed and furnished. The Beglingers apparently love paintings, extraordinary sculptures, and music, especially Jazz. Mr. Lukas himself plays guitar and plans to learn to play the traditional Swiss instrument Alphorn, a gift from his wife.

Impressed with the nature of Georgia, they are particularly delighted by listening to the singing of nightingales at their veranda. Nightingales presence is another proof for them that Ujarma is an unspoiled place where birds feel safe to dwell and sing.

Author: Eka Kiknadze

Video Courtesy: Teo Tsutskiridze

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