This past week was OJDA which is the site visit time. I have a lot of stories to tell. And I’ll write more of them later, but right now I’ll tell about one of my week’s highlights.
Saturday was homecoming at the University of Georgia. And although, a trip back to the United States isn’t really possible (even for a game between 2 SEC east leaders), a call to the US (using the amazing service called call2.com that lets you call the US from Kazakhstan for only 10 cents a minute) was feasible. Many of my old college buddies were going to be gathering in Athens for the Vandy game and I planned on calling them while they were tailgating so they could play the game of pass the phone.
Well I called around 10am Athens time and got to talk to Amy and Chad, but the whole crew wasn’t quite around yet. My next opportunity was around 12 o’clock, which was going to be around kickoff. I didn’t even think I’d be able to get through to my friends, but somehow they heard the phone and answered. It was surreal to actually be able to talk to so many of my friends for the first time since August. And then the kickoff ceremonies began. First, with the alma mater (which I proudly sang along with in the middle of a train station in Taraz, Kazakhstan. Quietly, but still singing.) Yeah, I actually know all the words without the help of the jumbotron.
Then we began to board the train and I had to say goodbye. But as I was about to go, Brad told me they were about to play the Battle Hymn of the Bulldawg Nation. This is pretty much my favorite part of pre-football game festivities and it usually gives me chills every time I hear it. Brad graciously held the phone up high, and from the upper deck a lone Redcoat member played those sweet notes that were soon accompanied by the whole band. I felt the familiar chills and almost had tears in my eyes. Even though I was almost as far away from Athens, Georgia as one could possibly be, I felt like I was back there with all my friends, just another Saturday afternoon between the hedges.