Saturday, August 21, 2010


A little bit about the village I'll be teaching in, Banza. I don't know anything about it. I googled it and couldn't find anything about it (it's not on google maps; therefore it must not exist, ki?). All I know is what Nino (my amazingly helpful and hilarious program coordinator) told me about it and that was that it has an unbelievable waterfall not far from the village. So I got that goin' for me.

What I can tell you is that the village won't be far from Martvili where there will be two other teachers including a Duquesne graduate (no worries he's from Wisconsin and therefore I am still the only 'Burgher I know of in Georgia). Martvili is a small town in the province of Samegrelo and they have a football team, FC Merani Martvili, in the top division of the Georgian league, which is money (amendment; they are not in the top division, but I will still expect Jogo Bonito).

From what I can gather, I'll be close to the mountains (if not actually in them) and there will be a breath taking monastery close by. This, I can live with. I'm actually relieved that I'm not in a bigger city or town. I may regret saying that, but I think the best way to really experience the culture is to release myself from any sort of familiar outlets (other English teachers/speakers, Walmarts, etc.) I'll probably be the only foreigner in my village, which is exactly the way I want it.

I'll know more when I get there on Monday, but it can't come soon enough.

I was planning on describing more about Kutaisi, my training, and my initial thoughts on Georgian people and culture, but I'm running short on time. So I'll leave you with another tease. Basically, a lot of our training has been us asking questions about Georgia and the people, and we discuss gender roles a lot. Yesterday, we were talking about dating and the accepted way to go about it. In Georgia, it's customary for the woman to decline several times before relenting to go on a date. Nino helped us understand with a nicely put joke:

If a diplomat says yes, it's maybe. If he says maybe, it's no. And if he says no, he's not a diplomat. In Georgia, if a woman says no, it's maybe. If she says maybe, it's yes. And if she says yes, she is not a woman.

Looking forward to that struggle.

More later, along with some pictures up on FB.

UPDATE: Here's a detailed map of the region. And apparently they speak Mingrelian in the region, which is totally different from the Georgian we've been learning the past six days. Nice.

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