No words in refugee camp
Worst what can happen to you during trip is not having the language. We spend sweet afternoon in refugees’ camp close to Tbilisi but we… don’t speak Ossetic…
And you have so many questions in your head, and everybody is inviting you for coffee and cake, and kids are talking and talking and talking… And you cannot understand anything! Awful feeling. Only showing places on the map, only showing numbers on fingers.
You can of course read the official reports (but Georgian or Ossetian?), you can come with official translator but… it’s all not the same. First time during our trip we felt it: that our trip is really in 90% about people and their stories. Story of this woman which lives in the house in the camp with five kids and her husband is still in Tskhinvali (capital of Ossetia, only 20 km from the camp but.. one the other side of the border). Story of this girl which two year ago was supposed to go to school but the war started.
First time Republic of South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia in 1990. This led to 1991-2 war. Then conflicts in 2004 and 2008, the last one led again to the war. During this war Ossetian separatists and Russian troops gained full, de-facto, control of the territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast. Russia, but also Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru (on South Pacific) recognized South Ossetia as independent republic.