Letter From Thailand To Georgians
18 February, 2020
Letter From Thailand To Georgians
“Coming to Georgia wasn’t an accident” I had absolutely zero hesitation to click the apply button as soon as I spotted the word ‘Georgia’ on one volunteer website. Later, my friends started bombarding me with questions like—“Are you going to Georgia? That’s amazing but what made you decide to go there?” “Why Georgia?” “You mean... a state in the US?”. As you may have expected, the last question took the crown for being the most frequently asked question at that time.
Anyways, the reason that I chose to join a volunteer project in Georgia, apart from my passion for teaching, is simply because this magnificent country had always been on my bucket list for a while. Even though I cannot remember exactly when I decided to put that on the list, what I can surely tell you is what made me put that on the list—the pictures and videos of mountain ranges and stunning landscapes I had seen online, not to mention the visa-free entry.

Now I am back at my home country Thailand, a tropical country in Southeast Asia, in which you have to take a 12-hour-flight from Tbilisi in order to get here, and when I look back at myself who was about to land in Georgia and myself who was about to leave the country, I certainly see that something within me has already changed.

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I vividly remember the moment when I was sitting on the verdant green grass on the top of a hill in Borjomi while looking at high mountains spreading out into the distance. That simple moment gives me the time to realize how chaotic my life is back home, how far my country have stepped away from nature, how much we have changed the surface of our own home and most importantly, how lucky you Georgians are to be surrounded by this breathtaking beauty. In Thailand, we do have wonderful nature, but the problem is that these days, it is much more difficult to find a place where I can experience that without the intervention of the high-rise buildings, the noisy engine sounds coming from various types of vehicles or a flood of visitors. Especially big cities like my hometown Chonburi, traffic jams and factories are a part of our everyday scene. Despite the fact that there are several beautiful coastlines and white-sand beaches in my town, all of those things started to be replaced by trash, loud music, fancy night clubs, resorts and restaurants, and sadly it seems like I am going to witness more of these in the near future as the hunger for the economic growth keeps on rising. Unfortunately, the adverse effects of environmental degradation arrive earlier than I have expected. Currently, this so-called the ‘Land of Smiles’ is facing the air pollution crisis as the concentration of PM2.5 has reached the unhealthy or in other words, harmful levels. What can be take away from this situation is that nature is the original source of everything our lives rely on: food, shelters, medicine—you name it. So what will happen if we destroy this main source? We will lose everything.

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I always said this to almost every Georgian I met "Out of all the countries I have been to, yours has the most wonderful nature" and I genuinely mean it. Some of the Georgians I talked to were quite surprised with my answer which, in turn, surprised me because ‘Why not?’. However, I completely understand why they reacted in that particular way because from time to time you might forget how precious something is when you have seen it daily unless someone outside tells you how amazing that thing is. So, my ultimate hope is to come back to Georgia and still see those trees, mountains, lakes and other natural beauties standing gracefully where they were. Unbelievably, Georgian nature has impelled me to turn my head back to my home and actually learn to appreciate and also begin to take good care of what I have—the beaches, tropical forests, rivers, etc.—seeing that once I lose them, it is no easy task to bring them back. Also, I do not want to reach that ridiculous point when I have to travel from one place to another outside my country searching for nature—once I used to have.

So, it is undeniably true that ‘Georgia has changed me’, but ‘Georgians have changed me’ as well. A very good friend of mine from the camp invited me to stay at her house for an entire week and I could proudly say that I have made one of the best decisions in my life when I said ‘yes’, because what I have gotten after that is not only a best friend but the entire Georgian family that I truly love and care for. This lovely family treated me like one of their members which made me feel like I was home, even though my actual home was 6,165 kilometers away on the other side of the world and if you ask me to write down all of the reasons that made me feel the way I felt, you are gonna end up getting eyestrain from running through all the list. But in short, this amazing Georgian family has made something that I once thought impossible possible—loving someone like your own family. I know that it is not a surprising statement since a bunch of my friends who have spent a year with host families during their exchange programs tell me that they also love their host families like their own. But in my case, this feeling of mine develops within a week and you might be wondering why.

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My Georgian mom and aunt might not be able to speak English, but with the help of my friend and her sister, it was no longer a barrier. At times, it does not require words to communicate with them because you can see through their actions. They showed their love through their smiles, their eyes, their hugs and their incredible Georgian food and I could totally sense that. I do not know if this has something to do with the “Georgian genes” or I was that lucky as anywhere I went in Georgia, I always encountered people with a good heart from taxi drivers, random people, students in the camp, to my colleagues. Therefore, the last thing that I want to say is thank you for making my 2-month stay in Georgia one of the best times of my life. To be honest, my selfish side initially wanted to keep this beautiful country where astonishing nature lies and where good people live all to myself but, as it turns out, I find it impossible to suppress all the overwhelming feelings and impressions I have without sharing them with people back here in my country.


Written by Prim Mockavisuth, From Thailand


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