Archive for May, 2011

May 22, 2011

Construction and school’s end

This is post-demonstrative lesson. We survived!

It’s been awhile! Life happens, I guess. Here are a few highlights in mine.

My coteacher and I gave a “demonstrative lesson” that other teachers were invited to attend. It was exceedingly difficult to plan with the language/cultural-understanding barrier, but we finally got it done and it’s been a huge relief for me. The next three weeks should be a breeze.


Well, they also want me to plan some sort of school finishing program in English, so maybe not. I’m not going to think about that right now.

My home is under serious construction. The kitchen has been moved into the garage and an outdoor building once used for storage now has a shower in it.

One whole wall came up as well as the floor. These are the remains.

Every single day since construction began about 10 men have been here working from 8:30 a.m. til sometimes 12:30 at night. I would have predicted such an experience to be incredibly stress-inducing. Especially for the women in the house (their role is to feed the men, which in Georgia means about five times a day). But remarkably, so far everyone seems very happy and excited.

The best part for me has been that Maia’s crib joined me above the garage for certain afternoons when it’s too loud for her to sleep in the house. And sometimes we hang out. Maia doesn’t judge my poor Georgian, so let’s just say it can be the best communication I get all day.

There’s some holiday this week and then I have a full week of school before final exams begin. Then school will be done and I will have to say goodbye to my strangely interesting life here.

A recent night on the beach with friends. Under this statue that's very famous to Batumi.

May 22, 2011

Ohhh, Iraqli!

(Written awhile back…)

One fourth grader, Iraqli, has something for me pretty much every time I’m in his class. The best/worst part is that he’s usually working on it during class. My co-teacher, Tamara, has started to intercept, like a responsible teacher should, trying to get him to stay on task. She throws her hands up and makes a Georgian sound, clicking her tongue and groaning – Ohh, Iraqli!

(There have been others, stickers and things, one that says “Me miqkhvars Iraqli”, I just didn’t take photos…)

May 3, 2011


Andrew's Descent in Kiev.

I have so many things to blog about and so little internet time. Quickly, I want to share some photos from my recent travels.

For spring break, chemi megobrebi da me mivdivart Ukrainshi. (My friends and I went to Ukraine.) We took a boat across the Black Sea, spent a few days in Odessa and a few in Kiev. We also toured Chernobyl. More on that later.

Jenny is the gal in the pink sweater. She likes to go by Jenny from the Block. Elyse is from Detroit and actually, she and I have been in this together the longest–I met her in the airport in Detroit way back in January. Mark lives near me in Batumi and was recently featured on Rustavi 2‘s evening news for his fine teaching skills. Perhaps you were able to catch it.

We left Batumi April 25 and stepped off the boat (nearly 12 hours after anticipated) on Wednesday around noon. But trust me, the boat was as good as Andy Samberg depicts it to be.

We stayed at a hostel there and checked out Odessa’s stairs and bridges (got a photo for you, Ryan) before taking the night train to Kiev. We were struck by the diversity we found in Ukraine. And honestly, my favorite part was being able to walk around largely unnoticed. In fact, I was repeatedly spoken to in Russian or Ukrainian. No one ever thinks I’m Georgian.

Goodbye Batumi!

The kid on the right we named Norway because we're ignorant Americans who can't remember difficult Norwegian names. He was the only other non-Georgian/Ukrainian aboard the ship. He joined our group for a few days.

We were so glad to be somewhere that we could safely walk in the middle of the road.

Hello Odessa!