13 Jan 2015

Are we there yet?

A little bit of prehistory:

So here I am, an ordinary 23 year old girl, trying to think of whatever it is to just finally get out of her shell and enjoy life to the fullest. Simple as that. Good thing that some damn lucky people can actually enroll to one of these programs for the young and go to places that normally be out of reach for us. So, as of right now, I'm officially an EVS volunteer in Georgia. FOR A WHOLE YEAR! And here it is. My life awaits. After a very long time of organizing things and trying to get everything in order my experience begins. And let me just say, that I'm not going to try to sugarcoat anything. And hey, whoever might be reading this, I hope one lost soul (with a cute little rebel, dying within) can find another one. Hey you, yes you, I like you already!

Day of my arrival to Georgia, Tbilisi. October 2, around 4:30 am. Three other (local) volunteers Nini, Maxo and Rosto, that will be our mentors come to pick us up from the airport. We wait for another volunteer from Slovakia, Livia, to come and then head straight back to our apartment. Aaand here it is! My new home. The city of Rustavi, which in the past (Soviet times to be precise) used to be an industrial city, built just for factory workers. The part where I live seems like a time capsule and reminds me one of those stories that my mum or my granny used to tell. Let's just say (and I'm going to be honest about it)... well I guess in times it's going to be grey. While the city is actually divided into the New and Old Rustavi and turns out to be not so small of a city, there is something right there in the air, and you can feel it. The city needs life. It needs to live again. Or just finally start living. You can feel this in people's eyes when they try to look at you with this curious look, asking "Who are you?" and "What are you going to do in here?".

I share a flat with two other volunteers, Lembit, who comes from Estonia and is an extremely smart guy, and a girl name Livia, who I feel sometimes is my lost twin sister. In the next few days we went out to explore the city, and gosh, let me just tell you how excited I actually was! One small thing though, when you do travels like this one, well, not really travels, but living experiences, or how should you call them (?) it's important not to get your stakes too high. Simply because a) cultural shock does exist, and is in fact not a myth b) you're actually dealing with life. Not just super fun trips around the country or big parties (FYI, I do not consider myself a party person). Not at all. It's life, people. Life with ups and downs. Anyway, our trip to the supermarket was in fact the funniest moment of all. So far.

Can you imagine you walk to a SUPERmarket, and there's no electricity. Like no electricity. Like cashiers working with candles on and things like that? One thing I love about Georgians is their ability to adapt to these practical things. No electricity? Fine, I'll just get a candle. No water today? (Yes, it happens) Fine, I have some over there in kitchen; I've filled all the empty buckets just last night. Wonderful, isn't it? Let me just say, that so far my experience with people is very limited, but yes, if you ever heard about Georgian hospitality and how helpful people can be, yes, it's true. I'm sure there's much more to people and I'm sure so many life lessons await me. I just hope I'm ready. So much of chaos within an order. So much of order within a chaos. But hey, you can't have everything, can you?

Or take the amazing trip to the Istanbuli bazaar, where people go to buy everything. Such a rush, I'm not even kidding! Maxo helped us figure things out there, but the amazing part was him introducing us with his friends and family on the way to the market; stopping to say hi, or wave a hello to everyone he knew. I mean normally you would just go to the market in your neighborhood and that would be it. You might say hi to a friendly face, but not more. Well, at least for me that would be it, nothing more. Instead, we were politely introduced to everyone and even had a friendly ride with a car, making our way shorter. Such a friendly guy, I'll tell ya that.

And then there was Tbilisi... God bless this city, it's amazing, y'all. So amazing :). And hey, Tbilisi is a very beautiful city, did I tell you that? Loved it. Totally took my breath away. Just like that. But I guess I will be needing a separate post for that.

We finally started learning Georgian, which for me is the most difficult language ever, especially the pronunciation. But the mentors that we have are really nice to us, they're really helpful and thoughtful when it comes to understanding us.

Next week I will begin teaching, which for now is my main task in here. So far I'm just trying to prepare and see how it goes. I don't know much about Georgian mentality, but a guy name Erekle, who will help me with Spanish in here once said that Georgians are proud but shy. I didn't experience that myself, but I guess time will show.

Hey, and about time - time runs differently when you're away, you know that, right? Every minute of it is just screaming different things at you, saying "Life is so odd and beautiful, go out there!".

Bye for now. Or as Georgians say, nachvamdis.