The learning curve is like climbing Pikes Peak! A new household and location…a new city…..a new culture and language. Language is the hardest. 33 letters in the alphabet but 7 syntax cases (nominative, vocative, possessive, dative, etc….) Reminds Tom of Latin class. This has been the most stressful time we can remember. Suzanne wakes up and goes to sleep trying her best to remember one more word in Georgian. Tom’s memory for this seems younger! We sit at the dinner table with a dictionary trying to learn a word or a phrase to use or ask a question. Last night we learned our host Mom is Orthodox. We haven’t ventured to any churches yet which may change today.
Friday was Hub day…..a day when all the new G12 trainees come together to attend common classes and get more shots (rabies and hepatitis). It was a good time to reaquaint ourselves with those not in our cluster who traveled with us from Philly. A highlight of each day is lunch at one of the Host families homes. We’ve tried lots of new food prepared in many ways and we look forward to these meals. A highlight has been the most delicious strawberries you can imagine. They are the very small ones unlike most of the ones we get in the U.S. They are so flavorful and juicy and usually we are served a huge bowlful. These will only last for a month or so and when they are gone that’s it for strawberries.
Bathing is interesting. In our home we have a shower BUT no one seems to use it because water is not always available. So we have learned the art of “bucket baths”. You stand in the shower area with a huge bucket of hot water which has been heated with a big emersion element go from there. For us, we take turns….pourer or bather. Don’t know how the singles do it!
Our daily schedule is arising about 6:30….studying for a short time…..dressing…..eating and off to language classes at 9 for the next 4 hours. Suzanne is in a local school (School #2) which is a 15 minute walk away. I join up with another volunteer on the way who lives around the corner. Tom walks to the USAID office which is 20 minutes away in the opposite direction up a very steep road. As mentioned before, language clases are intense!! Suzanne is waiting for the Ah Ha moment to occur and so is Tom.
After lunch we both attend technical session about our respective programs, education for Suzanne and business for Tom. We arrive back at our host family’s house somewhere between 5 and 6 PM hungry and exhausted. After dinner it’s time to study and do homework all while tring to stay awake.
We also have sessions which cover culural similiarties and differences, mostly differences between Georgia and America.
We hope to post more pictures soon.
Grandma Zizi, mom Nana, daughter Nino. Son Zura is not in the picture.