Georgia update August 11, 2008 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Because for some reason I can't sign into metafilter's main page, I thought I'd give a brief update on the situation in this thread here.

The situation in Georgia is pretty terrifying and seems to have escalated much faster than anyone anticipated. However, all PC volunteers and trainees have been relocated. We're sitting out the situation to see if we can reenter, but right now it doesn't look good. All are present, accounted for and very safe. It's just been a rough couple of days.
posted by piratebowling to MetaFilter-Related at 3:58 PM (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I am glad you checked in, I was worried about you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:01 PM on August 11, 2008


I'm very glad to hear that. You were in my thoughts, and that's just plain good news. Be safe, friend.
posted by pjern at 4:03 PM on August 11, 2008


Glad you're safe. We've been thinking of you.
posted by felix betachat at 4:13 PM on August 11, 2008


Yikes. I saw an NBC broadcast today where the reporter here in the US, a native Georgian, was out on a story, and got a phone call that his friend back home in Georgia (who was in the military) had been shot. Glad you're okay.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:14 PM on August 11, 2008


Thanks for calming my fears, so good to hear you are OK.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:15 PM on August 11, 2008


Yay!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:17 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Glad to hear that you and your friends are OK.
posted by jason's_planet at 4:54 PM on August 11, 2008


Very glad you're okay.
posted by nickyskye at 5:21 PM on August 11, 2008


Good news, and stay safe.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:26 PM on August 11, 2008


Whew.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:32 PM on August 11, 2008


Thanks for checking in piratebowling. Hopefully things will settle down there soon.
posted by netbros at 6:46 PM on August 11, 2008


Thanks, piratebowling. Stay safe.
posted by gaspode at 7:53 PM on August 11, 2008


So long, and good luck.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:26 PM on August 11, 2008


I'm glad you're ok.
posted by brujita at 9:54 PM on August 11, 2008


Glad you're okay - thank you for letting us know. Stay safe.
posted by rtha at 11:18 PM on August 11, 2008


Good to know. Have you tried clearing your cookies, and refreshing the page?
posted by blue_beetle at 1:01 AM on August 12, 2008


Glad to hear you're okay, piratebowling! Keep safe.
posted by goo at 3:11 AM on August 12, 2008


Glad your OK, I was about to clear my cookies.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:25 AM on August 12, 2008


Glad to hear piratebowling.

I'm totally amazed that it doesn't seem to matter what is happening anywhere in the world MetaFilter has someone on the scene.
posted by Mitheral at 5:57 AM on August 12, 2008


Glad to hear you are okay piratebowling. Good luck!
posted by onalark at 6:06 AM on August 12, 2008


Reassuring news about you, piratebowling. Let's hope the situation returns to some sense of normal very soon.
posted by Dreama at 6:10 AM on August 12, 2008


Really glad to hear you are ok.
posted by spec80 at 7:00 AM on August 12, 2008

I'm totally amazed that it doesn't seem to matter what is happening anywhere in the world MetaFilter has someone on the scene.
Now that's a take on "newsfilter" I hadn't thought of.

newsfilter.metafilter.com: commentary on the news, from MeFites who live there.
posted by scrump at 7:55 AM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm glad to hear that you are ok.

Knowing PCVs who had to evacuate from other countries, my guess is that the ones who had to leave Georgia are frantically worried about their local friends who don't have chartered airplanes and US Marines ready to swoop in and whisk them away. We paper over a lot of inequalities through good manners and finding common ground, but there's no hiding it when someone with passport A gets to go to safety and the person with passport B gets to stay behind.

It was incredibly tough on my friends who had to evacuate — one person I know who had to leave Sierra Leone twenty years ago when the fighting started still feels terribly guilty about looking out the back window of the truck and waving back at everyone who had to stay. She was able to go back a few years ago and that really helped, but that is an image she will carry for the rest of her life.

The point being, you and your compatriots need support, too. Take care of yourself, ok?
posted by Forktine at 7:55 AM on August 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm glad you're okay and were able to get out piratebowling!
posted by Stynxno at 8:04 AM on August 12, 2008


Good luck over there. Happy to hear you're safe and I hope you remain so.
posted by shmegegge at 8:09 AM on August 12, 2008


Glad you're okay!
posted by cashman at 9:30 AM on August 12, 2008


Yeah, Forktine, you are right on the mark. Things are a little bit different for me, since I haven't been here that long, but the volunteers that have been here a year are very much struggling with the idea that we are fleeing and unable to do anything for the same people we came ehre to help. We had staff members that saw (on the news) their apartment complexes on fire and volunteers that recognized their offices severely damaged. I feel worst for the Georgian staff that has accompanied us in the relocation, as they are separated from friends and family.

Basically every person is dealing with their own baggage at this point. My group was 8 weeks into training and 2 weeks away from being sworn in as volunteers. Anyone who has been a PCV or knows PCVs knows that perservice training is the most frustrating part of your service, largely meant to weed out those who really didn't want to stick it out for two years. I really feel that those of us that made it this fare were pretty damn committed. We had already met out permant host families, supervisors and counterparts, but may never get to work and live with them. The other group of volunteers present had been in service for a year, made very close bonds with friends, counterparts and neighbors. They all had pretty major projects in the works that may never be completed either. Even if things go back to relative calm, there are two regions near Abkhazia and South Ossetia that they will most likely not be able to place volunteers in. People that were posted in Gori, Zugdidi, Poti and Senaki (to name a few) will most likely not be able to work there anymore.

Right now it's just a waiting game and a really frustrating one at that. The situation changes so frequently that all we can do is really try to expect nothing out of the situation.
posted by piratebowling at 12:25 PM on August 12, 2008


So glad you're safe and able to tell us what's going on with you, and the situation there! Good luck; you'll be in our thoughts.
posted by Lynsey at 12:53 PM on August 12, 2008


Obviously every situation is different, but everyone I know of who was evacuated was given the option of transferring to another country unless they were really close to finishing their two years (assuming that it wasn't possible to return to the original country). Sometimes the new country is nearby and language and cultural training carries over, and sometimes you go from Africa to Latin America, or from a 'stan to a South Pacific Island, and you get to start the learning process over again from the very beginning.

The situation changes so frequently that all we can do is really try to expect nothing out of the situation.

Very true, though hard to live.

Good luck, and let us know how things work out for you.
posted by Forktine at 1:20 PM on August 12, 2008


Sometimes the new country is nearby and language and cultural training carries over, and sometimes you go from Africa to Latin America, or from a 'stan to a South Pacific Island, and you get to start the learning process over again from the very beginning.

A little off-topic but my former landlady was in the South Pacific last year, her PCV project was closed down a month or two after training [longish story, but the transportation that was supposed to be there to get her out in an emergency just wasn't there and they scrapped the program] and she was given the choice of coming back to the states for a few months and reassignment or going to Botswana. She chose Botswana but without the preliminary training [she got sort of a crash course] it was really hard for her to hit the ground running. I really hope your situation works out well for you and the people you care about, and heck, for everyone else as well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:38 PM on August 12, 2008


I worked all over Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe for a few years, and all the PCV's I met in that time were, to a person, great people. I have a lot of respect for anyone who dedicates that amount of time and effort to other people. So, thank you, piratebowling, for being who you are and caring. I hope you're able to continue in some fashion, and that you remain safe. Your generosity of spirit is admirable, and I hope this experience doesn't dim that enthusiasm.
posted by pjern at 5:58 PM on August 12, 2008


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