Grants R’ Us


Today, I officially found out that in one month, I had 3 grants funded! Say what’s a grant? Well, as Community Economic Development Peace Corps Volunteers, grants basically bring fear into the heart of most (or maybe that’s just me). Each grant requires hours of tireless labor, eyes that stop focusing from way too much computer screen time, and the terrible… Goals & Objectives section. Luckily, funded grants mean much more – opportunity, a chance to impact your community, and in this case, a legit ceiling that’s not about to cave in!

So which projects got funded, here you go interested readers: Continue reading

Shaori Lake and Big Macs


Welcome back to the Saqartvelo (Georgia in Georgian) updates. I realize I’ve been slightly sketchy with the relevant news here in the Land of Wine. (Side not: yes, Georgia is historically the first country to produce gvino aka wine in Georgian. You can thank them later for that life changing innovation.) So with no further ado, here’s the latest life update of camping at Shaori Lake: Continue reading

Swearing in and the New Job


It’s officially August and I still can’t believe the G13 group passed the three-month mark here in Georgia! Only three weeks out from swearing in and most of us are still pretty bright eyed but the G12s have warned us that feeling only lasts so long… We shall see about my new found relationship with Oz! I’m feeling the positive mojo here so high hopes megobrebo (friends).


Here’s a quick recap of my adventures from swearing in and beyond: Continue reading

A Week of New Happenings in Ozurgeti


How about in four days I:

Monday: I officially found out my placement, organization, and host family situation!

Tuesday: All volunteers traveled to Bazaleti (one hour outside of Tbilisi) for the Director’s conference, where each PCV met their new counterpart either in a school or NGO.

Wednesday: Von (education PCV) and I drove to the other side of the country to be introduced my new host families in Ozurgeti. Last night, I met my new host mom, dad, brother (8 years old), and sister (12 years old). My new host mom speaks fluent Russian and used to be a Pediatrician, so I’m hoping she can teach me a few key phrases and words before I bounce around to other parts of Georgia and Eastern Europe!

Thursday: My directors and I toured my new city, Ozurgeti, and the office. I also have plans to meet my fellow volunteers in the Guria region… Big day folks!


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Continue reading

Job Shadowing in Telavi


Every trainee, whether education or business, gets the opportunity to leave their PST (pre-service training) site and job shadow a current volunteer. All the G13s shadowed a current G12 volunteer. I was matched up with Carolyn, who is a former interior designer from Paris, Texas. I found another southern lady in this Georgia, y’all!


The job shadowing process forces trainees to figure out their own transportation to and from the site along coordinating when and where to meet up with their assigned volunteer. Luckily, Aaron, Al, Sarah, and Kirk also had job shadowing assignments in and/or near Telavi, so all five of us figured out how to hop a marshutka to the capital Tbilisi. From there, just Aaron, Al, and I found a taxi to Telavi, since marshutkas don’t run directly to the city center. Continue reading

The Caves of Vardzia


This past Sunday, the Peace Corps gifted the G13 class a chance to go beyond the city limits of Khashuri for a culture trip. After class Saturday ended at 2pm, the option existed either to overnight out-of-pocket or use the 20 Lari given for transport on Sunday. Other rules: (1) only groups of 5-6 trainees, (2) everyone in the group travels together, and (3) to avoid an American convention outside Khashuri, only two groups permitted per site. The PC designated eight different potential destinations with a description of each. Our cluster ended up asking our teacher Gvantsa which was the best locale – Vardzia. Continue reading


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PC Disclaimer:

Jessica Craven works as an Individual and Organizational Development Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia. The contents of this Peace Corps blog are the intellectual property of Jessica Craven and do not reflect the position, opinion, or views of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.