Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm turning this beat around

Hey all! It's been a while since we've last "spoke," but I am here. All is well but I need to get a rant out of the way first.

Dear Dell,
Your computers are pieces of *insert blasphemy* I will be switching to mac in the near future. The fact is that your parts just don't work well.. right now I have a disk stuck in the dvd drive, and it's very noisy. Maybe you should make your faulty parts silent for the sanity of the people you can dupe into buying your products.


Okay, so it wasn't that long of a rant, because I'm frankly over it. Now for the positives. I've been getting a lot of press recently. I'm almost desensitized to it all... almost. What has been most exciting was one of the largest news networks in Tbilisi, Imedi, did a segment of foreigners people volunteering/working in Georgia. This station is all over Georgia, and I would like to think of it as a mini-CNN. I choose CNN because I am not crazy about FOXnews... I wrote an email to two of my friends and hadn't spoken with them really since September. I was really shocked by how much I had accumulated in doing while being here! It gives me faith to keep on keepin on.

So my English club is in full swing. All of my afternoons of sitting around waiting for people to show up are over! I'm basically teaching an additional 2 hours a week, but I have faith it will take off the ground! My goal is to make sure it's sustainable by the time I leave. I need to start planting the seeds for that now.

My counterpart had given me two jars of fruit preserves ("muraba" in Georgian). I am feeling lazy, so I've just been eating the preserves. I need to jump in the kitchen and make some real food, which should happen shortly.

My counterpart also gave me some jars of supra food, which I'm almost positive are rotting in the jars.. as I haven't touched them. I'm sure it was good food, but I've been at supras... I know what happens there. That and mostly I just didn't like the types of dishes that were in the jar.

Today I wrote down a bunch of recipes that I can make. I'm hinging my hopes on buying an oven soon. I've been saying I wanted to buy an oven for over a month!

Georgia has been having some stunning weather for close to the past week! Pretty soon I'll be sweating the nights away! I'm so excited! So I'm gearing up for some good things to come. Specifically, I want to buy lawn chairs and start tanning on my balcony. Once I get hot water, I want to run at the stadium and tan every day! The reason for this, is that I have to boil my water to bathe...and I only have a small pot to boil the water which equals only bathing half of your body at a lukewarm temperature.

Here's an idea I have for my English club: recipe exchange! Students have to learn the cooking vocabulary, make something, and bring it in and explain how they made it. I will make something American, and it will be great. Then they can give copies of how to make it to their friends. I feel that the recipes everyone knows how to make are prepared slightly differently that it would allow for learning or at least a good activity for speaking. These are the students I want to see get into FLEX next year!

I downloaded a ton of new-to-me music, which is keeping it fresh en casa del jefferson.

This week kicks of conference week in good ol Peace Corps. Tomorrow is a Ronny's visit before headed to the expo fair hosted for the BSE folks, but of potential interest. Conference week = hotel = hot water = hot shower every day. Should I get my hopes up for a hot shower every day? Should I expect it? No. Chances are, there will be a power/gas outage to heat the water and there won't be enough for all of the volunteers. My only expectation is that I'll be able to take at least 1 hot shower though! If not at the conference, the Peace Corps office has a hot water heater and I can shower there.

Am I hella excited for my friends and her family to come in 3 weeks? Yes. It's good to set/frame rewards for your service here, little and big. If you have big rewards like trips or visitors, it allows you to push through. Apparently our 2nd year is going to "fly" by... if this is true, I look forward to the day. Time flies here of course, but I haven't been whisked away by the winds of time. I'm a leaf waiting to be picked up, watching the world fly by above and around me. You might could say, it just finished raining, and we're all waiting to dry before takeoff.

I put up my windchimes I brought from home. One of them is too heavy and keeps blowing into my window, but the other (from my sister's trip to St. Augustine) is perfect! I've been shifting into the need for having a feng shui'd apartment.

It is so windy!

Wish me luck! I've got you all in my thoughts.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mr. Frost, Can Mr. Sandman bring me a dream instead? Thanks.

Hello all!
Allow me to sum up an interesting week/weekend with you. It all started with 3 Lituanian girls: Linka, Inga, and Goertoetoete...wait I'm getting ahead of myself. So on Friday we went to dinner, met up with an RPCV from Kazakhstan we'll call Sperry (protecting names here) who initially went with us for a gelato run (I got caramel almond...mmmm) then we went to a Jazz restaurant as it was another volunteer's birthday, and THEN we met the Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians (who by the way only speak Estonian in their country), and 1 German. Then we cut the Jazz restaurant short to go to a volunteer bar in Tbilisi, super hole-in-the-wall feel, but great time! As the night wound on, it started snowing! A snowball fight ensued and then we caught a taxi back to the guest house, not before stopping to run the taxi through the McDonald's drive thru. What a wonderful night!

The next day after breakfast, another snowball fight unfolded. I was having such a good time. Then reality hit like a bus. I started to feel really sick. No, it had nothing to do with being out in the cold, unless the snowflakes were contaminated with bioweapons. By the way, I was able to notice and appreciate each snow flake's intricate detail that day. So back to feeling awful... We watched the movie Bruno, a real academy award winner, but innapropriately hilarious. Then I knew I needed to work on my grant due in two days, but instead from fatigue (I'm high maintenance, so I easily get fatigued) I passed out. Sunday I went to the Bazar with another volunteer we'll call Kristina. We had many a learning experience that day. First we took the right bus at the wrong time and went an hour out of our way, then took a marshutka to Lilo's Bazar which we thought was the right place, but it turns out they don't sell books there. It was good because we were able to get some personal items. Then we went to Vagzlis Bazar for the books, hastily ate McDonald's and flew home. Kristina almost missed her marshrutka home but her host family's uncle luckily stopped and waited for our marsh to catch up to theirs.

A cold night of bitter cold went by, luckily I was heavily medicated. Then I worked on my grant. Did that all day. Made some mistakes, but whatever, and emailed it in. Then I took two benadryl and passed out. Another cold night of bitter cold went by, luckily I was heavily medicated..luckily. SOO I wake up this morning feeling like a million bucks without the feeling in my fingers or toes and plug in my water motor. My new apartment has a water tank (200 liters) inside the bathroom and 3 days a week, I can refill it so I have water. I do. It's full. I unplug it. Does it turn off? Nope. The valve had frozen open or something. So after several phonecalls, I got ahold of my landlord. I was already in Tbilisi by that time for a committee meeting. She went by and apparently it unfroze and had turned off. Hopefully I have water in it when I go home. If you are thinking, "I would have known what to do," I can assure you there was nothing. No water shut off valve or anything. No neighbor home to help either.

Anyways, so I rush to Tbilisi, excited to take a shower at the PC Headquarters, but late for my meeting. We do the meeting, eat lunch, and I come back. What a beautiful bathroom PC has in their new office! And hot water! So I shave, get in and am showering when, it starts to get a little cold. I had just started a skin exfoliating and hair conditioning (once again, high maintenance, I know I'm ridiculous) when the pleasant experience turns to an ice bath. Another volunteer we'll call Ms. Mack warned me she had only turned on the water heater a few hours previous and it would only be warm, but this water was hot and amazing. That's Georgia for you sometimes though!

With low expectations and karmic neutrality getting me through the days, I'm heading back from Tbilisi to site for...dare I say it? another bitter cold night.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

[Rocky song playing in background]

Sooo... I am proud to say I am in my new apartment. It smells a little/lot like wallpaper glue, but it's so fresh and so clean. clean. I have been so busy this week!

So Monday, I moved into my new place, had to unpack in order to prepare for Tuesday's PC staff visit! :D It was a good time on Tuesday. They also observed one of my lessons, and my counterpart was so nervous, because I don't think she likes that class very much and didn't want anyone in it acting a fool.

Then! The PC visit lasted until the evening, and I'm grateful that I was so stuffed, because I had no energy to cook. So I went to bed, ate the khachapuri left-overs from the previous day, and went to school today. It was an interesting day because I had a meeting with my CP, director, and computer teacher for our grant. So my director is amazing! She's gonna make her end happen! Which will take a lot of work from me. So I will be grant writing all weekend for the deadline of Monday (yes, we are going for this deadline!) So very soon (in 20 minutes) I will have my Russian lesson, which will go until late tonight, tomorrow I have English club and classes and then Friday, we are going to Tbilisi and working on the budget for this project. When will I do laundry? buy groceries? buy necessities? cutesify my apartment? sleep? The answer to all of these questions is hopefully this weekend! We'll see.

ABA("so")! I'll catch you in on some of the less technical details at a later point! Miss you all, even if I've never met you.

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words" -Unknown