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.