Monday, June 05, 2006

Sue on friendship in Georgia

Fellow Tbilisi resident Sue on friendship in Georgia:
A roof over his head is good news for Felix, but the vultures didn’t stay long at bay. The new neighbors took one look at this 18 year old kid, this orphan who has nobody, and they saw a soft target and had aims on his house and his piece of land. They started giving him a little trouble. And this place, awful as it was, was the only thing between Felix and the streets.

So Felix told my friends, and here’s what friends will do.

They loaded up two cars full of supplies. The kid had heartbreakingly nothing. They got cooking supplies and staple foods, dishes and silverware, bedding, tools, an axe so he can chop some wood for warmth and cooking. We all piled in and went to his village to show the neighbors (and the whole village, really, because if anything can give the speed of light a run for it, it’s the speed of gossip traveling through a village) that Felix wasn’t alone and that he had friends that weren’t to be messed with. My job was to stand around and be American, one task I can reliably perform reasonably well here.