I need to get better about not taking hiatuses (plural also just hiatus, but sounds strange) from my writing. So many great things have happened since we last spoke. Where shall I begin? So due to extreme winds, the wind chimes had to come down. It was bad enough I thought the scrap metal that's holding my balcony together was going to detach and fly through my window, but the wind chimes banging against my window gave an extra layer of creepiness while trying to sleep. It reminded me of being on the urban scene of something reminiscent of the chainsaw massacre. They'll go up again soon. The wind apparently is really strong during that period of time every year! A couple people in Tbilisi actually (I heard through the grapevine) were killed from fallen trees or debris flying around during the intense wind. Brother Wind is good for drying clothes, but bad for pedestrian activity.
In other news, I saw Avatar! Despite some of the bad/critical reviews, I really enjoyed it. No, I did not have the luxury of seeing it in 3D or on the big screen, but it was really good: so good, in fact, I've already watched it twice this week. Other movies on my soon-to-watch list include: Interview with a Vampire, Daybreakers, Star Trek (the new one), and Sherlock Holmes.
The ground here is starting to solidify, and running at the stadium seems as though somewhat realistic in the near future. I need to talk to my landlord about her installing hot water. It's rough living without it and only a small pot. Yes, I know I could buy another one. As my Russian tutor says, "You are the one who punishes yourself." It's all about priorities, and right now there are a ton of initiatives under way. First, our school got the grant for the computer, projector, projector screen, and internet access project I submitted in the beginning of February! It will be amazing, so I need to start the IT teacher training for that. Then, two days ago, I met with the "School-Family-Society" Association for a partnership for projects regarding professional development with teachers in Georgia! It was an extremely productive first meeting where I may (time depending) go to an International Education Conference at Batumi University in May. Also, I was selected as a Pre-Departure Orientation Teacher by FLEX/American Councils to teach students in Georgia going to the US about American culture!! I'm very excited for this as well. It will mostly be a long weekend involvement in June and July, with planning on weekends in-between and a training of trainers in late March in Ukraine. SO, if any of ya'll folks will be in Ukraine during those 4 days, let me know. They said there will be no time to conduct business or site-see, but you never know what could be!
Other projects? Well, I will be missing the Volunteer Advisory Council (VAC) meeting and the Project Design Management (PDM) conference due to the FLEX/Am. Councils training. I will make up the PDM for one day sometime in April. English club will continue as planned; I'm still writing with my 5th graders and teacher in Tallahassee; I need to work on the resource database for the WID/GAD (Women in Development/Gender and Development) committee. I definitely would say there is not ample free time, as I still have 4 language lessons/wk and 16 hours of teaching plus planning time. When am I going to study for the GMAT? I would like to set aside at least 1-2 hours/wk for that (minimum). I almost forgot! I'm also leading the team building initiative for volunteers as well, and unless I'm forgetting something, that's everything I'm doing.
As the new invitees may have heard, our first Volunteer Reporting Form (VRF) is due. It's basically a concrete summary of everything we've been doing the past 6 months. It's usually due every 3 months or so, but you aren't really supposed to do anything but adjust to your community during the first three months.
In all of this craziness, I've been able to maintain my sanity, stay positive, motivated, and I've been continuing to read for fun! Unfortunately, I started 3 books, so I need to power through some of them. Flap, one of the volunteers, started up a book club initiative. The first book they'll be reading is "3 Cups of Tea." I don't own it, but supposedly there are several copies. I don't know when we'll meet for that or how I'll be able to read it in a quick period of time, but if the desire is there, anything is possible.
One of the most positive things, is that I've never in my life been at this level of business with such a calm peace of mind. Alright cool cats, I'm off to start a productive day!