Tuesday, October 2, 2012

....and sometimes your bored

After spending three hours de-husking corn your mind starts to drift.  I had called everyone I felt like talking to. I had sent many text messages in the hopes of evoking a reply, but after a while nothing.

As a keep saying to my sister, life is different here for us village folk. (Never in my life did I think I would refer to myself as village folk- I'm not particularly enjoying though.) I got to my school, teach my three hours a day and then walk home and watch the chickens run around the yard.

Until I had the internet I was going into the town everyday just to break up the monotony, there is nothing to do in town. But if I walked I had a good hour to just listen to some music and think. But that is how I unintentionally hitch hiked.

I was walking along listening to some happening jams, when a small beige car started to slow down. I glanced at the car but didn't recognise it. The car then stopped next to me, I looked through the window and saw who I thought was my host father; I climbed in. Sitting in the back seat was a woman I had never seen before, I assumed she was a nighbour. I looked to the front and realised I did not know the man, he was not my faux father.  The couple smiled at me and asked "Rustavi" (a city at least 6 hours away) I shook my head and said "Senaki." The couple laughed at my obvious confusion. They drove me into town and wished me on my merry way. it wasn't until later that I realised 

  • I had not told anyone where I was going.
  • My phone battery was dying
  • I didn't have my translation dictionary (my soul way of communicating with people.)

I spent a really long time talking to one of my friends back home about assassination.  It went for about an hour till we had both created a very detailed plan on how to murder someone should the situation arise.

That's when the boredom set in. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wine Time

The grapes are being harvested, that can only mean one thing. The wines are coming.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Batumi and Back

Batumi stole my soul and wouldn't give it back. It started as a small two night trip to visit a friend and ended up being four nights with over 20 people.

I went to the Turkish border town of Sarpi, more than once whilst in Batumi. It is beautiful with crystal clear waters that are upwards of six foot deep, yet you can see all the way to the bottom. The was a cliff that was about half the distance of the bridge we jumped off, but I was having 'nam style flashbacks and couldn't bring myself to take the leap.

 It is amazing to think that my little village is less then two hours away from this bustling metropolis (I do use this term lightly.) Donald Trump is building one of his infamous Trump Towers here.
 I think the main reason I got sucked in for so long was the beautiful cool sea water that I could float in for hours. It's not long now untill it is too cold to use the bathroom at night, so I say make the most of it while we can.

I also have a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out.) If everyone is is going to be there, I want to be there also.

By the end of the trip nobody really wanted to be there anymore- we were tired, sunburnt and basically had just had our spirits broken. But Batumi is truly beautiful, it is a city I would enjoy living in.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Rock Star President and Volcanic Hot Springs

President Saakashvili is a rock star. Originally we were told we were going to meet the president. It was not so. The president was giving a speech (on what I am not too sure, I caught the word school. My Kartuli is not very good.) to several towns across the nation. Before he arrived in was a stage show spectacular of Georgian TV stars, Mingrelian singers, even Miss Georgia. The president's helicopter circled the town square a few times before depositing him off sight somewhere. The speech lasted no more than 10 minutes and then the thousands of people climbed back into the buses, the snipers put away their riffles and normalcy resumed in the town

The real fun is what we got up to after. (The 'we' I refer to is Engela and I, because we live so near.) We met up with 3 other TLG folks and discussed plans to go swimming in Poti over lunch. We didn't have any swimwear with us so we convinced the group to come to our town and go swimming in the mountain river. 

The taxi ride down was cramped and relatively uneventful - we did get to practice directions in Kartuli though. The cab dropped us at Engela's and from there we were going to walk until we could flag down a car. The first car to pass, A BMW, stopped and drove us. Life is Grand.

The river we stopped at has a bridge that I would say is close to 10m from the water. We ju as I was assured the water was very deep and we would be fine. 

It hurt so much. I feel like I have been hit by a car. It was totally worth it. You fell for so long it stopped feeling real. To soothe our aching bodies we headed to the volcanic hot springs- this time jumping in the back of a logging van. We lay there until we thought our poor host families would be worried. Hitchhiked back into town and called it a night.

What did we learn from today. Hitchhiking is great. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Three Flat Tyres Later

Training is over and we have been shipped off to our respected parts of the country. Mine being on the exact opposite side to my sister in the village Menji, 3 km from Senaki in the Samegrelo region. The bus ride was hectic and I was lucky enough to have two other TLG-ers on the bus. The ride itself took six hours, we were run off the road once and blew out a tyre about a two thirds into the trip. We made it and I only suffered a small bump to the head.

But there were two more flat tyres to come...

My co-teacher who speaks wonderful English has only recently moved to Senaki so her husband took the both of us plus another TLG friend on a sight seeing expedition around the region. First up the mountain to a church that had a view over the entire city, then to the river that flows from the mountain.

The first flat tyre did not occur when we were travelling at 140kph down a road spotted with cows, but later when we were leaving the castle remains. A man stopped to help but it was soon apparent that it was beyond repair and our make-shift guide hoped into the car with this man to go find another tyre. We enjoyed a chilled lunch whilst we waited.

The third flat tyre occurred no more than an hour later, Natia and I left the car on the side of the road and walked home. I have been assured that people have lived here for years and never seen a flat tyre. But with three in two days I am doubting the validity of that statement.

Life is beautiful in Senaki.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One Bag Full and most of it's my sister's

I have been accepted into a volunteer program in Georgia (North of Turkey, South Russia) I had no intentions of starting a blog but then my room mate inspired me to write, partly so my family can keep up and partly so I don't forget the amazing things that happen.The program places native English speakers in a school in a city/village and whist you are here you live with a  host family and experience what Georgian life is like.

The minimum service you can do with the program is four months, so I packed my my bag with what I thought I would need for four months. Then I got a list from my sister (who lives in Tbilisi) of all the things she would like me to bring over for her; the list was not small.

  • Running Shoes
  • New Havianas (Specifically black with red or white writing)
  • Bio Oil
  • Salt and Vinegar Chips (In a zip lock bag)
  • Fish Oil
  • Tea Bags
  • Curry Paste
  • Taco Seasoning (8 packets)
  • Fish Oil
  • 3 Text Books for uni
  • Bank Digipass
I had to buy another bag, with all of her additions it took my back from 14kgs to over 20kgs. Which I struggled to carry with my laptop and SLR camera. However I arrived with my luggage in tow in Tbilisi and was picked up with four others in the company bus and taken to the hotel for a week of orientation before we get sent off into the big wide world. 

I was chatting to my new room mate (Vicky- who had just arrived with the new wave of volunteers at 5am) when we heard the bars outside our room rattle. She looks up and terror and says that there is a man looking into our window. We immediately rush to the window to check it out, we see the man, he smiles and waves  and walks off into the distance. At first it seemed sinister a strange man looking into our room, now it just seemed more like he was just playfully scaling the iron bars. As you do.

I am off to explore the city.