Here is a glimpse at a training day for Teach and Learn with Georgia volunteers. They know how to keep us busy and well fed. It’s pretty intense but enjoyable all the same.
Wake up in our luxurious hotel room and get ready for the day. It has been quite surprising that the sun doesn’t begin to move over the mountains until after 8AM. I’m so used to having more light in the morning, even in the winter in order for the day to get started.
Breakfast is eaten in buffet style in the dining room. Everyone sits together around large tables while trying Georgian food. The staples that you will see at every meal of course are freshly sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, bread, a selection of cold cuts, a plate of different cheeses, and an odd selection of juices that no one is really sure what they are made from. The staples are delicious but the unique dishes (like noodles and hot dogs) are also normally very good. They even serve us cocoa puffs. I suppose it provides a decent transition for those of us still stuck on our processed foods.
The morning meeting is a great deal like any morning meeting. Some people care, others chat with their neighbors, and half of the group is sits there pretending to be awake. The jet lag is still plaguing many. It does have one benefit. If you ever get bored, you can just take a look around and laugh at the ridiculous zombie faces they all wear while waking up.
Georgian Class! This is by far my favorite part of the day. A teacher works with a small group of twenty of us. Marica is a brilliant and patient teacher who has done work with peace corp and the European equivalent of the peace corp. We have a small coffee break at 11:30 and then work more. There are lots of activities which are helpful when you are trying to learn new sounds. Georgian has a “kh” and a “gh” sound that remind you of a cat throwing up. Of course the r’s are rolled and there are multiple k, t, p, and b sounds. Writing the Georgian language is a bit difficult, but it redeems itself by being so helpful. Every letter you see you say and everything you say you write. There aren’t any crazy silent letters like in English!
Lunch includes the staples mentioned earlier and soups and mystery meats. They also like to chop up different veggies and combine them. It’s nice to give your mind a rest and just relax with friends.