Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas Greetings and New Year’s Wishes from Georgia

Our first Christmas in Georgia and our new little tree!

Our first Christmas in Georgia and our new little tree!

“And Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap had just settled down for a long winter’s nap”.

How ironic that Clement Clark Moore should know what we are experiencing here in the Republic of Georgia!  A few nights ago while nestling under our covers to get warm we both happened to realize that our heads were cold.  And this wonderful line from the famous poem came to mind.  Now we can say that we understand why people covered their heads at bedtime.  And ’tis indeed a few nights before Christmas!

With this post are special pictures of some of our favorite Christmas memories….many of them from our tour of European Christmas Markets in 2010.  Like all of you we have so many wonderful memories of past Christmases…. our decorated homes & trees, singing carols with friends through the neighborhood, special visits from friends and family, the little ones’ bright eyes as they open their packages and special homemade delights to enjoy!

Christmas here in the Republic of Georgia will certainly be different.  They don’t celebrate on December 25 as their religious heritage is Georgian Orthodox.  Their celebration is on January 7th and does not include the giving of gifts.  We will have new experiences to share as we try our best to incorporate all these special days which will also include New Years Day.  We are told that this is the biggest celebration of all in Georgia with fireworks galore and small gifts being shared.  We are looking forward to all of this.

We will certainly miss being with our family.  David and Tasha will spend the days visiting with Tasha’s family and also with Stephen, Dana and the boys who will be in Colorado.  Our very special treat is a 2 week trip to Costa Rica to visit with Stephen, Dana, Kylan and Auden.  And it will be warm…..maybe even hot!

We want to send our very warmest wishes to all of you our dear, faithful family and friends.  May your celebration of the birth of Jesus bring hope and joy anew into your lives.  And may the New Year hold blessings large and small for all those you love.  May it proclaim peace for our world and in our hearts.

გილოცავთ  შობა ახალ  წელს!

Merry Christmas — Happy New Year

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Winter in the Country of Georgia, Gonio Village

All the stories we read prior to coming to Georgia about the cold winters are turning out to be true.  For a while during November and the first part of December the weather was almost mild.  Yes the nights were chilly, but it did not require wearing long underwear or our big winter coats.   Well that has all changed for the time being.  Winter in the coastal village of Gonio and the town of Batumi is marked by a lot of rain.  Several times this past few weeks Suzanne and I have wondered if we would see Noah float by as the rains came down in torrents for hours on end.  FYI the location of Noah’s Ark is suppose to be around the corner in Turkey.

Then there was the thunder.  Really loud thunder.  Really close lighting strikes, at least they appeared to be.  The Black Sea was raging with heavy swells and high waves.  The water was so rough it literally created new beaches.  The beaches here at the Black Sea are not the sandy ones seen in many of the travel pictures of far away resorts. Rather they are full of different sizes of very smooth beautiful stones.  I know we mentioned this before and even sent pictures but it doesn’t hurt mentioning again because when you see the sea as rough as it was and witness its power pulling at the stones and throwing them around you stand in awe.

Now back to the cold.  This past week and a half the temp took a dive from upper 60s to upper 40s.  Now that may not sound cold to you but when you add the moisture and the wind it gets bitter.  We are really lucky because we are a coastal city, the PCVs on the interior and in the mountains have been having snow and really cold temps.  The things that increase the feel of cold is cement and cinder blocks which the buildings are made of here in Georgia.  When you observe buildings being constructed you would think this country has a monopoly on concrete and rebar.  As a result the rooms, no matter if it is a house or school or office, hold their cold once the temperature drops.  Many times we find the temperature outside warmer than in the place we happen to be, home or work.  Many people here wear coats in the workplace and, when it really gets cold, gloves.  Learning to type with gloves on is not the easiest skill.

Just last week one of the other PCVs here in Batumi posted on Facebook that she was still cold in bed even with several layers of clothes and a hat.

We haven’t had snow here in Gonio/Batumi but the hills, North, East and South,  are  covered with the white stuff.  The ski areas are open ( yes they do ski here in Georgia where the Caucasus rise higher than our Rockies).  One PCV is getting a group together for a ski trip in January.  Unfortunately we will be in Costa Rica soaking up the sun in hopes of storing up enough to last through the rest of winter.

Please don’t take this posting as a complaint.  We are trying to give you a taste of a different part of the world.  If there is one thing we hope to leave here it is the notion that central heating is not a bad idea and should be considered for future buildings.  Not sure if this will catch on, but we will keep the thought alive every day, especially on those cold days when we find ourselves wrapped in our three layers of clothing and sitting at our computers.

Well that is my winter weather report for here in Georgia.  And, as we say in Georgian იმედი მაქვს თბილი ამინდი მალე (I hope for warm weather soon).

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