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98

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

LOCAL LENS

BY FRANCESCA KELLY

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MESTIA, GEORGIA

Please submit your favorite,

recent photograph to

be considered for Local

Lens. Images must be high

resolution (at least 300 dpi

at 8” x 10”, or 1 MB or larger)

and must not be in print

elsewhere. Please include

a short description of the

scene/event, as well as your

name, brief biodata and the

type of camera used,

to

locallens@afsa.org.

T

his is Mestia, in the Caucasian Svaneti region of Georgia. The region’s medieval

towers, which number nearly 300 or so, were built either as fortresses against

clan warfare or as bunkers against avalanches—perhaps both. They are gener-

ally attached to stone houses that feature one great roomwith a fire for cooking,

sleeping areas around the outside for both people and livestock, and a “newlywed’s alcove”

for privacy. Most of the descendants of the original families who built the towers still own

them. In other words, these towers have stayed in the family for 1,000 years!

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Francesca Kelly is the spouse of U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly and a frequent contributor

to

The Foreign Service Journal

. She took this photo with a BLU cell phone on Oct. 17 after the first

snowfall of the season.