Gamarjobat from Kakheti!

Posted on January 27, 2012 by


[Editor’s Note: We at the TLG Official Blog are ramping up our guest posting program. Last week we heard from our first featured guest blogger, choppa481, who posted Three Days in Georgia. This week, littlemisslennon makes her debut with a personal introduction and some initial thoughts about TLG. Check back regularly, because starting in February we’ll be having even more frequent guest posts! – panoptical]


My name is Amy Sandager, and I’m a member of TLG’s 31st group of volunteers. I’m a very recent university graduate (read: my diploma was mailed to my parents’ house exactly one week ago) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and psychology. I also minored in Russian Studies, which has helped me out a lot so far in Georgia. After college, I had been planning to get a job in publishing (which would have meant a move to New York) and working for The Man until I finally published something worthwhile.

Then, one day, I was reading the New York Times and came across an article on TLG. “Heyyyyy, I could do that!,” I thought. Long story short, after a lot of deliberation, I applied and was accepted to the program.

Going in, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had a general idea of what Georgia was like, thanks to my Russian Studies professors’ experience, my knowledge and understanding of the country’s history in relation to Russia, and, of course, the Internet. I and 56 other volunteers spent a week in orientation, and during that week, I met some of the nicest people from all over the world. Never have I felt safer in a capital city than I did in Tbilisi. Georgians are friendly (though quite curious—I can easily pass for Western European, and I still get stared at), and all of the stereotypes about Georgian hospitality are true!

I’ve been placed in the town of Gurjaani, in the Kakheti district. It’s perfect, because I wanted to be in the east of the country, in the mountains, and in a place where I could learn to make wine. Check, check, and check. I’m also super-excited about the many churches and monasteries there, as I’m a pretty big religion and archaeology buff. So far, it’s been fantastic. I have a wonderful host family who’ve taken me in as their older daughter, and a 14-year-old sister who’s going to end up being the best Georgian-English translator in the world.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my clothes and hair will forever smell like smoke, because I never want to leave this country. Please, stay tuned for updates on my Georgian adventure!