Much to our delight, Munchkin continues to be an avid young reader. After many months of mostly incoherent baby babble, he is also finally beginning to show signs of grasping the basics of language, and his board books deserve a lot of the credit for this development.
While D was away in Tbilisi, taking advantage of his work trip to see the Georgian countryside, S did a bit of traveling of her own, albeit closer to home. A good friend from our Kenya days whom S has known since grad school was flying from Nairobi to Chicago and asked if she could visit for a couple of days, instantly doubling the number of friends who have made it out to Chisinau to see us.
On the way back from Lagodekhi, D’s friend made a detour through Sighnaghi, an unassuming little town that was recently thrust into Georgia’s tourist limelight. The transition — from hiking well off the beaten path to the heart of Georgia’s tourist track — was a bit surreal. One moment D was wading almost waist-deep in snowmelt in the middle of the Lagodekhi wilderness, and an hour or two later he found himself jockeying for position with Russian tourists so that he could snap a couple of photographs.
In preparing to bid adieu to Georgia after many years working and living there, D’s friend had scribbled down a short bucket list of hikes, treks, and bike routes he wanted to traverse before leaving the country for good. After spending a week in the capital, D was all too happy to get out of Tbilisi and help him check a few items off the list. Birtvisi, a ruined medieval fortress nestled in the limestone cliffs of a small river gorge about an hour outside the city was the first stop on the itinerary.