I gave my heart and soul to Spain, but not just to the country—rather, I gave them to Valencia. The name itself swells something in me that to this day I cannot adequately define with words. Pronouncing it evokes a sort of ache, as though I’ve both held and lost this eastern swath of Spain. Like the undulating minor keys of flamenco music, the name Valencia calls out a history that was never really mine, and yet is so deeply a part of my childhood that I cannot separate myself from it.
I’ll be honest: It was Norway I’d begun dreaming of. My imagination was taken captive by images of fjords and pines, of iron and snow and bears, of iced sea light and a refreshing, starry cold. I was certain this was the next place beauty would greet me.
I can’t tell you how many times Megan and I have nearly tripped over a tombstone during this pandemic.
As our corgi Bentley barks to get off-leash and run through the historic Union Cemetery, it’s easy to nearly twist an ankle on a broken headstone that I could have sworn wasn’t there, even though I’ve walked this spot what seems like hundreds of times.
GEORGIAN TEXT BY NINO REVAZISHVILI ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY LIKA MAMASAXLISI PHOTOS BY JOEL CARILLET AND LIKA MAMASAXLISI
We’re excited to expand our Sans Frontières series of stories with yet another script, Georgian script, that reminds us that the Latin alphabet and script are not the only way of reading and recording the world’s life. We hope you will enjoy this heartwarming introduction to the country of Georgia from one of her expats living abroad.
PHOTOGRAPHIES ET TEXTE PAR FRANCK ETCHEVERRY
PHOTOS AND TEXT BY FRANCK ETCHEVERRY
TRADUCTION ANGLAISE PAR KAMI L. RICE
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY KAMI L. RICE
Depuis tout petit le Cirque a été le premier lieu où j’ai pu observer et approcher des animaux issus de la faune sauvage. Fasciné par leur beauté, j’ai commencé à leur vouer une véritable passion et c’est en grande partie grâce à ces premiers contacts que j’ai décidé d’en faire mon métier et de me mettre au service de la faune sauvage et de sa protection (Technicien supérieur en Gestion et Protection de la Nature, spécialisé dans la gestion de la Faune Sauvage).
As a little boy, it was at the circus that I was first able to see and get near to animals that came from the wild. I was fascinated by their beauty. They became a true passion and it’s largely thanks to these early contacts with circus animals that I decided to center my career around wildlife and put myself at the service of these animals and their protection, earning a diploma in environmental management and protection, specializing in wildlife management.
I panicked. Full-on panic-attack-style, feeling-completely-stuck panic. It was a couple of days after lockdown had been announced in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We had felt the decision coming, as we closely followed news from Italy and Spain and as cases rose in neighboring Croatia and Serbia. My Dutch friend and I had started to make plans to move in together so we wouldn’t be alone for however many weeks lockdown endured, but suddenly she was required to return to the Netherlands. With this, a rift began to destabilize the contingency plans I had made. My mind then went into overdrive, and I fast-forwarded the next few months: living alone, with no physical contact, my family thousands of miles across the other side of Europe, with work ground to a halt, and so many unknowns ahead. And I panicked.