Published: February 13th 2012February 13th 2012
The past three weeks in Shilda have been both challenging and enjoying. The temperatures have dropped and the snow has continued to fall at varying rates. Electricity has been intermittent and water has been non existent within the housing pipes. Water does come on for around an hour every second day...most of the time. This is enough time for us to fill up the many water bottles, pots, pans and buckets that the family have. We have had a total of three showers since returning as we were lucky enough to not be at school when the water decides to run, actually Mikaela is having one as I speak, this is an exciting day! (False alarm – the water ran for 10 minutes and then decided to stop)
We get by having hot water boiled on the fire stove and put in a bucket so we can have a quick wash every second day. We are actually a well oiled machine when it comes to washing now, working as a team and getting the hell out of the freezing bathroom as quick as possible and then thawing out next to the stove after.
As you can guess a house without running
Drying the newborn
This one also did not survive.
water is not a hygienic house, and Georgians are not known for their hygiene. Gastro has finally become an issue for Mikaela and I as of late, we thought we had bypassed the bug that all volunteers seem to have gotten but we were very wrong. We are not sure what exactly we caught it from but have put it down to either –
- Having a cat, new born lamb and rabbit in the house at one time, handling it and then preparing dinner without hand washing.
- Having the same food four days straight.
- Great grandma trying to work out how to use the new “Western Toilet”
- Not having a shower for a week
I could go on but you get the idea.
Village life can be slow at times and the language barrier can leave you feeling isolated. The snow has been very heavy since our return to the village and our family has been without a car. Mikaela has been making the 40min walk to school and another 40min back home each day. However my school is much closer to our family’s house and
Wine fields covered by snow
I only walk 15min to school.
This Thursday and Friday were declared official snow days, no school, we were pretty happy when we first found however then we grew bored very quickly. Although the snow was still very heavy we decided to hit up Telavi our closest town and the capital of our region.
The lack of variety in food since we have arrived in Georgia has been another struggle, our family is not wealthy nor are many Georgian families and food is eaten meal after meal until it is finished. This can mean beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner for four days in a row as food is cooked in bulk. Therefore the sole purpose of our trip to Telavi was to find any food that resembled home. After a 40min Marshutka ride into Telavi (nearly dying on three occasions until the driver decided to put chains on the wheels) we were pleased to find pizza buns, soft drink and even some juice. The town was a buzzing market selling everything from fruit and vegetables to giant pig heads. We enjoyed some time away from the family and saw some of the town sites including the Telavi
Marshrutka Station Telavi
Now its time to work out which is ours....
As we have now been in Georgia for just over two months we are beginning to struggle with some things however in other ways things are becoming easier as we grasp the language. Our family is hilarious and we enjoy spending time with them, they are an extremely happy family and always find a way to have a good time. We enjoy teaching each other English and Gerogian and the past week all toasts have been given by Aaron in Gerogian and translated in English by our host father which always puts us in fits of laughter especially when Cheers gets mixed up with cheese or chairs.
Bugs Bunny passed away suddenly two weeks ago. Mikaela was then offered kittens, puppies or other rabbits to replace this pet. After declining all of these offers our host father decided to bring home the families new born lambs to cheer Mikaela up.
Untill next time......
There are more photos below