Sunday, June 28, 2009




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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Home sweet home!

I decided that it was time to go back to Missouri. I am no longer living in Sighnaghi. It was a very hard decision to make but I know it was the right one. I really did enjoy my time over there and getting to live in a manor that I never would have, had I not been a PCV. It was a wonderful opportunity and I don't regret anything. (I didn't come home because I was homesick either.....I felt that I had done everything that I needed to do as a volunteer)

I must say that I am very happy to be back home. It has been an adjustment. I am still amazed that you can flush the toilet without adding water and it is OK to flush the paper. Nobody looks at me funny when I take a shower 2 days in a row, they look at me funny when I haven't showered in a day or so. The electricity never goes out so I don't have to plan when I am going to charge my computer or my cell phone. It really is the little things in life that we take for granite.

I have been spending my time catching up with family and friends. This past weekend I went to Utah for my grandma's 80th birthday. I'm glad I had the opportunity to attend her birthday party. I spent lots of time telling grandma stories of my adventure and how things were in Georgia.

This week I am in Texas visiting my cousin and relaxing. Friday we have a trip to the spa planned for a little pampering!

Some time in June I think I'll really start looking for job. I have looked at a few things since I have been home. We'll see my goal is to have some sort of job by the end of the summer.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 19, 2008

So me moving out and getting my own place is just around the corner. Want I really wanted was an apartment, but I can’t seem to find in my meager little price range. Everybody that has an apartment in this town for rent is targeting people that have real salaries. But I did find a room (small studioish) that I can rent. It is on the bottom floor of family compound. People won’t be passing by room on a regular basis as their main living quarters is on the top floor. I have a great view to top it off. I should know by the end of the week if I can live here. If so the family says it will only take them a week to the room ready for me to move into! If all goes well I should be living on my own by the first weekend in April! Unlike living with a host family I will be able to come and go a bit more freely than I can now. I’ll be able to cook my own meals the way I want to. Not to mention I’ll be able to eat as little or as much as I want to with feeling like I’m being force fed by the bebia. Oh, freedom is just around the corner!

So on a side bar…yesterday I saw a guy being escorted from the police station in handcuffs. For some reason this shocked me. This really surprised me as I used to deal with people in handcuffs all the time when I worked at the City as a court clerk. It was the first time in about 9 ½ months that I saw somebody in handcuffs, maybe that’s why.

I still don't know which place I get to move to yet. So no update on that!
March 14, 2008

So I hope things are going well there. I saw on the weather report today that you guys in MO should be getting some good old spring thunder storms this weekend! It was super foggy and sprinkled on and off all day today. I woke up around 11:30am since I didn’t have to work today. Got dressed and made myself some breakfast. And since nobody was home I watched CNN and BBC (the only shows in English) while I enjoyed my oatmeal with yogurt and hot tea. The yogurt was a big a treat. They don’t usually buy it since it is so expensive. Not to mention there was farm fresh milk today. I think my body went into shock with the all the dairy I consumed today.
I made a few phone calls for the committees I am on and then decided I was tired and should take a little nap. I know, but, I might as well since I can. At home I used to joke how nice it would be not to get out of bed because it’s a rainy day well, here some days I can actually do that. Or not to mention if it is a nice spring afternoon and I don’t feel like working well then fine, I think I’ll go for a nice walk. But as it might sound like your dreams have come true I can’t say that it is always so great. With all that does come some mental and emotional strain. I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to the working hours of my office. When you are used to running around with your head cut off for 8-12 hours a day and then not having complete chaos it is a big adjustment. I like the craziness of having 110 things to due by the end of the day. Sure there might be some organizations in this country that function more like what I am used to but that surely isn’t the organization that I am at.
Things are very slowly changing at my office. At least now that it has started to warm up we have been going to the office more often. We are working on developing some projects to help improve the local schools. From what I have learned most of the teachers don’t really have any real training to become teachers. They don’t know how to keep control of their classes. The students are not taught the basic life skills in class like we are throughout the course of our schooling. You may be thinking why any of this is relevant, but think about. When you are in a classroom that is disruptive, how much are you actually learning? Yeah sure our parents taught use basic life skills over the course of lives, but they also learned about those things in school and we continue to learn about those things in school. Sure in some areas people have general information about the basics of hygiene, eating habits, exercise, drugs, sex, and diseases but most regions don’t have this information or don’t know how or are afraid to teach it. If they talk about certain topics then that means there is a problem and well there just aren’t any problems. Sure there was a point in time in America when we didn’t talk about certain topics because they weren’t socially expectable but now we have come to realize that every topic needs to be talked about and information distributed. Sure everybody doesn’t agree about all topics in life but at least we have the freedom to discuss all topics and share information. It’s really hard to think that not everybody has general information about basic life skills. Aren’t simple acts of hygiene just common sense? Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of people here that understand the basics of simple hygiene but it is when you get into the more “racier” topics that people really start to get nervous.

The sweet smells of spring!

March 12, 2008

So things have finally started to warm up here! The flowers and trees are budding. The outhouses have started to smell as they defrost. Ah, the joys of living abroad. There are certain things that you don’t even think about anymore. They just become apart of daily routine. You don’t question where that meat came from or how it was prepared. Oh, we only have one chicken now? Fresh eggs sure are nice along with fresh meat. At home you usually had to go a little out of the way to get fresh eggs here you just go out back and get them from the hen house or from the neighbor.

I guess I truly don’t understand just how expensive things have gotten in Georgia. My host family keeps saying how everything has gotten so expensive over the last couple of months. In the states when prices go up on the staple foods you complain a bit but it doesn’t really seem to faze you all that much. You are still going to buy those things in the long run. Here it seems as though people talk about how expensive everything has gotten all the time. People really stop buying those things unless it is a special occasion. The incomes in families of this country aren’t like those of the US nor are there an abundance of alternative options for assistance for struggling families. Before I left the states I had a good job and made a decent amount of money and survived. Here it seems that most people don’t have don’t have decent paying jobs and are struggling just to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Granite some people still think that the government should be providing for them and don’t want to let go of the fact that Georgia is no longer a communist country. Other people are embracing the fact that they are no longer under the communist rule and are open to a changing society with greater opportunities. Trying to explain that not everybody in America is rich is a difficult concept. The view that many here have is tainted for all they see is the “life styles of the rich and famous” which is not how a majority of Americans live. Most Americans struggle to get by on daily basis and have to work hard for what they have.

Turkish Bathhouse

February 23, 2008

A few of fellow PCVs ventured to the Turkish bathhouse! Oh what a treat that was. By the time you divide the cost by 5 people it really isn’t all that expensive to get your skin scrubbed raw. I know you are thinking this sounds very painful but actually it is very relaxing in the long run. I don’t think I have ever been so clean in all my life. There is a hot spring tub (more like luke warm) that you soak in for a bit to loosen up the dirt that just might be caked on those of us that don’t get to shower for extended periods of time. (Baby wipes only do so much) Then you get scrubbed down from head to toe. Then you can sit in a sauna. And for those that feel the need they can take a little dip in an ice cold tub of spring water. I didn’t feel the need since I can get ice cold water to bathe with at my house for free! It might be a little uncomfortable but once you are done you glow! I was so completely relaxed by the time it was said and done. It is well worth the time and lari (Georgian money) to do this every so often.

Friday, February 22, 2008

No Electricity and Frozen Pipes

February 21, 2008

So the pipes are still frozen in Sighnaghi. And now we don't have electricity. Apparently when it gets really windy here it knocks the power out. We have been without electric for 2 days now. It's not so bad during the day because its bright enough to see to read and write. In the evenings well there isn't much to do besides sit and stare at one another in the candlelight! I know it sounds fun and you wish you could do it too. It's totally different when the electric goes out in the states. It usually only goes out because there was a really bad storm or there was an accident and the lines will be repaired in the very near future. Usually you are only without for a few hours at most. Here it's not like the power lines are great and they probably haven't been replaced since before Georgia was a part of the Soviet Union. Of course it's not uncommon here for the electric company to turn off all the electric in an apartment complex because somebody hasn't paid their electric bill. I have a friend who recently lived through 3 weeks of no electricity because somebody didn't pay their electric bill in the apartment complex. Imagine if the electric company did that in the US. Thank goodness it doesn't work that way.

On a side note I'm currently without email at my site & not because we don't have electricity either. When the host family moved from the house here in Sighnaghi they had the service disconnected. And my office doesn't have Internet service right now either. I'm told we might get it again in March, but I'm not going to hold my breath. So at this point I only have Internet access when I make it to Tbilisi. So know that I'm doing well and I'm still alive if you haven't heard from me in awhile. Remember I'm not in America and things don't work the same way here!