It was quite an experience in itself to observe everybody’s reaction when I told people I was going to spend my summer in the Northern Caucasus. Everybody around seemed concerned and tried to talk me out of this trip, which I absolutely understood and respected – yet somehow did not want to give in to. Even I myself had some far-fleeting, vague doubts concerning the safety side of the trip. At the same time, I believed, based on what I knew from friends living or coming from the Caucasus, that one should not be misled by the exaggerated stereotypical images in various media, and that the actual situation in the Caucasus is far from incessant fights, gunshots, bombings and all-over violence.
There probably was a mere short moment, as I boarded the plane from Moscow to Grozny, when I suddenly thought: what am I getting myself into? (Which obviously was an act of self-deception since I knew the answer perfectly well, and I knew that nothing on Earth would make me reject the intellectual excitement and, in complete honesty, the adrenaline-filled euphoria of this trip.)
It turned out, I was getting myself into a wonderful adventure, unprecedented in my life. Continue reading “How It All Began”