Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"The world always looks brighter from behind a smile."

I know it's been quite a while, but it's not super easy for me to be somewhere with my laptop for a long period of time so first but first like I promised some pictures of my students! I'll have more later!

One of my 4th grade classes!
One of my 5th grade classes!

doing a cute little skit

Going back a few weeks....So International Women's Day, March 8th, is a pretty big deal here in Georgia. First of all, there was no school! Hooray! Also, I received gifts from both my family and students. How sweet! That evening the whole family piled into the car, and made the trip to the zoo downtown!  We ate fried donuts with powdered sugar, rode 2 fair-like rides, and saw the animals, some I hadn’t seen before.  After,we went home 

crazy signs at the zoo
to have dinner followed by cake! After dinner, it was supra (traditional Georgian party/feast) time! At the neighbors across the way they were having a grand party! The table was overflowing with food, music was playing, and what’s a party without dancing! Even though I had just eaten at home, it was time to eat more! tchame! tchame! Eat Eat! You will know doubt always hear this while eating with Georgians. I had just a little bit, then it was time to dance! I danced to traditional music, sort of learning the moves, and also to modern music. Mostly, I was just soaking in this truly cultural experience!  It’s so incredible to see such strong traditions of the supra! During orientation we had learned about such occasions and it was so fantastic to be partaking in it! 

 The next night there was another party! A 9th grade class I had visited earlier that week had invited me to come to their party. It was also in celebration of women’s day! It was the whole class along with about 20 mothers! It took place at a restaurant near the school. The tables were once again full of traditional Georgian food, which was delicious, as usual. The music was blasting sounding like a club at times. Naturally there was tons of dancing, mostly to hip hop, and house music. There were also traditional Georgian music/dances! I loved watching them! That night, I learned an Armenian folk dance which was fun! We danced for hours! I showed them my “moves” and they were excited and didn’t want me to stop! The whole atmosphere of the evening was just so fun! It was definitely a night I will never forget! I'm so excited they invited me!

When I visited the class they put on a show for me! Filled with break dancing, beat boxing, traditional dancing, singing etc! It was so fun!

This is the one with the oldest writing
The weekend following the supras I went on 2 days trips. On Saturady to Bolnisi, about a 40 minute marshrutka ride from Tbilisi.  5 of us met in the city and made the journey to meet a couple friends who live there/near there. We spent the day marveling at ancient churches, enjoying the (slightly) warmer weather, and taking in the views of the surrounding mountains.  The churches there were incredibly old. We saw the oldest church in Georgia which is famous for having an inscription of the oldest written Georgian that has been found in the country (dated to 478-493). 

 Gotta love Georgian hospitality.  One of our friends needed to go back to his house to get clothes for his overnight stay in Tbilisi. We arrived at his home and were greeted with his Bebia (grandma)’s warm welcome.  After about 2 minutes she was already laying out the nice tablecloth and started bringing food out onto the table. We only had a short time before the last bus left so we shoveled down cake, some kind of bread with potato in it, an interesting jelly dish, some drinks then had to excuse ourselves to hurry back into town. After power walking and crazy taxi rides we made it to our bus and back to Tbilisi.  

Sunday a few of us took a short trip to nearby Mtskheta, Georgia's ancient capital.  The entire city has been made a UNESCO historical site. It's a beautiful historical small town filled with more ancient churches. Seeing a theme here…haha Georgia has loads of churches! The famous church here is from the 12th century. It's the Life-Giving Pillar Cathedral (Sveti Tskhoveli), one of the most sacred places in all of Georgia! 

It was a short and sweet trip that was nice to get out of the city again!

On another note, teaching has been getting better. I really got to step in and show them what I've got the past couple weeks. It's still very difficult but improving. I have seen the co-teachers start to imitate some of the things I do which is a good start. There's still adjusting to do in terms of school, home life, and overall culture. Since I've been here though I have am keeping the most positive attitude possible! It helps a great deal with dealing with everyday life. Each day I focus on the good things that happened during the day, something that really just made my day, and hold on to that.  The little kids' smiles and hugs sure do help a lot!  I don't concentrate on things that I'm upset about and can't change. It is what it is. I hold my head up high and keep a smile on my face! :)  I believe smiling on the outside really can make you feel better inside!

Well that's all for now! Since this post is already long I'll try to update the past couple weeks asap in the next post! 


  1. Heyo! The dance videos are totally rad! I want to try some of that, do you think you can create a "how to" video? JK But seriously it's awesome. I'm so jealous of your church/awesome building adventures, they look so cool!!

    PS That shot you took on the festival ride thing is stellar! :)

  2. I am in love with the videos you posted! It's so interesting to see a bit of your life in Georgia through the video perspective :) The food sure looks interesting...haha I hope it's super tasty. I can't believe you've been over there for 2 months - time is flying by quickly! I'm glad you are appreciating the good, because with such culture differences it must be a really hard adjustment - SO PROUD OF YOU!!! xo

  3. Yeah the dances are really rad! Oh sweet! Yeah you should totally try those dances! Haha I could probably do a "how to" video...later, if I learn the Georgian dances! Haha yeah it is awesome! Thanks dude!

  4. yay I'm glad you enjoyed them! Yeah I'm totally doing loads of videos while I'm here! I love to capture the moments! haha yeah it is interesting food, lots of it is pretty tasty! Omg I know! I can't believe it either! I'm just about half way through! aww thanks! :)