So it has been a little bit more than a month since I arrived to Georgia for my twelve month EVS. Must say, that so far I have had a pretty interesting and wonderful experience.
So let's start with the environment I'm living in. I've more or less comfortable with Rustavi now. Fixed a bike from scout center and took a ride all around the town. I know what Marshutka's to take to get to new Rustavi, as well the ones to come back to Batumi st. 22, where I live. Also I know which ones to take to get to Tbilisi, although not ones to come back, because I still haven't went there alone, but that's OK, I still have time.
This month we actually went to Gudauri with some other volunteers. There's not much to say about the experience other than that it was purely amazing and breath-taking. Love the mountains. I think I might revisit Gudauri some day, for sure.
Have had some dog encounters. One of which happened when I was trying to cycle up to the hill where the huge cross stands. Went around the highway with a bike as I noticed some guy with a stick, waving around and screaming something. Didn't think much of it, thought he was just some drunk guy, roaming around the mountains. Turns out he was a shepherd, completely sober and concerned about my life, as he was trying to warn me about his dogs. What happened was that as I continued pushing up the steep and got to the top, then, in a matter of 7 seconds, I got surrounded by 6 sheep dogs. From my experience with dogs, I knew I can't show fear, as dogs are extremely good at sensing fear in people, which may result in their aggressiveness. What I did was just stand still, with my head down, hands up, let them bark at me, sniff me. Stood still for about 20 seconds, then proceeded biking forwards, to apologize to the shepherd: "Bodishi", I said and told him that I couldn't hear the warning because of the wind. No need to say he was not very happy, but when I apologized, he calmed down. So then I went a bit further up the highway and realized there are more sheep ahead, which means more dogs, I decided to turn back and not continue my trip to the cross, since I was alone and didn't really have any self defense tools.I would consider myself kind of lucky, because who knows how the dogs would of acted if it weren't for their owner there. Crazy story, huh?
Locals- the best. Hospitality is off the charts. Already made some friends in bars like Omi (amazing place BTW, you should visit it) and Taoba.
The food is great. I enjoy Khikhali, Khachapuri, Kubdari and all the other delicious goods from the bakery, except Lobiani. No way, people who eat it, I congratulate you, but with all due respect- beans and bread don't go together. Facts.
Wine- amazing. Have tried only Kindzmarauli so far tho. It's amazing and pretty cheap. Actually everything is like twice as cheap as it is in Latvia, which is another bonus for a northern European like me.
So another thing. Being a crazy uncontrollable circus freak that I am, I have already visited the hospital, oh yes indeed. What happened? Well, long story short- I fell from a bike in the night, trying to be bit too extreme in Meria, when it was slippery. Don't drink and drive kids, leave it to professionals- me, haha.
The service in the hospital was actually pretty good, I would say. The doctors seem a little more concerned about you, to the point where they actually seem paranoid of what might be wrong with you. Got an x-ray, they even checked my stomach for any inner bleeding. Gave me some painkillers, awesome, I asked for morphine, they wouldn't give me any, haha. Just kidding. Although I did ask them.
So now I'm healing a strained muscle in my upper left back. Still hurts a little bit after 2 weeks, but I should be fine after one or two more weeks.
Other than that I'm feeling great. Doing my "work" in GYE. I'm teaching juggling and rhythm, also I lead the chess club. All of these activities are more or less my passions so nothing to complain about, since by teaching the youngsters, I also improve myself in these fields. Plus I've always enjoyed teaching my skills to others.
For the near future- I want to fix more bikes from the scout center, so other volunteers would also have this amazing way of transportation around Rustavi. Also would like to travel around Georgia more, because the nature seems otherworldly-beautiful.
For long term future- I want to make these "night rides" with bikes around Rustavi as a weekly event, on Fridays for example.
Also would like to build a freak-bike and get a unicycle.
All in all the first month has been a blast. With ups and downs, but positive overall. I'm sure I missed something, since time is passing so fast and it's hard to remember all the experiences. We'll see what the future brings. I want to get a skateboard, because the park of Rustavi has some marvelous flat-ground, as well as a skate park. We shall see.
Continue improving myself,
Don't "work" too much,
Martins 'chuks' Piebalgs.