Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Super Sweet 16 (Georgian Style)

Over the past few days I have gone through some intense teach english training, some small dips into the Georgian culture, and a lot of struggling with the Georgian language. Our whole week was basically planned out from the start, and we really didn't even have time to think. My Georgian teacher Nana was so patient and kind, and even wrote out phrases like "I am allergic to wheat." for me in Georgian so I can communicate that to my family. 

We basically didn't leave the training building over the first few days unless it was to go to the bar across the street or down to the local market. One thing I can't get quite used to is the staring. For some Georgians, like a person I met the other night, this is the first time they are seeing Americans. I have done my fair share of traveling, but I have never felt like such a foreigner before. The language barrier definitely doesn't help. My friend Maryann and I were in a shop for 15 minutes trying to communicate stain remover. I'm thankful that Georgians are extremely kind and enjoy communicating no matter the charades! 

One funny story I must share and explains the title of this blog is that on Monday night we were finally let loose in the city center of Kutsiti. My friends Suriya, Melissa and I were walking around and started to hear some loud music. We thought that it would lead us to a bar or dance club so we walked that way. When we finally came to the source of the loud music we discovered it wasn't a bar, but it was someone's home! We stood there for a few moments laughing at our mistake, but soon a few young girls and older woman came towards us. So using the basic Georgian we knew we told them how sorry we were. Once they realized that we were American english teachers they insisted that we come in. One of the young girls spoke up and said in beautiful english that it was her 16th birthday, and it would make her birthday if we joined in on the party. Well, we couldn't say no to free homemade Georgian wine and food! This is what our culture class was preparing us for right? haha. All the kids were speaking amazing English and the father kept toasting us in Georgian saying "God has sent us here. Here is to Georgia, America, and Russia!!!" He was in love with Melissa and kept asking her over and over again if she was Russian. Although we did end up missing the bus back, and had to experience our first Georgian taxi experience (we got home just fine) it was one of those nights that only happen once in a life time. We truly got to experience Georgian hospitality at its best. 

So now on the eve of my last day of training I'm feeling all types of emotions. Tomorrow I will set out for Samtredia to meet my host family and start the next leg of my journey. I'm excited to settle into my new home, catch up with Michelle and Melissa (my two friends that are already there) and begin teaching English!

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