Readers who have been following the saga of the "Vasilios N," the Georgian-flagged cargo ship whose crew recently escaped from Libya
after being held in Misurata for 11 months, know the story is as much a family drama as it is a seafaring one.
Two of the crew members are father and son: the 48-year-old captain, Iveri Kurashvili, and his 25-year-old son, Giorgi. And waiting for them back in Georgia's Black Sea port of Poti was Manana Ambalia, Iveri's wife and Giorgi's mother.
Ambalia chronicled her agonizing vigil as she waited for word of her family in a diary for RFE/RL's Georgian Service. (For any Georgian-speakers, you can find the entire journal, plus a video reading, here
.) "I catch myself thinking whose life I want more, my husband's or my son's," she wrote despairingly at one point as she listened to reports of fighting in Misurata.
Giorgi and Iveri are now safely in Malta with the rest of the crew, and have had a chance to read Manana's diary. Today, Giorgi posted the following message to his mother about his feelings as he read her words:
"Mommy, I couldn't hold back my tears, I was crying like a 2-year-old just now. I don't think I've cried this hard since I was a child. Mother, please, don't worry, everything is well. God didn't abandon us, he is with us, and we have achieved the impossible -- we are used to hardship. By the way, I have a diary too, Mama. But no one will be able to read it, except for one person… and that person is Olga. Mama, please don't be hurt, please don't think there is anyone whom I trust more, or who is closer to me, than you. I just don't want you to experience what's written there… a good film could be made with that diary… :D Mommy, Mother, I love you very much and I'm asking you not to worry. Everything is well, we will arrive soon, and let's give an interview to Tea together and remember all these hardships as something that's behind us. Kisses, Mom. Please don't worry."
-- Daisy Sindelar