Anna, 30 years old, Tskinvali:
“Everything was really easy, everyone was friendly, to be honest I was anxious at the beginning, I thought that everything was staged, I couldn’t relax. One evening passed, then the second one, and the third... and I realized that I was letting some people to come closer than I had imagined.
At the beginning, when I started attending the meeting about conflicts, I couldn’t hide my aggression. I’m a very emotional person and my emotions were so distinct, I couldn’t deliver to people what I wanted to say. I truly hated Georgians. It seemed to me, that none of Georgians could judge objectively and say: “Yes, we were not right” or “Anna, I don’t support the policy of my government.” That’s why I was always fully prepared. I had same attitude when I met the guys from Georgia, but soon I understood, that there was no need for my “combat mode.”
A red-haired girl caught my attention immediately, she just sunk into my heart.
I was very touched by one gesture. One day we went for a walk. I had no warm clothes with me. I was cold and she did not even think to return to the house, she took her raincoat and gave it to me to wear.
I was shocked. Just a month earlier I couldn’t have even imagined that I would take a raincoat from a Georgian girl, even if I would be close to death. However this happened. Every day I was more and more impressed by her kindness, and yet how distant she was from political principles; for her the most important thing was humanity and communication. Shortly after this, I fell in love with her and I told my friends that there is such a warm person in Georgia, whom I loved with all my heart.
I became friends with almost everyone from the Georgian group. For me, it’s really easy to have a relationship with them, but when I came back home and said that I met some very interesting people from Georgia, no one believed me. Everyone knew about my attitude toward Georgians. Some of my friends still didn’t even believe me, but the fact remains.
After participating in “Youth Peace Express” a lot of things have changed about the way I see young Georgians.
Or maybe the organization chose the best on purpose?!”