21 Apr 2014

First impressions of French volunteers

by Marine Helfer

April, the 2nd: arrival during the night, after a fifteen hours travel… We really didn’t know what will happen the first days, so we felt excited, a bit afraid and curious. But we were especially tired!

After a good night in our new beds, new rooms, new flat, we unpacked the 40 kilos of luggage we brought with us. 

Actually, the welcome and the help of other volunteers have been very helpful since the beginning of our adventure! All we needed we could ask them, they were available and so lovely. That’s why the transition between France and Georgia hasn’t been as hard as we imagined.

First shopping, first cooking, first walk around the city… Everything came quite naturally. The only thing not so natural was to speak English. As French people, our level of English is for the moment quite ridiculous but of course in 6 months we’ll be bilingual... Or maybe trilingual with the Georgian classes?! We’re looking forward to these classes to learn some words which can be helpful in the everyday life. “Pardon”, “Au revoir”, “Non merci”. There are so many words I would like to remember in order to integrate into the local culture and to be able to understand more or less all it’s written in the street. For the moment, “Gamarjoba” and “Madloba” are the only words I can say in Georgian. Better than nothing…    

For the moment, my activities in the association are only Sapovnela and a Spanish class so I think it’s not enough to give me a real picture of GYE. I can only say that I’m glad to have a lovely mentor and that the French evening was a good idea because it was a good way to integrate ourselves and to present quickly our country to others. Now, I’m looking forward to discovering our new country, Georgia.    

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