I apologize in advance for no photos with this post. I recognize photos are more fun than text, but I haven’t done a lot of picture taking since I got to Kutaisi. I promise to remedy that in the near future.
So, I’ve now been at my site for about two and a half weeks. Judging by the concerned responses I got from friends after my last post, I’m thinking it may have been a bit depressing. But rest assured, things are looking up. No, I’m not suddenly able to communicate with everyone in my office, but I’m not invisible anymore. I’ve actually been doing useful things for my coworkers like editing translations, drafting brochures in English, and reviewing various marketing materials. It is kind of a relief to learn that I do actually know something about this stuff after working for a decade in that area. I was a little surprised. But, Deb Maddow, you will probably not be surprised to read that, whether in the states or in Georgia, I still avoid writing copy like nobody’s business! That is one task I cannot complete without a deadline. Ugh. I’m hoping that in the future, I’ll just give guidance on how the copy should be written. Because, really, they need to be developing those skills themselves, right?! I’m here to impart my knowledge, not do it for them. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Drudgery aside, I am feeling much better at work and actually feeling like I will have something of value to share here. It is amazing the positive impact that a little confidence and feeling of value can have on one’s perspective. In addition to having a better appreciation of the depth of knowledge I’ve acquired in my fields of expertise (that phrase is used VERY loosely), I’ve also begun to understand more about what I need personally in my work environment. And I’m starting to nurture a few fledgling ideas for after I leave here (I am aware I just got here!). These Ideas are far more entrepreneurial than anything I’ve done in my past life. Kind of excited about them.
Outside of work, all is well. I think life here will be very busy. In September, I will start running some English clubs. Hopefully next week I start studying Georgian again. I’ll be meeting with a tutor twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. I’m excited to get back to it, because not being able to communicate with people gets old pretty quickly. It is a frustration you just get used to though. I laugh a lot at my futile efforts to communicate even slightly complicated messages. It is the only thing you can do. And sometimes you can bond over the hopelessness of communicating effectively. At the moment, that is the nature of my relationship with my host family. And that’s okay.
I lied earlier. I have taken some photos since I’ve been in Kutaisi. My host family attends church in a town a bit outside of the city called Martvili. Their church was built in the 13th Century. I was super impressed until someone pointed out they are all that old here. Anyway, I took some beautiful photos there which I will share when I have some time. That same weekend I also took a daytrip to Batumi with a bunch of PCVs, but sadly my camera was dead. But I’m headed there again this weekend with my host family and hope to get some great photos. Batumi is a resort city on the Black Sea. The Georgian government has invested a lot in the city over the last 10 years. I wish they would invest in some sand for their beach! Rocks are not fun, even if they are rounded. Other hoped for travels include a possible camping trip next weekend to Khevsureti, a beautiful mountainous region in the northeastern part of Georgia; maybe an overnight weekend trip to Batumi before the season is over; and hopefully a September camping trip to a lake in the Racha region, also an incredibly beautiful mountainous region. Oh, and I need to get back to Khashuri to visit my PST host family. Wooh! That’s a lot of travel! But soon enough, the colder weather will be here and I may hibernate. So, it seems now is the time!