Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kharagauli to Tbilisi and then back again!


When I initially set out to blog my experience in the Republic of Georgia I did this with the intention of having constant internet service. However, like most things in this random country what we expect never comes to fruition. It is quite unfortunate that I am have not been able to give a more detailed account but I will try now that I live in Tbilisi. So a succinct recap of the events that has lead up to today.

September 2010:

I feel into my small town routine rather easily. Living in Kharagauli was pretty much mundane and I looked forward to every weekend I could spend time in Tbilisi. My students ranged from really sweet to rather rude. My 3rd-9th graders were amazing and so easy to learn the language. Especially the young ones, it always amazed me how fast they picked up and how well they were able to read. The older kids proved to be far more of a challenge with the exception of the 11th graders. The 11th grade was a good class, with the boys being very good at English and the girls having no idea or interest in what we were ever doing. The rudeness and lack of knowledge exhibited by the 12th grade was astounding. I really think they felt that they had no need to learn English. So not knowing how to get through to them I decided to create an activity I like to call 'Great Expectations'.

Basically there were 5 questions about their expectations for English class and how they hope to use the language. At the end I got some amazing answers and thought that I was finally making some sort of breakthrough, false alarm! Basically the next class they went back to not listening, looking at me like I was an alien and doing what they wanted, with 3 people interested. I became rather fed after a few more lessons of this and told my Director something needed to be done. She told me there was nothing she could do because they had tried everything with that class and nothing ever worked! Apparently they treated all their subjects the same which boggled my mind because I will never understand how people allow children to have control! So needless to say I informed her that I just could not teach that class if they were not interested and so I washed my hands of the 12th grade.

While dealing with the boredom, stress of conveying my language to Georgian children, my body decided it would just react violently to my surroundings. I mentioned before that my allergies/asthma was being freaky when I first arrived to Kharagauli, I also mentioned it got better for maybe a week, well it just went to a level that was not acceptable. I was having asthma attacks everyday, horrendous nasal congestion and using my inhaler about 10-20 times per day. Finally I was deathly afraid of having an asthma attack and possibly dying after being told a boy died in the National Park when he had an asthma attack. So I finally decided to head to the doctor in the capital city.

In a nutshell after running a series of test on me the doctor deduced that my white blood cell count was through the roof proving that my body was constantly fighting allergens and my lung capacity was shot. He wrote to my employers and informed them that I had to move to the capital.

I moved to Tbilisi in the second week of October!

October 2010:

My life is no longer mundane and luck has found me an amazing family a second time around. I live in Gldani District which is like the Brooklyn version (a much nicer cleaner version) of Tbilisi in an Apartment Building on the 12th floor. My family consist of a Mother, twin sisters that are 17 and a brother who is 13. The father lives and works in Moscow, Russia and comes to visit during holidays. I've been spending time with my favorite TLG people Danielle and Claudia and we're all just loving the fact that we now live in Tbilisi together! Let the good times roll.....chai gindaa??

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