Last Wednesday night (Oct.14), the Samtredia girls departed on yet another adventure, this time to Eastern Georgia for a visit to the Kakheti region, wine country. We made a pit stop in Mtskheta, a small town outside of Tbilisi that was celebrating its 1000th birthday! There was a huge celebration and we just had to take part in!
I think that we were all in agreement that this past weekend was completely dependent on who we met along the way, whether it was:
*the kind woman on the overnight train who showed us how to stow away our stuff to prevent it from getting stolen, and who later, at 5:30 am woke us up telling us that we were 5 minutes away from our stop!!! (if only there was a video feed so that you all could witness the frantic scramble of 4 sleepy girls attempting to get all of our things out the door without stepping on each other)
*the helpful manager of our first homestay who told us exactly how to continue along our travels (marshutka to restaurant, cab to cathedral, marshutka to Tbilisi)
*the wonderful woman who pulled over on the side of the road as we thought we were hailing a marshutka and gave us a ride to Tbilisi from Mtskheta
*the cab driver who drove us ALL over Tbilisi, trying to find the right bus station with our Marshutka to Telavi (there are 3 stations, in case any of you are wondering, and they are spread all over the city making a 5 Lari taxi ride turn into 15 Lari..)
*our next Marshutka driver, who when he found out we didn't have a place to stay in Telavi, called his friend who has a homestay business, checked to see if it was available and then drove us straight there!
*our next amazing homestay mother who fed us tea, coffee, crumpets and made us delicious dinners and breakfasts, as well as calling us a personal taxi driver to take us to Signahe, the 'city of love' in Kakheti
*Mamoca, our taxi driver, who played the part of photographer, tour guide, taxi driver and waiter, and host as he brought us to his family vineyard and let us pick grapes in his vineyard
|Watching the sunrise over Javari Cathedral in Mtskheta|
After viewing the Javari Cathedral in the clouds the next morning and eating delicious lobios (beans), we made our way into Tbilisi and then on to Telavi, Kakheti's largest city. Luckily we found an amazing homestay where we enjoyed dinner and wine together and then met up with several other TLGers in the area.
|Some talented Georgian dancers - check out the hats!|
|Posing in front of the entrance to Signaghe|
|The wall around Signaghe - this was taken from one of the Watch Tower's that we climbed up!|
|We love grapes.|
School this week was both good and bad. My frustration usually stems from my co-teacher being exhausted and taking it out on the kids. It's understandable, as she works all afternoon and evening, plus all weekend tutoring students privately. This is how teachers earn money here, because the teaching salaries are so low. However, I grow tired of her taking it out on the students. Yes, the students aren't listening or doing their work, but there are other ways of handling it. I chatted with Nino about ways that we could help each other be less frustrated in the classroom and once she knew I was picking up on her exhaustion, she seemed to realize that her mood was affecting more than just herself. Things turned around a bit, so I am hopeful for this next week.
Well, it's Sunday evening, which means I should get lessons ready for the week. I promise to blog more soon, (this time it's for real) as I feel like there are still many things to say, but little space to say them.
Until next time...