Monday, April 4, 2011

A Typical Day...ish...

Samtredia has officially been struck by wind.  The last 3 days, it’s been nonstop, day and night.  This meant a very quiet weekend was had by all.  Heavy wind = shady power and internet, so my time was spent chatting with Cici, Lela and various visitors, planning our spring break trip to Turkey with Tara, making yummy rice pudding, and playing cards by candlelight, late into the evenings. 

School today was quite interesting, though.  With all the wind, I knew attendance would be down, similar to what happened in February with all the snow.  On Mondays, I usually teach 5 classes.  Today, however, I only taught 2! None of my 1st graders came (parents thought they would be scared), two of my 6th graders came, saw they were the only ones and left, and then the same thing happened with the two 9th graders that showed up.  So, that left me with a day consisting of a dazzling lesson with my 11 out of 28 7th graders about the passive voice, a text review with my five 8th graders, a marriage proposal and a threat by a student to release the pigeon he was holding in his hands into my classroom. WHAT????

To be honest, the occurrence of the last two on the list above doesn’t even faze me anymore.  I was chatting with several teachers between classes and news got out that I had made rice pudding this weekend.  This led to many questions, from all the women in the room:
You can cook??  (yes of course I can, I’m 22!)

How did you make it?? (with a recipe…and ingredients! I of course rattled off all the ingredients in Georgian to earn extra bonus points)

Where did you learn how to cook? (my mother, of course!)

What else can you cook? (This turns into a Q&A session where the teachers list Georgian dishes and I tell them if I can make them or not…)

And my favorite quote of all from Lela, the assistant director:
‘Oh well, if you can cook now, that means you’re ready for marriage!  You just come with me to the village. I have a nephew who’s perfect for you, he lives in the mountains.  You’ll just love him!’ 

This isn’t the first time I’ve received offers to marry kin of my teachers.  They always give me such looks of horror when they realize I’m 22, not married and want absolutely nothing to do with marriage right now.  It’s usually a pretty humorous conversation!

Anyway, off I go to 8th grade, to review a text in the book about Art.  We’re playing a game with it later in the week, but they have to know the vocabulary before we can play the game.  Off we go, reviewing away when all of a sudden we hear a knock on the door.  In comes Tamuri, the 11th grade jokester and friend of Cici’s.  He’s earned a rep for being pretty crazy, but genuinely kind and funny.  He walks into the room, asks how I’m doing, completely oblivious to the fact that he’s interrupting a class.  As soon as I’m about to tell him that it’s not a good time to just come in for a chat, he pulls his arm out from behind his back and promptly thrusts a pigeon into my face!! A pigeon!!! I of course let out a yelp and jump back, only to realize he has his hands wrapped firmly around it’s wings so that it can’t fly away.  Chaos erupts, kids are screaming, Marina starts yelling at Tamuri and I’m just laughing at the pure comedy of it all.  Who knows what Tamuri was thinking when he caught the pigeon, and what told him it was a good idea to come searching for the classroom I was in, I don’t know.  But it did prove to be a hilarious 5 minute encounter. 

There’s never a day in Georgia that goes the way it’s originally planned to.  I’m completely used to this, and have come to expect it! I know I haven’t blogged very much about school, and there is a reason why.  Blogging about school always seems to open up a can of worms because while there are good days, there are plenty of bad, frustrating ones and I’m honestly never that motivated to rehash the details of them.  There are so many issues with the Georgian educational system, but I don’t feel like using this blog as a rant about it, so if you’re curious, I’d love to answer any questions via email.  For now, I’ll just continue to update with you little anecdotes and travel stories. 

Fun Fact of the Day: Samtredia means city of pigeons.  


  1. Em, I'm glad there are people there to keep you on your toes! :)

  2. Hilariosly funny blog. Glad to hear you are not getting married until you return to the US; Overseas wedding would be a push right now. Well it is very refreshing to know that laughter is something the Georgians have plenty of and are experienced at. LYL Dad