Blogs from Shilda, Eastern Georgia, Georgia, Asia

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Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda November 13th 2012

Georgia, the adventures continue in Shilda Mik and Aaron's village is in the far east almost on thr Russian border but it was a very nice drive through more beautiful countryside and the mini bus which was our metrushka was almost empty as it was mid-week (weekends are apparently packed! Sometimes even with chickens for busmates). Georgians seem to take pride in their roads and most areas had well planned tree lined arbours throughout most of the drive east, it was almost romantic seeing huge old trees holding eachothers branches across the passageway of the roads. When we arrived I was quite the spectacle with my giant backpack walking all the way through town. We almost immediately met a tiny old lady who funnily enough spoke English - M &A said they had not met anyone ... read more
Shilda classroom
Shilda
Aaron

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda October 1st 2012

Returning to Georgia after four months of being here, there and everywhere was like returning home. The airport was crazy when we arrived at 3:20 am as this is the busiest time for flights in and out of Tbilisi (I guess it is a lovely hour to be flying). We were exhausted after a big final day at Octoberfest, a four am wake up call, flight to Barcelona then to Turkey and finally Georgia. Driving through the city at night put a smile on both our faces, Tbilsi is quite a beautiful city at night with its looming fortresses lit up. After making our way up the street which was a mission with the road works and nearly falling into the ditch left from repairs to the piping system we were definitely ready for bed. After ... read more
Making wine
Nuts ready for tutchela
Two buckets down a million to go

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda April 20th 2012

No bunny rabbits, hot cross buns or chocolate eggs this year ...instead we celebrated Easter in the Georgian spirit. Like everything else in Georgia, Easter is celebrated in a uniquely Georgian way. When explaining to our family, teachers and classes how Easter is celebrated in Australia the conversation almost always ended in strange looks. A bunny rabbit, chocolate eggs, egg hunts; I guess it does all sound a bit ridiculous. The festivities kicked off on Thursday with Chiakokonoba. Families gathered wood in the street, started fires and jumped over it (or through it) three times. According to the legend, this action purifies the soul of evil spirit. Our village really got into the celebrations with fires being lit down the main street and through the winding passages. We all took turns at running through the fire ... read more
Chiakokonoba
Making Paska
Chiakokonoba

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda April 8th 2012

After teaching in Australia for three years I decided to jump on a plane and try my hand at teaching English in a foreign country dragging Aaron along with me. (He did actually want to come, but not being a teacher the prospect did seem a little more daunting). We thought it was a perfect opportunity which combined our desire to travel as well as an opportunity to be immersed in a new culture. What is an average school day...? I am teaching English at a small school in our village with around 150 students from grades 1-12 while Aaron teaches at the larger school with about 380 students also from grades 1-12. Both of our schools are large concrete buildings which have not been maintained for many years. There is no running electricity in the ... read more
Form one class
Form two student
English club

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda March 7th 2012

As the snow continues to recede more baby animals in our family’s flock have been born. On the weekend Aaron and I decided to go along with our younger host brother and father to herd the sheep and saw a very different Shilda than the snow covered land that has proceeded in the previous months. This weekend I truly appreciated the beauty of Shilda, with the endless vineyards and mountain backdrop it really is breathtaking. We started the day by walking with our host brother an hour toward where the flock would be located when we saw our father driving past. He proceeded to stop, pick us up, drive us all the way home, pick up his cigarettes and then drive us back to the herd. We were obviously confused, but as we are far too ... read more
Shilda
The boys and I at the waterfall
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Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda January 29th 2012

We arrived home to Shilda to knee high snow, no power and or water. We were lucky that we took the Murshutka that we did as ours was the last to make it through the snow to our village for a couple of days. We were supposed to begin our first day of the semester the following day however more snow fell at night and it was cancelled. We spent the weekend making snow men, having snow fights and walking around the village which looked completely different under the blankets of snow. I also spend a lot of time huddled besides the fire place reading. The snow as bought out many young boys and men in our village walking around with pallet guns used for shooting small birds. Our host brothers have proudly presented these dead ... read more
Tolli Papa
Old Soviet building
One of the Shildas Churches

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda January 2nd 2012

What a week it has been.. We attended Supra after supra ...drank and ate...drank and ate. We toasted to the gods, children, women, family, and peace..Have put on a least 20Kg..And Aaron‘s kidney is surely crying. We slaughtered a pig which we ate for the rest of the week (breakfast, lunch, second lunch and dinner). Aaron had to take part in this along with the other males of the house hold mean while I sat in our house horrified at the pigs screams. Every part of the pig was eaten including the tongue and intestines which I did eat, they were not delicious! Our family hosted the New Years supra so there was a lot of food preparation happening in our household which I really enjoyed (see pictures below). Our week ended with New Years. Georgians ... read more
 Shashlyk
Preserving the pig
Preparing the meat

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda December 24th 2011

It is only the beginning.. We have now been in Georgia for three weeks, so much has happened yet there is so much to come, we are here for the long haul...7 months in Georgia. We are now on our school holidays; the end of the school year was celebrated yesterday with Christmas concerts at each of our schools. The girls wore their traditional white dress while the boys wore little suit jackets. The children sang carols and performed plays - we did not understand them but it was still cute. (See photos below) Last week was our second week of teaching in our schools; it was also the last week of the school year in Georgia. Last week continued in much the same way as the previous week however with more empty seats in classrooms ... read more
Baking bread Georgian style
Christmas concert
Mikaela and host brother cooking

Asia » Georgia » Eastern Georgia » Shilda December 18th 2011

A question we seem to be asking ourselves a lot lately. Every day we think we know the plan or have a vague idea of what is in front of us and then bam, one of the family members will say its time to go and we are off herding sheep or going for a walk to the villiage ending in cha cha at some random persons (to us anyway) house. Today we departed our house thinking we were going to a church service, instead we visited the villiage of Gremi and its royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels, as well as a Khaketian museum. Our family insisted we have a tour guide to take us around the palace at their expence without our input. It was very interesting seeing how they use to ... read more
Horse and carriage
Corn
Church of the Archangels




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