I was feeling a tad bit down my last post because I was worried I got a poor placement, but I suspect an experience like this has many ups and downs. I am still vulnerable to these moments, but I expect that, over time, I will be generally accepting and unphased by small problems. Currently, however, I am in great spirits because I have very much enjoyed my Sunday thus far. I wake up at about 7 every day, but I need to stop because the city doesn’t wake up until around 9. Usually I would favor such a lifestyle, but I worked so hard to set my clock to waking up early! I guess that I will be getting up around 7 for school anyways, so it is no big deal if my weekends are the same.
I decided to go for a walk to the maghazia (store) because I needed a few things (more money put on my phone and headphones). It was nice to feel somewhat autonomous, but I was let down by my self-reliance because I had no idea where to go for either of the items I needed. I tried a couple stores, but after some unfruitful conversations and some Georgian curse words, I quickly lost my confidence. I wanted to by juice or soda or something (all I have had to drink is water for the last 2 days), but I was on the edge of feeling completely worthless, so I decided I could wait a bit. Reading my book with a nice, room-temperature water sounded great, so I hurried back home through the muddy streets (seriously, really muddy).
I was falling asleep while reading the sequel to Through the Looking Glass (the sequel to Alice in Wonderland), when Levan knocked on my door and let me know that people were going to play basketball and soccer. I was pumped for this, so I changed into athletic shorts and my cleats to find the other men in jeans and casual shoes. Though I stuck out like a sore thumb, I stand by my practical decision because I was cool and had superb traction. We played a game of horse upon arrival (they don’t use letters, they just count to 5… boring?), and I have never seen a worse group of basketball players in my life. It was fun though, and I won the game though I definitely don’t consider myself a great basketball player. Then we played a really fun 3v3 soccer shootout-type game (seriously, the most fun soccer game every) and I did pretty well. I would have been shocked if their soccer skills were on par with their basketball savvy , but, as I suspected, everyone was quite talented. After that, the best guy there (6’3”, lanky, really good player) challenged me to a 1v1 match (Levan had to translate, because none of the other guys spoke a drop of English). It was really fun, and I ended up winning 5-4, though I suspect the other guys told him to let me win because they were ready to leave.
I came back and took a shower and didn’t mind that it was cold. I thought to myself that it could be a rough winter, though, because I know it gets cold and that water is pretty damn icy. This worry was for not, however, because Levan told me that they have hot water, I just have to ask one of them to light the heater. So, I will have warm bathing sessions (I refuse to call it a shower because water slowly streams out of a hand-held spray thingy). Good news nevertheless!
Levan went with me to the maghazia to get me some more minutes on my phone, and it turns out there are these machines in every market that you can just type in your phone number and add money just like that. It is an amazing pay-as-you-go system, and I wish America adopted something like it. It is all in Georgian, but, thankfully, I can read it now and figure out what I am supposed to do. I had a 15 minute call to Allison in Ghana and that actually cost me about $10, so I don’t know how many of those I will end up making while I am here. I guess I am getting paid $300 a month, and I plan on using that to support my family, go out and make my stay comfortable. It is just hard to make calls that are so expensive.
Anyways, I have my first day of school tomorrow, and I hope that goes well! As gay as it may be I am a little worried about what I am going to wear because I want to make a good impression. I will try to take some pictures, so everyone can see what my life is like here!