Two Georgian students prepare to dance.
Georgian school children sing traditional songs during the ceremony on the first day at Surami School No. 1.
School children ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade listen to the speeches.
Kindergartners from the Surami School No.1 head to class after the opening ceremony. The President of Georgia has now made it mandatory to speak English in order to graduate; his goal is to have a native English speaker/teacher in every school. There are over 2,200 public schools and I think about 250 private schools. Grades 3 through 12 must study English, and there are now roughly 150 or more native English teachers/speakers in the country from Canada, U.S., U.K., Scotland, Ireland and South Africa.
Myself sitting between two Georgian English teachers, Dahli, to my left, and Nino. Nino is the youngest teacher at the school.
There are 25 teachers at the school, three are male (including me) and the rest are female. My host mom is the chemistry teacher. The first day of school lasted until noon, and then the teachers gathered to celebrate at the supra (party)! Here my fellow teachers are waiting for the marschutka (minibus) transport us to the restaurant.
The teachers celebrated from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Good food, plenty of wine, about 50 different toasts, singing and dancing. The three Georgian men singing in the party at the restaurant that afternoon were graduates of the school and are now famous Georgian folk singers. They invited me to their concert in October in Tbilisi.
This is the school’s music teacher singing a beautiful Georgian folk song.
My ride home! I usually walk though since my house is a 10 minute walk from the No. 1 School. I’ve starting running and amazingly the good air here makes it “fun to run.” I ran for an hour and a half the other morning, at least now I can work off this great Georgian food. Weather has been sunny and cool except for rain one day