Mexican Supras Galore
Some people get it and some people don’t… The crazy cravings for Mexican, Chinese, or basically any international food besides Georgian. The past two weeks is going to sound more like a food journal than a life update, but here it goes!
Two weeks ago, I attended a Peace Corps sponsored project design and management conference in Bazaleti, which is super close to Tbilisi, with my counterpart is also super fresh to GYRC. He recently moved back to Ozurgeti form Tbilisi only three months before I came. First, we took the 6-hour bus ride (vs. 5 hours in a marsh where you are more likely to be sitting on someone’s lap and have less space for all of your bags… hence the bus). Once in Tbilisi, we stopped at McD’s to meet a friend. Crazy after last post to see me at Mac-ers, but their fresh-brewed, drip coffee is like a unicorn here in Georgia – rare and/or imaginary. This is an instant or Turkish coffee nation.
Part of the conference group
Vanna White poses
We don't waste time or $ in Oz - NGO conference plan 2013
End of the conference showcase
Putting the future of Oz on our shoulders... Prepare yourselves
In Bazaleti, we spent two days figuring out the socio-economic situation in Oz, brainstorming solutions to problems that surfaced, picking a project, and finally putting all the pieces together to form a project plan. My counterpart decided that we understand each other well enough after working alone together all of August, so we didn’t need a translator. Say what? My baby Georgian can get along with basic conversations like, “No, I’m not married and don’t want children yet” or “how much is that khatchapuri (cheese bread) or all of them lying on that shelf.” Those conversations, I’m a pro at. Debating the strengths and weaknesses in my community, the goals and objectives of our project, and creating a fully functional project plan – hmmm, maybe a little adventurous for FIVE months of studying. We powered through though with charades galore and a few wrinkles added to both our faces.
Post conference, I was able to explore Tbilisi and by that I mean Carrefour, the shinning beacon of light and avocados located in Tbilisi Mall. There, I purchased survival supplies like nutella and cereal bars. After the mall excursion, we (and by that I mean chef Betsy) whipped up some insanely scrumptious guacamole. You’re mouth should probably be watering if it isn’t by now. The guacamole was that good. I also had a date with my Georgian boy Gegi. He’s quite the flirt and all of three years old. He’s my tutor’s grandson that was in Oz for the summer, so it was wonderful to see him and his mom again in Tbilisi! The rest of my Tbilisi time was filled with gvino, Thai food, and seeing other PC folks that live what feels like thousands of miles away in the eastern part of Georgia. I told you this is more of a food diary than life update.
Tbilisi at night
Show case that eastern Georgian pride
Carrefour - Just makes everyone feel the love
GUAC - much thanks chef Betsy
Mexican Supra begins
This past weekend, I stuck around in Oz. I successfully slept double digit hours both nights, discovered the Hollywood of Guria, and practiced soccer with the next Georgian Messi (aka my host brother). On Sunday night, Nona and I did another cooking experiment, where we concocted our own handmade tortillas, chicken and bean mix, fresh salsa, and gin & tonics. One of the best Mexican surpas of my life!
Selfie of Sandro, Minnie, and I
"Big Love" - Sandro and Minnie
Hollywood of Guria
Ran an hour to discover the hollywood of Guria
Nona and I showcasing our burritos
Then, this week, I started taking Georgian dance classes with one of my colleagues. She absolutely rocks at Georgian dance, so I’ve been trying to keep up with my poor hand-to-eye coordination. Here’s a snip-it of what full fledged dance in saqartvelo looks like:
Tomorrow, I’m gearing up to go meet my Parisian friend Audrey in Batumi. She’s making the trek from London to go on a week-long marshutka excursion of western Georgia. Literally, I cannot wait for Friday to come and to see her face in this Georgia! More updates in the next post of our adventures here, there, and in Mestia.