Monday, January 31, 2011

Shots for St. Nino

Happy St. Nino's Day! Last Thursday was St. Nino's day and as a gift from my students I only had to teach one class. All the upper level classes went up to our Biology teacher, Nino, and asked her if they could miss class and go pray at the church for her (yeah, right). So as I sat in an empty classroom awaiting my students (only for 20 minutes till I heard they weren't coming,) they were off at the local cafe drinking and eating and having a good ol' time. Celebrating St. Nino of course! 
After that, I went to go read in the teacher's lounge, and wait for 6th period so I could teach my 5th form class, and my school director pulls me into the coffee room. A bunch of teachers (including Nino because its her day) were sitting around drinking coffee, eating cake, and taking shots of hazelnut liquor. I sat down on the bed. Yes, there is a bed in the coffee room. In case you can't handle the drinking that goes on in there sometimes. Hah. No really it used to be the nurse's room. My school couldn't afford to have the nurse anymore so they made it into their coffee room (go figure!). 
Katuna, my school director, went and poured me a shot of liquor and we gagimargos'ed' (cheers!) for Nino, the school, and Georgian-US relations. I took down the shot like a true Georgian and then the bell rang and I was off to teach my 5th formers. Good thing there is no DARE program in Georgia! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Taste of The Holy Land

So after a month of traveling around Israel the Samtredia gals and I have finally made our way back to little ol' Samtredia. It was my second trip to Israel (my first being the 10 day Taglit Birthright trip). However, this trip was made special by our decision to couch surf around the country rather than stay in hostels. We met such amazing people that showed us the true Israel and Palestine. Since 30 days is a lot to cover in one little blog, I'll let my photos do the speaking....

The girls and I standing in front of the Western Wall

We spent Christmas in Bethlehem...the birthplace of Jesus!

Floating away in the Dead Sea

Celebrating Sam, our couch surfer's birthday, in Ramallah

Fooling around on the work-out equipment on the Tel Aviv beach

Michelle and I chilling in Jonah's Whale in Akko

Watching the sunrise over Syria and Lebanon in a kibbutz in Northern Israel

Playing with my friend Aliza's beautiful baby Emuna

Dancing in Jerusalem with our couch surfer Eran

The sunsetting over Jerusalem

Our first mosque experience in Nablus

An Israeli solider on duty in Hebron

A photo in the airport as we were leaving...always home <3