Here is the second installment of the CULP adventures of the GKB. Cadet Taylor Macci deployed to the Republic of Georgia this summer. As someone who remembers when the Russians were the bad guys, I was looking forward to hearing about Taylor’s trip. So here is what he had to report.
My name is Taylor Macci and I will be an MS3 in the Golden Knight Battalion this fall. This summer I was fortunate enough to travel to the Republic of Georgia for three weeks. On our trip we stayed in two of the countries main cities, the capitol of Tbilisi, and Batumi. Our mission was to teach English at an American sponsored library called the American Corners in Batumi. We interacted with forty Georgian children ranging from the age of 8 to 17.
Our trip began with 48 hours of travel and landing in Tbilisi. We remained in the city for three days to get acclimated and receive our briefings from the US embassy. From here we took a six-hour bus ride to the coastal city of Batumi. Batumi is a tourist town, which is on the Black Sea. The next day we met our students. The language barrier was large with the younger children, but most of the teenage Georgians are proficient in English. Most days were started with an English lesson mixed in with going to the park to play soccer. Also we were lucky enough to visit museums, a botanical garden, and a Roman fortress. Batumi has a wonderful boardwalk and park within walking distance of the library. These were great places to take the kids during the day. In total we were with the kids for two and a half weeks. Then we took the buses back to Tbilisi where we debriefed with the Embassy and took a day to prepare for the trip back to Fort Knox.
Overall the trip was an amazing experience. There were many memorable moments. The botanical gardens outside of Batumi had some of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. On our second weekend in Batumi we took an excursion to Kutaisi. There we saw the Cathedral where King David the Builder was buried more than 800 years ago. In our final week with the kids we went to the Dolphinarium. This is a dolphin show, similar to something that would be put on at Sea World. The kids really enjoyed this, and it was fun to see them enjoying the show. I could go on all day about the trip, but it was a very valuable experience. I learned a lot from our OIC (officer in charge) and the ten cadets that I was with everyday. I created a relationship with each of them that will be useful in the future. But most of all I learned many things about myself on this trip.
Still to come…Cadet O’Donnell rides a Camel, and Cadet Nelden reports from Peru.