Teach Abroad - Republic of Georgia, Teach Abroad Programs

The Art of Doing Nothing At All in the Republic of Georgia

by Carla Canham, Greenheart Travel Teach Abroad Participant in the Republic of Georgia

Nino made known to us recently that it is the Georgian way of life to never do anything today what can be done tomorrow; well, because tomorrow you might not have to do it anymore.

… I decided that if I’m going to be living in Georgia that I should try my very best to live as Georgians do. So I bit my tongue (literally, nervous habit!) and dedicated the day to the great art of nothing. For two hours, I sat on the stoop of my hotel and watched an elderly couple bicker back and forth in Georgian. I just sat there. Listening. Watching. Inventing an English dialogue and smiling here and there at things I thought they might be or were probably saying.

Overlooking Kutaisi, Georgia.

In the afternoon I dug Boggle out of my suitcase and tucked myself into a corner in the lobby to play a few solo rounds. A man who had been sleeping near me woke from the noise of the shaking dice and came to sit by me. He started speaking (much too fast for any new language learner…s l o o o o w w w d o w w n n n n p l e a s e) and I smiled and nodded in agreement to sounds that made absolutely no sense. He began pointing at the dice, so I pointed back to show him—without words—what I was doing. I pointed first to D, then R, then A, then W. Then I underlined the word “draw” where I had written it on my score sheet to show him that there was certainly a method to my dice-shaking madness. He then pointed to D, then Z, then M, then A, and wrote “dzma” on the paper. I shook my head no to this ridiculous and seemingly unknown combination of letters and pointed to another example of a word to show him that the letter combinations had to create a word and not simply be a random bunching of letters. He shook his head, pointed again to D, Z, M, and A, and then rigorously circled it and started speaking again in lots of Georgian.

I decided to let him win this argument.

I shook up the came, took off the case, set the timer, and he started searching and jotting down words (all words I did not know—he could have been making them up) so I also searched and jotted down my findings. This went on for an hour and a half. I played Boggle with someone whom I could not at all communicate with—my words in English, his in Georgian. I laughed again at my simple afternoon full of the ‘nothing’ that turned surprisingly into ‘something’ I will never, ever, ever forget.

My motto from this day forth will be qvelaperi kargad iqneba, which translates roughly to: everything will be okay.

So, while I have no idea what I am doing or where I am going, I will rest assured that the Georgians speak the truth when rid away all worries.

Cheers to Georgia, and to my wonderful afternoon of simplicity and bliss!

Read more of Carla’s time in Georgia…

About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.

Discussion

One thought on “The Art of Doing Nothing At All in the Republic of Georgia

  1. dzma=brother!

    Posted by Shelley Ashfield | March 29, 2011, 9:18 pm

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