Monday, May 10, 2010

Green peace, sleeves, trees, and... goblins?

To quickly follow up with where we were last: not spending a lot of money is going well, a few snags in the teacher trainings I have been doing, planning has been going very well for FLEX PDO, and general excitement.

So I have been maintaining an excel file and have put a stop to the drain on my bank account = good. I would never have considered myself a liberal spender, as in America, none of us had such low pay, but that's one of the major components of Peace Corps: to live modestly on host country standards, at least that's my take on things. So the concept of going out to eat really has an impact on your bank account. I'll keep you updated on any additional changes. So far, so good. The best thing that I enjoy, while it may be a time of hardship, is that I have been able to stay financially secure. I don't have to worry about paying for bills, because they are covered from my allowance.

The thought has crossed my mind that perhaps living on my own was a mistake and I should've stayed in a host family, but I would have to be in a house, not an apartment, and, in my community, I have already become associated with 1 host family. It would hurt their and my community image for me to live with a different family, especially given the tensions in the minority town I live in.

Something that I have been reflecting on is that things which bother you, generally will not carry to bother you in the future. There were positions I have been in in jobs, living situations, school, etc that I was very uncomfortable, however, now, they have no impact on me. This helps me cope with some of the difficult situations I go through occasionally here. I know that in the future I will look back and see these things as good memories or something I can laugh about.

Also, we've had some snags with my computer training. I know that they will get unkinked soon, but it's definitely frustrating. Last Wednesday, the CPU stopped functioning. Then Friday, the projector was being finicky. Luckily, on Friday I figured out the real problem was communicating between my laptop and the projector. CPU aside, the equipment we purchased is really quality. Today during a lesson, I used the speakers to hook up my iPod and we did a listening activity.

I have really been enjoying the Economist podcast. It has been keeping me up to date on world events, and their articles go pretty in depth on international issues. I definitely don't want to disconnect from the real world while here.

I am happily looking forward to the day that I can play computer games again. I know this is nerdy, but I miss World of Warcraft. :)

I planned this weekend for the FLEX PDO (Predeparture Orientation) for the kids going to study in US high schools for 1 year! I am very excited for this experience, but I want it to go through without a hitch, which takes a lot of planning. In all, we have 8 sessions to do. We have created the visual aids for 3 sessions, and planned in depth for 2. We will be ready!

I finished my last book in my reading-for-fun initiative and am eager to see what will be my next.

I miss being in my community, and have also been working on creating a balance between my work in my school and my projects. I need to plan for my Russian lessons, computer lessons, regular lessons, and possibly a private student I have been battling to take on from being busy.

I think that's about all! I'm going to Tbilisi this week to meet with a teacher training organization, hopefully to fix the CPU, and I forgot to mention my water filter has been not functioning properly for quite some time, and as it is so big, it's difficult for me to take it to Tbilisi to get it fixed.

Another point I may have failed to mention: I had left my sleeping bag on a marshrutka coming back from the nature hike in Telavi at the beginning of May. I thought it was gone forever. I was shocked when the driver called me to tell me he had my sleeping bag, however it was in Telavi. I had written my name and phone number on the side of the sleeping bag in the identification card space. One volunteer, Fray, à la compagnie de his beautiful wife, Bruyère, picked up the sleeping bag from the marshrutka station and additionally brought it to Tbilisi! I am so greatful, and now have the sleeping bag back in my possession. To be accomplished now are the CPU and the water filter.

Then apparently the school needs some paperwork to be filled out for the purchasing of the projector or something, which also needs to be done, but frankly, it's not as of utmost importance to meet at this point in time.

Ok well, I've bubbled over some so I might as well continue... I helped my friends Claus and Wilhelmina set the trail for the Hash House Harriers, an international running group that drinks beer after they run. I had never set a trail before ever. They use flour to mark the trails, for runners and walkers. This trail was to be staged in Tbilisi proper. We ran into several cleaning people who believed we were polluting the environment, dirtying their city, and hurting their jobs for being paid. I explained that this was only flour for an international group, and that it was important for the tourism in Georgia. Still, there were some people who told us we were not allowed to do so as it was filth. I mentioned to one lady in particular, among the others, that it would rain and wash away the flour. She posed the question,"But what if it doesn't rain!?" Really? Never rain ever again? Come on lady. Georgia needs tourism, among other things. There really are awesome sights to see, and I personally love Tbilisi. It just baffles me that so many people that day were resistant to the idea of bringing money into their country. Coming down from my mini-soapbox, I can say it was a good weekend.

PPPPPS- It's gonna be a HOT summer!
PPPPPPS- Sorry for there not being goblins. But if it's any resolution to this problem, I had a crazy dream last night? I don't know where the characters were from, but I don't think I made them up. There was this boulder I was leaning on to write some information, and I was writing over this hole that had stuff in it. I apologized (for some reason) to the boulder and stood up. A voice responded,"Don't worry about it!" I look down and see a huge cream-colored snake worming around inside of the hole. I was terrified! Then I jump away and think I see a giant cockroach doing a sideways handstand near one of the holes. The angle of the sun was bad, so I couldn't really tell. I get closer to the rock and it disappears into the holes. There were three to five other holes in this boulder. I go back to doing what I was doing, turn around and see it again pop up. I step closer. It disappears into the hole. This process happens a couple more times, before it pops up again. I get closer and closer, but still can't make out what it is. It's deep black with long and thin whispy hairs on the top of it's black, crisp, shiny, almond-shaped form. I get closer, and it flicks open to reveal an eye, staring with a dead look. It totters to and fro, slowly rising up from the hole. The eye is connected to a wedge-shape, reminiscent of a large slice of deep-dish pizza, with two scrawny, black, bird feet. The wedge opens as a mouth and begins talking. We chat about various things, and this strange creature mentions his friend who used to live in the hole. His friend was very small, doll-like in stature, disfigured by a wrinkled shrunken head, featuring a frozen smile, unnaturally wide, below two beady, cruel, black eyes. The wedge notes that I was lucky, his friend was not living there, or I would have been killed, as the doll-man was crazy and had a machine gun he used to extinguish any one or thing who would approach the rock. Then, as I heard echoes of cruel laughter, a chill washing over me broke me from slumber.

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