drew's blog

here & now | February 2, 2011

I’ve been back in Georgia for 3 weeks. Time has flown & I’m choosing to take that as a good sign (originally typed ‘god sign’ by accident..)  School has been back in session for almost 2.  It’s been an exciting start.  Everyone seems happy I’m back & I feel the wame way.  Strangely enough, when I arrived at the airport in Tbilisi, I felt like I was almost home.  I approached the baggage claim carousel & on the screen it read ‘Tel-a-wiwi’.  After getting my bags I walked out to the lobby expecting to see someone from the program.  Instead it was a random friend of a friend of the program whose English extended as far as my name, airport, taxi, & money.  He took me to what he called a hotel & I would call some lady’s house.  It was a hostel, but it was located 4 flights up with no elevator.  I was lovin’ every minute of it.  The next day, I found my way back to Kutaisi where i stayed in another ‘hotel/lady’s house’ until my host-teachers could find me a host family.  After a week of no luck (and perhaps no effort. I love this country), finally push came to shove when the owner of the house I was staying at called my host-teacher & said I had to go.  I don’t know why.  I was rarely home.  It might have been an issue of payment.  I certainly wasn’t going to pay -not my responsibility.  So on a Saturday morning, I was enjoying a rare occasion to sleep in & my host teachers & some of my students even show up to help me move.  I had clothes & books everywhere.  They through my things in bags & we were out the door.  We walked about a block when I was told to leave my stuff with one of the students (who ended up losing my capo -a very necessary piece for my guitar & my music) & come with my host teacher.  This was all worth it.  Later that evening I was taken to a house that would be all mine.  And that’s where I currantly stay.  I want the experience of living with a Georgian family, but I really like living alone.  Besides, 3 months with the Datuadze’s was enough.  I think we’re all better off.

About classes, I have less than last semster because some take place simultaneously.  I’m okay with that.  I’ve learned something this past week.  Many students are educated privately outside of school.  They take English, Georgian, Math, Geography, History, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, & others.  School is the place they go to goof off with friends, unless they’re female.  Females tend to study diligently wherever they are.  There are some good boys but they’re rare.  For this reason, I spend as much time with Tiniko teaching after school as I do teaching at the school.  Anyway, it’s all good.  Almost all the children in the younger grades do everything required of them.  It’s the 8th grade boys that don’t give a damn. We have fun, though.  It’s been a pleasant start to the new semester.

There & Then

Israel.  Wasreal.  Realgood.  I had such an uplifting time walking in the footsteps of The Savior & His prophets.  But I’ll type about that in a bit.  I want to take you day by day starting from the beginning.  I think I was more scared on this flight than on any other with the exception of my first ever flight from Ontario, California to Salt Lake, Utah.  There’s been times when I’ve floan pretty much unbothered, but I remember being nervous for my flight from Chicago to Amsterdam last year, & this flight to Tel-Aviv was even worse.  ANYWAY.  Normally, I’d think it pathetic to applaud a landing, but when all the Georgians on my flight started clapping as we touched down, I almost did too.  Then I thought, ‘We SHOULD clap!’  We just sat on a chair moving through the sky at 400 mph, 5 miles up! Yeah, I know.  They say you have a greater chance of dying on the road than in the air.  It’s not true.  I don’t care about statistics. 72% of all stats are made up on the spot…  I believe in my gut & while I’m in the air, it tells me that if ANYthing goes wrong with this plane, YOU WILL DIE.  But we landed, all plane parts and body parts in tact.  I had to spend the night at the airport and wait for a train & bus in the morning.  I found a seat, plopped down & after about a minute of that, I decided to do some browsing.  I went straight for the junk food & book shop.  This was a delight.  It seemed that Israel has everything Georgia doesn’t.  I wanted to buy a boat load of books right then, but there was no way I was going to purchase any merchandise in an airport.  I had to rationalize food, but I was hungry.  When I returned to my seat, my luggage was gone.  I should have known better than to leave a suitcase lying around in an airport, especially in the place where people have been warring for land rights for centuries, even if it was only for 3-4 minutes.  I asked the ladies sitting nearby if they saw anything.  They pointed to the employee who removed my things from the building who reproved me not to leave my stuff unattended & then took me to where it was.  I pulled it back inside & sat down, in a different seat.  To be continued..

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About author

I'm currently teaching English in the republic of Georgia. I started this blog so that those I love & those interested can read all about my experience.

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