Georgia – trip of a lifetime!

Far, far away in a land were a girl can be a king, our adventure started. Five caterpillars embarked on a journey of growth and friendship, resulting in the return of five strong butterflies.

It all started 18 months ago at an interview for an opportunity we knew little to nothing about. Although we did not know what we were signing up for, we knew it was an adventure that we could not pass on. After a day of indoor and outdoor tasks we still did not know much about Georgia except where it is on the map (above the Black Sea beside Turkey, in case you didn’t know).

Before we knew it, we were at Dublin Airport checking in our bags and full of anticipation for what was to come. Two flights, two trains and an afternoon in Munich later we arrived in Tbilisi. The next few days comprised of sight-seeing, Turkish baths and delicious food. When the day to go to camp arrived, we waved goodbye to our host families who had given up their beds for us.

Once at camp, we set to work decorating camp for the opening ceremony. Many paper butterflies and streamers later camp officially started.

What followed was an exciting week, consisting of the best talent show act ever to be witnessed, trips to Vardzia the cave city, white water rafting, workshops on swaps, activities centred around the Sustainability Development Goals and a lot more rain than expected (like home).

We also became secret agents for the week: the mission was to not let anyone know we had brought two extra mattresses into our room so we could all stay together. We held daily flag ceremonies in order to show the Georgians our Guiding traditions. In return, they showed us their culture – from their food to their dance.

If you ever wanted to find us on the campsite, you just had to follow the sound of Mamma Mia where you would find five Irish girls dancing extremely well-choreographed routines (if I say so myself).

From this trip we grew as individuals and as friends. What started as a simple online application resulted in a trip of a lifetime. As we boarded the plane to go home, we were no longer the caterpillars that left Ireland. Instead, we returned as butterflies who were just waiting to emerge.