11 Jun 2014

Here Comes the Sun.

After the cold Winter and rather iffy Spring, I’m glad to finally be soaking up the Summer Sun. Rather surprisingly for an introvert and recluse such as myself, I have been spending a decent amount of time outside in the “fresh” Rustavi and Tbilisian air. My trips to the capital are becoming more frequent and longer, the usual peruse around the Dry Bridge market and nearby shopping centre is always a welcome break from Rustavi.

The English conversation club has finally finished after many months of thinking up new topics for talking about with the locals. I believe that me and Ania have made a difference and an improvement, even if it’s only a small one.
by Elliott Cunningham

A week or two ago was my first visit to the GYE Eco-village called Pona, I was rather surprised and impressed by the size of the place. Three buildings, a camp site and a huge amount of land seems to be owned by GYE and a few of the locals. The task set for myself and our Estonian short-term volunteers was to continue the construction of a fence to cordon off the land. The first day was very successful but I underestimated the power of Georgian Sun and consequently ended up resembling a roast turkey.

Skipping forward a few days, I headed off to catch up with other Caucasus EVS volunteers for our Mid-term meeting in Bakuriani (a skiing resort to the west of Tbilisi). It was fantastic to see the “On-arrival-lot” again and to see some new faces. I’m mildly ashamed to say that I got absolutely plastered on the first night and was wearing sunglasses indoors for the next day. On a more sober note, we we had a fantastic trip on the local train down the mountain to Borjomi Park for a walk around in the real fresh air.

The most recent adventure here was our trip to Racha for a camping and sport weekend in the mountains. Some GYE volunteers, our Coordinator plus two bus loads of Georgians and a few other interesting characters in a camp, competing in Rafting and Kayaking. The weather was fantastic (I used SPF 50 this time so remained my pale self) and the atmosphere was great. My team and I paddled hard and destroyed the opposition in rafting .

Finishing off the weekend by chilling with a group of Georgians round the table and campfire was wonderful. We left the camp the day after, bodies aching from exertion, minds and phones full of new memories and contacts.