Blogs from Tbilisi District, Georgia, Asia - page 6


Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District October 30th 2011

At school on Friday I am reliably informed by several teachers that Vardzia is actually about 200km from Kutaisi, so I guess Google maps was telling porkies. As usual when I turn up to school with my overnight bag everyone wants to know where I’m going and, as usual, I have to tell them I’m not entirely sure. I grab a taxi into town and get on a marshrutka to Kutaisi. Ara tells me he will be getting into Kutaisi at around 4pm and I say I will be there at about the same time and that I will meet him in the Brewery. He asks me to wait for him in McDonalds when the marshrutkas stop because he wants to use the toilets (the other volunteers have this real thing about the toilets in McDonalds, ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District October 27th 2011

On Monday morning I need to find a CD player. This is imperative. I’ve been saying for the last two weeks that I’m going to buy one for the school so I feel like I actually can’t go home without one in my possession. So, the hunt begins. I go into all the stationary shops in Zugdidi. I find any number of MP3 players and speakers, but no CD player. In the end I hit on an idea and go to the regional centre to ask our regional rep for some advice. She points me in the direction of some electrical shops at the end of the street. They tell me to go to the bazaar. At the bazaar they tell me to try the shops. I give up and go back to the regional centre. ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District October 24th 2011

On Friday morning I pack my bag and go to school with no clear idea of what I’m doing for the weekend. The kids keep giving me food they’ve bought from the little tuck shop, which is sweet but I don’t know what to do with it all. I really need to go to Tbilisi but I know the others have their hearts set on Batumi so I’ll probably end up following them there. Eka asks me if I’ll be back on Sunday or Monday which I take to mean that it’s ok for me to stay away until Monday and I say I’ll text her and let her know. I head straight into Zugdidi after school and wait to receive instructions from Ara. A couple of days earlier I’d received an email from the TLG ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District October 20th 2011

It’s been a fairly quiet week all round, with little interaction with the ‘outside’ world. I have no classes on Monday but I ask Eka if I can go into school anyway – I want to spend a good few hours on the internet. Eka and Maia have been told they need to write a syllabus, but they’ve been given absolutely no guidance as to how to write it or what to include so I want to do some research. I’m also planning on trawling the internet, shamelessly stealing ideas for games to play with Gio and Mari to help them with their English. Eka, like myself, has no lessons on Monday but Maia has to go into school to drop off her little girls so Eka says she will meet me there. I arrive at ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi October 16th 2011

On Thursday it starts raining and I don’t think it’s ever going to stop. It’s been a strange week with Eka going off to work every morning and me staying at home. I did my first surreptitious wash up after she’d left one morning. Levan was still asleep in the living room so I closed the door to ensure he wouldn’t hear me and sneakily washed up the dishes in the sink. I figured Levan would think that Eka did it before she went to school and when Eka came home she’s think Levan had done it. My god I’m an idiot sometimes. I like the little ways I discover what’s acceptable or what’s expected of me though. On the first day Eka was going to school without me I thought it would be rude to ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi October 13th 2011

Monday was, technically, my first day at school. Neither myself nor Eka has any lessons on a Monday but we go in anyway to have a look around, meet the director and say ‘hello’ to the other teachers. I wake up early and we have breakfast before setting off. Since I didn’t do too much today now might be a good time to talk about the food in my house. It’s beautiful. Firstly Eka is a fantastic cook, and secondly we eat so many fresh ingredients, either from the animals or from the land. A typical breakfast for me will include a mug of hot milk that’s come from our own cow and a cup of Georgian tea with a slice of lime from the lime trees in the garden. We’ll have bread and cheese which ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi October 9th 2011

I wake up to my first full day in my new home feeling apprehensive to say the least. I’m not sure what the showering situation is so I get up and get dressed as quietly as possible prepared to face my first day without a shower since I last went to festival . I also have quite a lot of washing (that’s laundry to all you Americans out there) to do but I also don’t know what the situation is there either. I know the English are notorious for not wishing to offend people but I take it to the absolute extreme. I am constantly terrified of doing something wrong. Anyway, we have breakfast and Eka tells me we’re going into Zugdidi. I’m eager to see the town but first let me tell you a little ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi October 7th 2011

I’d be hard pushed to describe the atmosphere in the hotel on the morning we left. Some of us had planned to have one last look around Tbilisi before we met our host families at 12pm but it didn’t happen. There was packing to be done and then Georgian people started arriving in the lobby so we sort of hid in our rooms or in the bar, not really knowing what to do. Many of us were on our laptops trying to find out something, anything, about where we’ve been sent, not least of which was how far it is from where our friends are being sent. I think everyone is feeling a combination of excitement, impatience and nervousness. And a hint of sadness, of course. We’ve spent the last week together in an unprecedented ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District October 6th 2011

Today is when the fun really starts. From Sunday to the following Thursday we have eight hours of classes a day, four of Georgian language and four of intercultural training. I find the language lessons both useful and entertaining but, whilst I really like our intercultural trainer and she does give us some useful information, I can’t help feeling that what she tells us in four hours could be covered in about 30 minutes. Still, our classes are made infinitely more entertaining by one of the other volunteers, who shall remain nameless, who just comes out with the funniest shit. I don’t have the time or the space to give you all the examples but my personal favourite so far came during our second language lesson during which he asked the teacher, ‘Will we be given ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District September 30th 2011

I’m not even sure where to begin to describe the last week, but I guess the beginning is as good a place as any. About two months ago I completed my application to teach in South Korea in February next year and realised that I didn’t want to spend the interceding six months sitting around London. I started looking around online to see if there were any short-term placements I could do (not holding out much hope since most contracts are a minimum of one year) and that’s how I came across the TLG programme. For those of you who want to look at it in detail the website gives a lot of information ( ) but long story short, it’s an initiative set up by the Georgian government to bring English speakers to Georgia to ... read more

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