I think I can finally say I have established a solid routine. It should come as no surprise that I may be spreading myself thin, but I would have it no other way. At home, I often feel like a drifter because I am always promising myself elsewhere; in Georgia, my life is no different. As I mentioned last week, I have taken on tutoring the ambassador’s son for ~10 hours a week, which is awesome. I also find myself spending increasing amounts of time with Tata and her family (my host cousins). Interestingly, I also spend time with the Seventh Day Adventist missionaries that live right by my house. And finally, I try to go out with the other American teachers a couple times a week as well. Mix all of that in with trying to plan excursions with my students and co-teachers and I have quite a busy schedule (not to mention the excessive time spent in-transit).
School continues to be fun and successful (which is good given that is the reason I am here), and I enjoy working no more than 20 hours a week. I am still popular among the students which, of course, I enjoy, but I think the girls are no longer so enamored by my American charm. I hope to play some football with the boys this week, but I don’t know if I will be able to because it has gotten quite chilly. Overall, I love my school, my co-teachers and my students, and I am fully aware that I am lucky to have a wonderful situation.
I have come to realize that people love complaining, and some of the TLG teachers can’t help but bitch about their situation. I think that there is always something negative in life to rant about, and I can’t figure out why people invest so much of themselves in this pessimism. People complain far too much about the gender roles, small cultural differences, animal treatment, personal hygiene and numerous other typical, life issues. I would hate for Georgians to think of us as spoiled, pompous brats, but perhaps that is far too often the case. Whatever… I am doing my best to be a kargi bitchi (good boy) and represent Americans well, so take pride in knowing that much.
I haven’t updated the blog in a while, so I feet like delving into a couple of my experiences here in Georgia and relating them to my lifestyle. I truly hate indulging humanity’s narcissism by blogging, but I am who I am and maybe someone wants to read about it (I am stoked about getting to 1000 views. Although I thought people stopped reading completely because no one bothers to comment anymore.) The first experience, tutoring Dato, the Ambassador’s son, fell into my lap, and I am very lucky to be doing it. Although I am only making $30/week, I get to experience true Georgian hospitality and spend time with people that love knowledge, culture and life. They always feed me whether or not I am hungry, have dinner plans or try to refuse (which is nice because I think my host family has basically stopped making me food). Although I can’t help but think they just want to extend the English lesson and keep me there longer, I truly feel wanted in their home. The ambassador recently showed me his music collection (which contained every Abba production of all time, 80’s rock, classic opera, national Georgian music and far, far more), talked to me about international cinema and explained to me his zest for life, love and culture. I know that we have cultured Americans, but it is amazing how much we are consumed with ourselves. This is true in politics, cinema, language, sports, and even travel (only 4% of Americans have a passport). I love America, and I love it even more after travelling some and seeing the world; however, I want my family, both present and future, to appreciate the beauty the world offers. I don’t know… that is just how I feel, haha.
That actually creates a nice segue to my next topic: Tata’s family. These people are crazy awesome, and I learn so much about life and happiness every time I am there. The love of music in that family is so deep and wonderful. Whether they are playing music together, randomly bursting into song or playing/singing themselves, there is constantly some sort of musical expression. I grew up in a family that has a very practical, pragmatic and analytical train of thought. While I will always be this way and I greatly value the work ethic and perspective my family has instilled, I have come to value and respect music and the lifestyle they live. Sure, pragmatism and the arts can exist together, but I am just saying they don’t and shouldn’t always go hand-in-hand. I think my analytical thought process causes me to be constantly worried about my public perception and trying to avoid shame if at all possible. Now I know my friends will say that I often fail miserably at such endeavors, but I hate embarrassing myself and shame is a powerful factor in my life. The musical lifestyle at Tata’s allows unique individual expression that removes this fear, and I am jealous. Many people are surely aware of this phenomenon already, but it is something that I happened to realize for myself here in Georgia.
In other news, I was not admitted to UMKC medical school, but placed on the alternate list instead. That was sucky news, so I will have to figure out my plan for that. I still might get in, but who knows? Also, I am sick and have been for a couple days, but it is only a cold and I hope to be over it soon. We also got paid this week which was nice. It is cool to do something like this and actually come out making money. And I might be doing some travelling around Georgia here soon, but nothing has been decided as of yet. I feel like I have been here forever, but it has only been 1 month. I still have 2 more to go! They’ll be good. I am sure of it. I have been tagged in some pictures on facebook if you want to do some stalking. Hopefully I will have my computer up and running this week, and then I can upload some pictures of my own. Get excited for that.
I miss you guys back home. I hope you are having as much fun as I am, but I doubt you are.