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IAm Tamar Davitaia

Blogs Tamar Davitaia, LL.M, CIA Oct 19, 2022

Hiking to the Bethlehem Church, with the view on Mount Kazbek (5,054 m.)

I joined the internal audit profession 10 years ago when it was in its initial stage of development in the Georgian public sector. At that time, I was working as a lawyer for the city of Tbilisi, and the challenge of helping to establish an internal audit function seemed inspiring, so I accepted the offer. Since then, I have fallen in love with this profession. However, it is not my only love.

Adventurous Life

I am from Georgia, a small country surrounded by the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It has a very diverse landscape, and you can almost never exhaust trails that reveal thrilling natural and historical sights. Hiking is my other love.

I started hiking with my university friends and then joined the very first internet platform of Georgian hikers: (in Georgian "karavi" means "tent"). There I met a group of people who love nature and exploring historical monuments and who are passionate about adventurous activities. The group also organized events to clean highly polluted tourist areas, plant trees, help "internally displaced persons" or IDPs from Samachablo and Abkhazia (regions of Georgia occupied by Russia), and provide books and other school supplies for the students of mountain village schools.

Generally, I am not a morning person. However, when hiking is involved, I enjoy waking up at dawn (even before the alarm clock rings), putting on a heavy backpack, and heading out for an adventure. One such challenging and outstanding adventure was a hike to the highest church in Georgia — 3,900 meters above sea level — on the Mount Kazbek route. It was for my best friend's wedding ceremony there. On our way to the church, we crossed the river, climbed a distance, and passed the Gergeti glacier. It was already dark when we reached the Kazbek meteorological station (3,650 m.), where we spent the night. The next day, we hiked to the Bethlehem Church where the wedding ceremony was held. Luckily, the weather was wonderful, and on our entire route, we had beautiful snowy views.

It is said that internal auditors are good at risk assessment, and I am not arguing this fact. However, this skill doesn't stop us from being passionate about taking risks. Together with friends, I also used to participate in rock-climbing and rafting. These kinds of risky activities teach you to fight, overcome obstacles, prepare well, and properly analyze each step to reach your goal. This seems to me the same approach that is needed for an internal audit engagement.


After becoming a mother, I took a break from long-distance hikes and riskier activities. Now I am hiking on shorter routes with my husband and our son, Nikoloz. Most of our free time we spend on farming, which we do with great pleasure. I look after the small garden in our backyard where we grow organic vegetables and some fruits. This month, I planted coriander, parsley, celery, basil, garden cress, onions, and green salad, and it is a pleasure to see plants growing and thriving. Recently, my husband and a couple of friends decided to start a bigger farm in Kakheti, Eastern Georgia, where we will spend time with locally employed workers together participating in farming.

Masanobu Fukuoka's book about natural farming, "The One-Straw Revolution," is my inspiration with its approach to agriculture. We achieve better results when we let nature take its course and do not interfere. And when there are problems, we do not just treat the symptoms, which itself can cause additional problems. Just like in an internal audit engagement, we must look for and analyze the root causes of our finding. Internal audit and farming both offer metaphors for life.

Tamar Davitaia, LL.M, CIA

Former Deputy Head of Internal Audit Department, Ministry of Defence of Georgia