Our day began with a visit to the Bodbe Monastery where Saint Nino (“The Great Enlightened”) is buried. The Bodbe Monastery is the largest in Georgia housing approximately thirty nuns. The original building on the grounds was built in the 8th century. Georgian kings have been crowned on this site which looks out over a beautiful valley.
We then continued our journey back to Tblisi, stopping to visit Nukriani Community Organization en route. We were hosted by the Director, Maya Bidzinashvili. Maya sold her dowry to establish Nukriani in 2006 to create employment opportunities for women in the area by involving them in her workshops which teach them traditional handicrafts upon which they can build a small business of their own. A number of the women she works with were there to greet us and treat us to a lesson in making “churchkhela”, a traditional Georgian delicacy of walnuts dipped in boiled-down fruit “molasses”.
We arrived in Tblisi in the early afternoon with time to pack for Armenia and that evening celebrated with the women we had met at our Farewell Dinner at which we presented our Mary Pomeroy Awards for Georgia. It was extremely difficult to decide among the very worthy organizations with which we met. It was decided to present two awards which went to the Nukriani Community Organization and Women for Tomorrow.
[Darcy Olstad, Recorder]