-Two medium-sized drinking horns.
-Two drinking bowls (yes, it's a thing)
-A chocolate bar
-Notes professing love
-Another drinking bowl, used for nostalgic purposes -- it's more of a large vial
-A picture of a horse. In a frame. It is holographic.
This has all come to me in the past 24 hours. I've been telling Lela that I can't take heavy things home with me. I got the sense that when she bought me the horn and bowl set, she had to physically restrain herself from buying the largest set they had.
My 8th graders got me the picture of the horse.
Everyone wants their picture with me. I was hesitant up until a few days ago, telling a friend that I didn't want the photos to show up over at odnoklassniki.ru, which is the Russian version of Facebook (and also requires money at signup). Even though nothing the kids would take could be construed as "inappropriate," the idea of my face floating around a Russian networking site along with other, ahem, less than savory photos did not appeal. But I rescinded my embargo on pictures once I realized that cameras were coming out of the woodwork and the only things I could do to avoid them were wear a ski mask or lock myself in my room. I don't have a ski mask and I'm being paid to be at school so I didn't really have a choice. That's what I'll tell myself.
I'm just glad nobody is crying yet. Lela's hosting a supra for me tonight and wants to take, in her words, "many photos with you." I still have to pack a number of things while making sure to leave room for souvenirs -- that's going to be a nightmare, to be honest. People have suggested shipping stuff home but honestly I'd rather just do without than go through the hassle of finding a box, deciding what to ship, getting to whatever they call a post office, fighting with the employees about where it's going and postage...ugh. And besides, some of my clothes are kind of ratty at this point from being hand washed and wrung, so I might leave a pair of pants and some shirts with my family. Somebody will use them, no doubt.
It's weird to think this is the last time I'll be in my school. I don't get overly-sentimental about these kind of goodbyes, but I know it'll hit me somewhere over the Mediterranean. And anyway, I'm anxious to get home. There's snow on the ground -- in southeastern Virginia, are you KIDDING ME?
Consider this my last dispatch from Georgian soil. I probably won't get around to a net cafe in Tbilisi, so I'll just catch up in Istanbul during my five hour layover (I can't wait to pay eight dollars for a coke at the restaurant there). So, while there will be plenty to discuss in this space once I'm home, it's with a heavy heart that I bid Georgia farewell, though I don't officially leave for another three days. Take care, my friends. See you stateside.