Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Lost Day

I left Minneapolis at 1940 on Monday evening, and I arrived in Tblisi on Wednesday at 0340.  Technically, Tuesday wasn't lost: I just spent it either walking around the Istanbul airport or flying.  It's good to be on the ground. 

I am staying just outside of the main city center in Tblisi.  It's mid-day, and I am heading out for a walk.  I hope to spice up this blog with an occasional photograph.  It's a bright and clear day, perfect for some photos of the city. 

On my flight I finished the second of two books that I read by Thomas Goltz.  This one is called Azerbaijan Diary, and the first one I read is titled Georgia Diary (plus, I actually ordered a third Goltz book, titled not-surprisingly Chechnya Diary).  Goltz was a freelance reporter in this part of the world during the late 80s and early 90s, just as the Soviet Union collapsed and the former Soviet states like Georgia and Azerbaijan were launching their nation-state independence.  They are both well-written documentaries of those times here, and they are important to the work that I am doing because Goltz explains the internal strife that led to the internally displaced people that are at the center of the Public Achievement effort here.  When Georgia became a nation, Abkhazia in the far northwestern part of the country wanted to align itself with Russia.  Georgians living in Abkhazia were at risk and fled in great numbers.  In Azerbaijan, an area called Mountainous Karabakh was claimed by Armenia, and many Azeris fled the area.  These (and many others) are the internally displaced people (IDPs), and they are essentially refugees within their own countries, many victims of violent ethnic cleansing.  Goltz's books are great starters for the contemporary histories of this region.

I am out the door in an attempt to walk my way through the jet lag.  More later.


  1. Michael

    I am glad to hear you arrived safe and sound. I told you that I had shared your blog with a few folks in corporate America. One of the consultants we've been working with does alot of work around the use of 2.0 technology as a means of facilitating more effective collaboration. He would like for the three of us to get together for lunch when you return. He's really interested in hearing more about the work you are doing.

    Michael, I'm struck by the similarities of what you and I do including looking for ways to improve the collaborative process, although I would specutlate that the motivations of your work in public achievement are quite different than those found in the corporate arena.

    Take care, learn lots and be safe


  2. Glad you made it safe and sane! Best to you, and I look forward to reading your blogs.