Monday, February 21, 2011

Who Knew a Comedy Show in Georgian Could be so Comedic??

A couple weeks ago, the girls and I were looking to get out of Samtredia for the day, so we of course, headed over to Kutaisi.  After sitting in McDonald’s for a while trying to decide with some friends what we should do that day, we finally decided to venture over to Satoplia, a park where we can see dinosaur footprints.  Cool, right? We thought so.  Well, after making the drive full of winds and curves up the mountain, we arrived at a closed, locked gate and several guards looking at us very strangely.  We tried our hardest to convince them to let us in, but they wouldn’t have any of it.  ‘Come back April 1st and we’ll let you in,’ was basically the advice we were given.  Ok…now what? We got back into the cabs (thank goodness they hadn’t left) and were left to walk around the center of Kutaisi, hoping to stumble into something. 

Good thing we did! After a quick tour of the brand new Kutaisi opera house (they let us backstage and everything -- and we even got to listen to an audition! The man’s voice made my heart melt, just in case you were wondering).  Anyway, after the tour, we meandered over to the theater, just to make sure we covered all the arts.  Much to our surprise, there was a comedy show, that afternoon! Well, we don’t understand Georgian, but it’s supposed to be a comedy show, so it’ll be funny, right? Again, we thought so. We bought tickets and went off in search of snacks (because who goes to a comedy show without snacks??)

Once the show began, we realized which comedy show we were actually seeing.  We were watching a live version of the cast of the late night famous Georgian comedy crew that plays in our host family’s homes nightly.  I recognized all of the cast members from their tv show.  Imagine getting tickets to the Jay Leno show, without realizing that it was the Jay Leno show.  It was quite hilarious.  The show was about 2 hours long, and while there were some definite slow parts because of the language barrier, overall, it was quite entertaining (well, we were reallllllly bored, so my opinion might be a bit skewed).  They sang a lot of American pop songs, with a Georgian flair, of course, danced a bit and put on several skits. 

I think the best part was being able to come home and tell Cici where I ended up that afternoon and see the look on her face.  It was like telling an American 16 year old I had just been to see Justin Bieber’s concert.  The next day, we happened to turn on the tv and the crew was on there performing a taped version of the exact same show I saw the day before.  I opted not to watch it for a second time, but enjoyed being able to assure Cici, that yes, this was the exact show I saw yesterday.  No, Amico didn’t sing Single Ladies, but he sang Shakira!

Oh, Georgia, how I love thee.  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have I really reached the point where I’m frustrated, not elated by snow days??? I think so…

Pretty tree :)

Well, it’s officially winter in Samtredia now.  We managed to last until February 1 without a single snowflake, but now this snow/rain mix they call tovli here, is ever present in our little town.  Like always, I was extremely excited on the first day of snow.  I woke up and felt giddy as I looked out the window (and then really relieved when I heard that Mishiko came home to drive us to school).  The kids were marveling at the snow all day long so we scrapped all lesson plans and just talked about the snow and fun things to do in it (hey, it was all in English, so it counts, right??).  We even got out early and then I had the wettest, coldest snowball fight I’ve ever had with a bunch of my 8th grade boys…all the way home.  However, that excitement has quickly (considering it’s only the 16th) dwindled to pure annoyance. Snow seems to cause this town to come to a complete standstill.  Kids have just stopped coming to school! “It’s too cold out,” “It’s raining/snowing/it looks like it could rain/snow,” are excuses I’ve heard from kids for the past month and as weary as I’ve become of it, I’ve begun to accept that this is how it will be until the snow dissipates.
Students outside school before the bell rings throwing snowballs up at the classroom windows.
Kids over here in Georgia are just as crazy as the kiddos in America! (if not more)
I’m telling you, American children could learn a thing or two from Georgian kids about getting out of school! Some of my older kids will all text each other in the morning and decide whether or not their going to go to school! I don’t think I’ve taught a full set of students for a full week since I got back from Israel.  Let’s just say that it’s been difficult to move forward with lessons.  It’s just frustrating because the teacher’s can’t really do anything about it.  We don’t have control over whether students show up; I accepted that a long, long time ago.  However, the kids that are showing up are getting lots of small group review sessions and help with what they actually need help with.  Plus, we’ve been able to play more games and do fun activities, like make Valentine’s Day cards for each other.  I guess there is a silver lining to every cloud. 
The view of our school yard
We’ve all had lots of extra time on our hands with so much of school being canceled.  You’d think that would have allowed for a lot of blogging, but unfortunately my power cord needed some technical attention and I was without a computer for a week or so.  Luckily, author Stieg Larsson came to the rescue and provided me with great entertainment in the form the three novel saga that follows Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest).  As Michelle pointed out to me, I think I read over 2000 pages in about 3 weeks!  They are simply addicting and I highly 
recommend them if you’re looking for a great read.  

With all this snow, I’ve learned how much I appreciate and miss central heating back in the states.  I love our wooden stove downstairs, but my bedroom is mighty cold!  I’ve learned the art of layering, the necessity of warm drinks and the fact that showering when it’s cold out is completely overrated.  On that note, I think I’ll help myself to another cup of tea.  Hope you all are staying warm, wherever you are in the world!