In response to a question one of the readers (Irakli) prompted in the comment section a week ago, this post will step back from
The family car, which gets washed every other day. By far, the most important family possession. I hope to have a post on Georgian Men and their manqana (car) obsessions up soon
Erti – What would you change immediately in the country, in the host family, your students and teachers - what inconveniences you or drives you most crazy?
I had to think about this awhile. There are many things I believe to be “backwards” in
Beautiful Svaneti... Again
But the one thing I do find frustrating is the resistance to change or progress. This is especially true in the schools (specifically mine), where they’ve had a way of going about things for so long and at such a comfortable pace, that they are averse to any change whatsoever. It could be the simple things (having teachers’ meetings in the middle of school when classes are going on [and therefore taking away class-time from the students] instead of having the teachers come in early or stay later) or the big things (not splitting up classes based on proficiency; there are kids in my year VII-XI who barely know their alphabet but are still blindly shuffled along with the rest of their class. I could write a dissertation on the problems with this system), but it all depends on one thing: it’s too much work. It’s easier just to keep going on at the status quo as long as it’s comfortable, and it’s always comfortable doing things the way they’ve always been done.
God knows this isn’t restricted to
Luka booting his Rugby ball. The boys love Rugby much like most of Georgia
Ori – What were the most important things you did not take with you but you found out you can't live without them?
I was asked this same question by a New Yorker I met at the sulfur baths in
I might be reusing a few of this picture by now; but this shot just reinforce my longing for a solid two-wheeler
There are certainly some practical things that I wish I had the foresight to bring (more winter clothing becoming more and more apparent as the temperature dips), but those are just things that can be replaced (as my Dad always says, opportunity to upgrade). But if I had to choose one thing, it’d have to be the Kindle my Aunt let me borrow which I left in my room at home (by the way, if someone wants to grab that…). I’m running out of books quickly and recently went to the English bookstore in
And I miss my bike. I rode a rickshaw through college to earn money (sort of a bike-taxi thing with a carriage on the back), so I never really wanted to go biking in my spare time (I always compared it to an accountant doing his taxes when he got off work). But when I moved home a year ago, I started cycling consistently with my father (already an avid cyclist) and came to really love the sport. The time alone is nice (it’s an astoundingly solitary activity), but what I really love is the ability to see so much in such little time (more so than running, plus better for your knees) at a good pace (you can’t really enjoy the sights of the road when you’re in a car, you miss too much). When I first got to
My father and I on our bikes in Tuscon this past March; gettin' is some quality F&S time
But that’s kind of it. Give me my Cervello and a Kindle, and I’d have zero reason to complain. But as for people…
I’ve actually decided not to come back stateside for Christmas and instead head off to
It was a tough decision, because as much as I long for my Kindle, I also miss my family and friends. But—and I might sound like a heartless bastard here—I grew up a very independent person who has gotten used to separation by now. Being a child of divorce, going far away for college, a constantly shifting group of friends… all of these things have helped me to become a very adaptable person. It didn’t take long for me to gain a solid core of friends in Georgia (mostly volunteers) and I already feel like I’m part of a new family here at the Gabunias. Don’t get me wrong, both of these groups would have to go to the end of the world for me before they could replace my friends and family back home, but I feel like wherever I am in my life, as long as I look for it, I’ll have support.
Although it would be nice to see my Annabelle (sister’s dog).
My Annabella; the love of my life
Sami – What would your advice to people who will be coming later on TLG program so they are successful in their jobs? At the same time - what are the greatest obstacles they need to overcome to achieve such a goal?
When I was in
So of course I did what I’ve been doing here for quite some time, I thought about it (I also talked about it with a few of the wiser volunteers). I came up with what I feel like is pretty good advice to anyone coming over here: whatever may happen to you will be unique. There’s no set of guidelines you can follow that can guarantee you will be successful or even like
Again, probably already used this one as well, but it's getting so cold over here, and this is the only source of heat in my house
Just enjoy it as much as you can. Don’t worry (because in
I just realized my answer had little to do with the teaching aspect. So my advice on the actual job side of things is to never be afraid to speak your mind to your fellow teachers or director, and don’t be afraid to be dependent on your fellow volunteers. There are tons of us over here, some with excellent teaching experience, and we are all willing to help because we’ve probably been in the same tough spot before. That’s one of the highlights of TLG, the outreach provided, whether it’s the bigwigs in
Me trying to tempt a stray dog at the Senaki train station. I was a little wet due to an apocalyptic rain shower