Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
|Bebua making me criss-cross, chug wine with the neighbor|
Nino teaching me how to dance
|Bebua doing the split and chugging wine off the ground...amazing|
Monday, September 20, 2010
|Maya, me, Lika, Ana|
Ana and Lika’s parents live in Moscow. They moved their about 12 years ago because of financial problems and the lack of jobs in Georgia. Ever since then, Ana and Lika have been living here with their grandparents during the school year, and they spend summer and school holidays back in Moscow with their parents. Pheww! Ok, we that is the general breakdown.
|Ana, Babua, Nini, Nino, Niko|
|Niko playing dress up with the girls|
|Nini, Nino, Ana, Niko|
|One of mannyyyy chandeliers in our house!|
|Lash and Sopo out at the park|
We live in a neighborhood on the edge of town about 30 minutes (walking) from the city center. We have two story, grey cement house with a huge property behind it. Downstairs is where we spend most of our time and there is a large formal dining/living room, a good sized family room, kitchen, and the one bathroom. Upstairs there are a bunch of bedrooms and a balcony to the backyard. Oh ya, I forgot to mention that are chandeliers everywhere in this house. I mean EVERYWHERE. Basically most of what I’ll talk about (food, drinking, cultural attitudes, etc) is veryyyyy similar to my big fat greek wedding. If you’ve seen that, you’ve experienced a bit of what I’m living with. :) My room here is really nice! I have a huge bed, giant armoire spanning most of one wall, a vanity and some end tables. We have a huge garden in the backyard, fruit trees, grape vines, chickens, cows, corn fields, etc. Ninety percent of what we eat comes from the backyard, which is awesome. They even makes their own cheese, wine, and Georgian ‘vodka’ all here at home. It’s a lovely home that they have here and it’s really great to be a part of their family for a little while!
I have been placed in Zugdidi, a mid-sized city (roughly 80,000 people) located in the North West region of Georgia bordering Abkhazia. There are 17 other teachers located in and around the neighboring villages, which is great because we have a good support system here. Zugdidi is a cute little town with two main streets and a park running through the center of town. All of the buildings are less than about eight stories tall and most are about four. Most buildings are stone or cement, harsh looking structures, but are inviting and comfortable inside.
Ok so I mentioned before that splitting up from the group was really hard after bonding over the week of training. It was also especially hard because our departure from Kutaisi was somewhat dramatic. Haha So what happened was we were divided into three groups and put onto busses where we then drove to three centralized locations in the different regions to meet our new families. We stopped first in a town called Senaki in a school that looked very much like a prison. Picture a huge, disheveled cement building that looked like a bomb had gone off in it. VERY soviet looking. Anyway, I digress…basically we were all (our whole volunteer group and some Georgian families) sitting in a meeting room in the school and one by one people’s names would be called. They would walk to the front of the room to meet their families while everyone applauded. Hugs, kisses, and tears were exchanged as the families met their new ‘foreigner’. It looked a bit like an 5th grade graduation ceremony…except instead of a diploma you got a family. Then the families quickly swept our friends into cars and off to their respective towns and villages. It was really sad to see them go! But it built up a lot of excitement (and nerves!) for us to meet our families.I was in group number two. We got to the educational resource center in Zugdidi, and were greeted by a room full of anxious Georgian families awaiting our arrival. Again, it was kind of dramatic and really nerve wrecking meeting these people for the first time. Three teachers from my school came with my host ‘grandfather’ to pick me up and they were so nice! They brought me back to their house where the rest of the family and some friends were waiting to meet me.