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It’s been a busy few months–a future post will shed some light as to why.  Likewise, July has been a rather eventful month in Georgia’s political arena: Eduard Shevardnadze passed away, Davit Narmania was elected mayor of Tbilisi, and the cabinet was reshuffled.  I’ve also made cameos on a few other blogs–my friend Julia came to Tbilisi, and I chatted with one of my former professors about life in the suburbs.

It’s spring here in Tbilisi, or as Sabrina and I like to call it: Barambo season!  We’ve been discussing it, and we’ve decided that some serious scientific research is in order.  We will be sampling Tbilisi ice creams, and reporting back to you on our findings.  Let us know if there’s an establishment we need to check out–we’ll start this project soon.  Watch both of our blogs for updates.

I’m also glad to announce that yesterday I bought myself a new purse-sized point and shoot camera, which will hopefully remedy the sad lack of pictures on the blog of late.  Now that the weather is nicer, there’s also much more incentive to leave my apartment and do blog-worthy things.

Thanks for sticking with me through the winter doldrums.


გილოცავთ ახალ წელს!

Happy New Year from Tbilisi, readers!  I spent last night with friends on Pushkin Street where we were surrounded by fireworks from all sides, including the next-door neighbors (whose aim left something to be desired), and the reflections of fireworks behind us in the black glass windows of the casino across the street.

2012 has been a big year for me–living in Georgia and working a “real job” in a foreign country.  I’ve learned a lot this year, and made some really wonderful friends in Georgia. I left my school in Kakheti and moved into the big city, left the security of a host family and rented an apartment, and had a series of lovely visitors, culminating with a Christmas visit from my parents.  I’m staying in Georgia for (at least part of) 2013, and am moving on even more–I’ve accepted a (sort-of) new teaching position, and am working on finalizing another position more in line with my education and career aspirations.

…but remember, nothing is for sure in Georgia until it’s over, so stick with me (and the blog) and see what 2013 in Georgia brings.

All the best,

I’m back in Georgia!  It’s been a busy few weeks–in addition to my travel, some things have not been going as I hoped and friends have been coming and going left and right.  Being busy, coupled with the heat sapping my energy and a desire to avoid venting my troubles in public have led me to take a slightly longer-than-planned break from the blog.  No need to fear, though, I’m back now!  And despite the bumps in the road, it is great to be back!  I’ve been able to spend some time with friends through their comings and goings; lobiani and Borjomi water are once again easily accessible; Tbilisi is alive with energy, and I’m working on some rewarding projects.

You’ll be hearing from me again soon.

Dear All,

I’m heading back to the US for my summer vacation in a few hours.  This may mean some changes around the blog–I may post less frequently, and the nature of the posts will be a little further removed from life in Georgia.  Never fear, I’ll be back in August.

I’ll be gazing upon some different mountains on my vacation…

Before I head out, here’s a brief summary of what I’m looking forward to in America, and what I’ll miss about Georgia while I’m gone.  These are all entirely my opinion, and are by no means a reflection of the superiority of one country over the other.

Things I’m looking forward to: Seeing my family and friends (in particular, attending a college friend’s wedding), Mexican food, sipping wine with a meal rather than drinking it on toasts,being able to run errands in my car,  having access to loads of English books through my local public library.

Things I’ll miss: fruit season in Georgia (the peaches!  the cherries!), the variety of tasty juices at the corner store, the low price of my “running errands lunch”: a lobiani, a Barambo ice cream, and a bottle of Borjomi, easy public transportation, the wonderful weather we’ve had of late, my friends and host family.

In another “end of the school year” vein, farewell to my good friends Jared, Marieka, and Heather who won’t be back in fall–it won’t be the same without you guys!


Here is your post letting you know that I’m safe and unaffected by Sunday’s flooding.  🙂

The worst has been on either side of me—to the West in Tbilisi and to the East in the far-Eastern regions of Kakheti.  Saturday and Sunday’s rain only disrupted my laundry plans (and perhaps partially contributed to my bruised right side from tripping and falling…).  Today (Monday), we had some strong rain and crazy hail.  (Keep in mind that I’m a Midwesterner, so I do have some experience of rain and hail).  The hail was nearly golf-ball-sized, and my host brother had to go and venture into the storm to dig out the drains.  The rain has stopped now, though, and things are back to normal.  If I manage to get the photos from his camera, I might be able to share some crazy weather photos in the future.

Hope everyone else is safe and dry!

Though I’ve had plenty of great ideas for posts lately, the internet has been out since Monday (it’s obviously back now).  Since I live with two other internet fanatics, we’ve got quite the backlog to work through.  Don’t worry–I’m just enjoying the beautiful spring weather, and will be providing you with entertainment again soon!

Greetings from my lovely new home in Eastern Georgia!  Sorry for the long absence—most of my internet access is through a shared computer, and I don’t want to monopolize the computer by blogging.  I’m working on a new system to keep the updates coming!  🙂

As I’ve mentioned before, when I chose to return to Georgia, I decided to collect as many books as I could to bring with me.  As research, I stopped by my local public library and chatted with the Children’s and YA Librarians about what books they thought might be appropriate for my future students.  They were incredibly helpful and allowed me to branch out beyond my preferences for spunky pioneer girls and vampires to find books that will appeal to a broader range of interests.  The YA librarian kept her discards for me for a few weeks and let me sort through and take the ones I thought would be suitable, so I now have two piles of books for my students (and I’ll get to read them, too)!

So, the moral of the story is, support your public libraries; they’re a great resource for the community and they might just support you some day.

Since I have some time before I leave for Georgia, I decided to use this time to gather books to bring with me.  From my previous travels, I know that Tbilisi has a fantastic English-language bookshop in Prospero’s Books, but I don’t know where in the country I’ll be living, and English-language books are expensive.  I asked for donations from a number of bookstores, and The Wooster Book Company came through for me.  Not only did they send me a box of books, but their taste was exquisite–there were books by some of my favorite YA authors, some classics I’ve been meaning to read, new discoveries I’ve never heard of but look fantastic, and books about the area where I grew up.

Wooster Book was the independent bookstore that I grew up with, and their store is, to me, exactly what a bookstore should be–light and airy with friendly staff and fantastic recommendations, an extensive selection of books and a willingness to track down what they don’t have in stock, coffee available, kitties roaming the store, and in the children’s section they have a stuffed dragon that kids can sit on and read (my parents would never buy me that dragon.  ::sniff::). They are also, I have just learned, the largest independent bookstore in the state (Check out this article about the store).

I urge any of you who can to stop by Wooster Book and make a purchase, or order one of the titles they publish.  They are a great store with great people!

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