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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back in Muganlo

This past week was spent at a conference near Tbilisi at a “resort” style hotel on Lake Basaleti. All the volunteers from my group were there from Monday night till Saturday morning taking language and technical classes. The place was nice and it was great to just be away for a while and hang out with all my American friends. The weather was really cold though and we even got a tinny but of snow on the last day.

The snow almost made it to us

I opted to take Azeri language classes rather than Georgian during the conference since that’s what I need the most here. My teacher was awesome and gave me and the one other guy that took Azeri a lot of information over the two days of language classes that I now have to digest and try to start using. One cool thing though, if I can master Azeri there are only a few minor adjustments and I’ll also be able speak Turkish.

Me and Ben at the pool tables

After the two days of language classes, we had some technical sessions and some more information about safety and security. One session was presented by a guy whose company is involved in a huge land mine clearing operation here in Georgia. He was very informative and it was really interesting to learn about the location and density of the mining here in Georgia. (Don’t worry, none of them are near me.)

I taught one of the technical sessions to my fellow volunteers during the last full day of trainings. My topic was: ‘Graduated Learning and How to Teach to Multi-leveled Students in the Same Classroom.’ Something I am well aware of, but still struggle to pull off myself sometimes.
Friday night was awesome. We had our Thanksgiving dinner for all the volunteers and PC Staff. The Radisson in Tbilisi provided the turkeys, stuffing and mashed potatoes. The other volunteers cooked all the side dishes and deserts. It was by far the best meal I’ve had here in Georgia. The green beans, carrots, gravy and real biscuits were just awesome. Apple pie for desert and we even had pumpkin rum! Yum!

The gardens by the lake

Saturday after breakfast we all packed up and went back to our sties. I hung around in Tbilisi for a few hours then made the trip back to Muganlo. When I finally got home I had enough time to set down my bags and head off to a wedding. My host brother was the only one home and he was waiting for me so he could get me there before it started. So from 5pm till about 2am I danced, ate and drank with the family. My cousin came from Baku along with my host-brother’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law so that has our total up to 14 people living here right now. I hadn’t seen my host-cousin for a month so it was cool to hang out with him again at the wedding. And, like all good Azeri weddings, yes there was a fight near the end. It’s crazy. One minute you’ll be dancing and laughing and the next there are fists flying. But, that’s what happens when people drink for hours on end and there’s that one guy who just loves to fight when he gets drunk. Not any different than America in that regard. Here it just usually happens at weddings. Luckily this was the second night and the next day all we had to do was go help clean up a little and then sit down for another huge meal and more drinking. Kind of like an after party but with better food. This one had rabbit as well and it was really good. I think I’d almost put rabbit right up there as my second favorite meat behind pork. Hmmm…

Next week I have another wedding to go to on Tuesday and Wednesday because it’s always a two night affair. Then, I’ll see if I can get my host-dad to kill one of our turkeys for Thursday. I’m sure he’ll be cool with it. We’ll see.

So, have a happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’ll be here thinking about you. I’m thankful for everyone that reads my blog and especially thankful for those of you that send packages. ;)


Ma' said...

So glad the conference was productive & you got some good classes in. The scenery was beautiful! Also glad you got to have some good eats, American style. You'll have to video one of these wedding shindigs for us!

Saint said...

Whatever, we know the real reason you opted to not take Georgian classes is that the language is freaking impossible no matter how hard one studies it!

AJ said...

That and I can count on one hand the number of people that speak Georgian in Muganlo. Don't need it. Don't want to waste any MORE time trying to cinvince myself that I should learn it.

Christie said...

stay away from the poor bunnies!!!