Blogs from Tbilisi District, Georgia, Asia - page 5


Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District December 1st 2011

Ok, I’m going to warn you in advance that this is going to be a fairly whiney post. I don’t mean for it to be, I just had a bit of a rubbish week. A combination of no electricity (and therefore no shower), no sleep and being ill (albeit only a little bit) just conspired to make it a bit miserable. I’m up and off to school with the kids on Monday morning but the marshrutka doesn’t stop for us so we have to walk and we’re about ten minutes late. If I had my way we’d walk every day, partly for the exercise and partly because if the marshrutka fails to turn up or is full then by that time it’s way too late to walk to school in time. Mari and I have the ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 27th 2011

I head to school on Friday and it’s a pretty standard day. Eka asks if I want to leave before the last lesson but I decline as I’m in no particular rush to get to Tbilisi and leaving 45 minutes early won’t make much of a difference anyway. Eka and I are kind of at a loss as to what to do with first grade. We’ve finished the alphabet with them and taught colours and the early numbers but from there the Macmillan book jumps onto basic grammar and neither of us think they’re ready for it. They’re only young and they’re still learning the Georgian alphabet. On the other hand Eka can’t just continue to go through the alphabet for the rest of the year! I grab a marshrutka into town and check my balance ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 24th 2011

Monday morning involves a bit of a mad rush for school. I always forget that Eka has no lessons on Monday so I’m generally waiting for her to put her shoes on as a sign that our departure is imminent. It doesn’t really matter anyway because we wait until 8.45am and, with no sign of the bus, Mari and I start walking to school as fast as our little legs will carry us. When I get home our neighbour’s two grownup daughters are over visiting so everybody sits in the living room chatting and I sit there trying to pretend I have a clue what they’re talking about. Later Eka tells me that Gala wants her to go to his friend’s birthday the next day in Senaki but that she has three classes. It’s not the ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 20th 2011

Friday is a good day. I go to school with my bags packed for the weekend and, miracle of miracles, the radiators are on! It’s the first time in weeks I’ve taught without hat, scarf, coat and gloves on and it’s wonderful. Plus I have the fifth grade first and I (almost) always enjoy their lessons. I have no lesson during the second period but three classes after that. I’m in the teachers’ room with Maia when the director comes in. Her, Maia and one of the other teachers spend five minutes talking about how beautiful and wonderful I am – ‘Anna, you are best volunteer!’ and then our director asks me when I’m going to Borjomi. I say I am teaching until 13.30 and then I will take a marshrutka into town and then see ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 17th 2011

Monday was pretty brutal at school. Our director phoned Eka in the morning and told her I didn’t need to go to school if I didn’t want to cos it was so cold but I assume none of the other teachers were taking it off because of the cold and anyway, it’s going to be cold tomorrow too, and the next day. I can’t stay home for the rest of the year! By about 1pm I was seriously regretting my decision. The heater has disappeared and I was freezing. My lessons finished at 10.30am and I didn’t leave school until 2.30pm. Another five weeks of this is going to kill me. The upside is that I managed to get onto the internet for the first time in ages so I emailed my agency and said I ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 13th 2011

When we get to school on Thursday all the teachers are standing in an excited huddle in the corridor. After talking with them for a minute Eka tells me that the computer teacher is married. I ask if this was a secret. It turns out he got married the day before and nobody knew so it’s a surprise for everyone, which is kind of cool. Everyone seems really happy and excited so there’s a nice atmosphere. After school I head into Zugdidi to catch a marshrutka to Tbilisi. I’m really excited about my long weekend! But I have to wait nearly an hour for a marshrutka that never shows. To make matters worse Maia and Eka, as usual, insist on waiting outside with me in the freezing cold which makes me feel terrible, especially since Eka’s ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 10th 2011

I’m feeling suitably rough on Monday morning and I really don’t want to be at school. Today I am incredibly grateful that lessons are only 45 minutes long. After my first lesson I settle down in the computer room to wait for the dreaded phone call from Korea. My brain doesn’t work that well at the best of times and when I’m hungover it’s a fucking disaster but, having said that, I think it could have gone worse. Either way, they said they’d let me know within a couple of days so this weekend I’ll either be celebrating or drowning my sorrows! I somehow make it through another lesson, and the daily routine of drinking coffee with Maia, before making my excuses and walking home in the cold and the rain. Since the weather turned I ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 6th 2011

I’m fully aware that have my interview the morning after the wedding, but that I’m even more aware that I’m not going to make it through the evening without drinking so I spend most of the day preparing answers for any questions I think might arise. Eka and Gala disappear into Zugdidi and when they return Eka’s had her hair and nails done and she looks great. Eka’s mother finally arrives from Abhazia and it’s really sweet to see how excited everyone is to see her, especially the kids. I was expecting a cute, wizened old Georgian woman but she turns out to be a rather stylish middle aged lady. Is it wrong that I’m slightly disappointed? Manana (spelling?) brought with her, amongst many foodstuffs, Levani’s diploma which he shows to me proudly. He’s clearly thrilled ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 5th 2011

On Thursday night or, more accurately, the following morning, I’m woken by the neighbour shouting out for Eka. I check the time and it’s 5.30am. I snuggle further under my covers and tell myself that unless I hear someone shouting ‘Fire!’ I’m not moving. When I get up later that morning I think I may have dreamt it but Eka tells me her neighbour came round to use the phone because her mother was very sick and they needed to call an ambulance. I have to say that classes are not going particularly well. Friday is my busiest day and it feels really long. Anyone who’s never taught before won’t understand what it’s like to teach four or five lessons in a day. It sounds like nothing but it’s actually really tiring. Today I really missed ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District November 3rd 2011

Monday was a good day. I wake up to ‘Happy Halloween!’ from Eka and the kids. We get to school and I’m sitting in the teachers’ room when Eka comes in and tells me to come to the library where there’s a little surprise party waiting for me! There are balloons and jack o’lanterns that the kids have made (one even has blonde hair). Those that couldn’t get hold of pumpkins have made them out of limes and they’re so cute. There’s also a big basket of fruit and sweets they’ve put together for me. I’m so touched I nearly cry. The teachers take a few photos of me with the display and then it’s off to class. After lessons I’m called into the Director’s office where I’m presented with a ring the teachers have bought ... read more

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