CC Foreign Correspondents: An Old Friend and Some New Friction

This summer, Colorado College students Zeke Lloyd ’24 and Michael Braithwaite ’24, with funding provided by a CC Venture Grant and the Sheffer Fund for Catholic Studies, spent a month travelling around central Europe reporting on the Ukrainian refugee crisis. They visited Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland, and reported back through stories published in the Colorado Springs and Denver Gazettes. Along the way, they kept us updated on their travels and experiences.

With two weeks to go in our trip through Eastern Europe, we found ourselves sweating under the blazing Georgia sun. Gone was the familiar feeling of Slovakia, where we had spent our last month. Standing on the corner of Liberty Square in downtown Tbilisi, we were exhausted from two consecutive days of travel and intimated by the novelty of a wholly new landscape.

But moments after our arrival, we were greeted by the smiling face of Zack Weiss ’22.  

We knew Weiss at CC through the Model United Nations club. Through two years of early-morning meetings, lively afternoon discussions, and Block Break conferences at California universities, Weiss grew from a club acquaintance to a trusted friend. After graduation, he moved halfway across the world to Tbilisi to work as a political consultant.

After exchanging long overdue hugs, we walked north of Liberty Square and descended into one of Weiss’s favorite restaurants. He ordered a smorgasbord of Georgian cuisine and we spent the afternoon catching up.  

Even with Weiss as a companion, we faced obstacles in Georgia that Slovakia did not prepare us for.

Perhaps the most evident was the sensitivity of our work — we were interviewing Russian migrants as they fled conscription. Moreover, we were only a short distance from Russian-occupied Georgia. 

Despite the novelty of the political landscape, we found routine quickly. Each day, we traveled throughout the city in search of interviews and photographs. Most evenings, we’d find Weiss to break down that day’s adventure.  

Then we’d do it all again.


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