Friday, October 12, 2007

It’s mid-October, which means that school’s been back in session for a month now. My school joined this year with two nearby schools, and the results so far have been slightly chaotic. By chaotic, I mean that my classroom has been broken into twice, one kid has been beaten up, and a kid spit spitballs at and harassed the Peace Corps Inspector General visiting my site, to my extreme mortification (don’t worry, he got his comeuppance). THAT SAID, I’m glad to be back working and teaching regularly (I am! Really!). My teachers have shown a lot more creativity in lesson planning so far this year, we’ve had some pretty interesting class discussions already about the future of Georgia, and my 11th formers even wrote some pretty good haikus.
You may (or may not) be wondering how, after my adventures with the nuns, I spent the rest of my summer. So here was my summer, in pictures…

I was lucky enough to be invited to GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) camp for one night. As you may have guessed, it’s a leadership camp for teenage girls, and it’s been a big success in Georgia. I got to paint thank-you notes to donors, witness a talent show, read year-old Vogues, and dance awkwardly at the discotechi! It was fun!

The GLOW girls and the "Thank You Donors!" banner.
I spent a really fun weekend in Batumi with Ryan, Lyssa, Seth, Nicholas, and two of Nicholas’ friends visiting from the states. We narrowly escaped sure-doom at the scariest hotel (hopefully) to ever be suggested in Lonely Planet, but other than that it was a great weekend.

The beach at Sarpi, right on the Turkish border. It's the cleanest, most beautiful beach in Georgia.

Sarpi, again.

Sure, we got some strange looks from the little kids on the choo-choo, but who says a group of 20-somethings can't ride the kiddie train?

On the Batumi ferris wheel, in one last futile attempt at taking a nice picture together. As you can see, it didn't work out.

SELF Camp (formerly known as Girl’s Sports Camp)
I was a counselor at another girls’ summer camp, SELF (Self Esteem and Leadership through Sports) camp, for 4 days in the Black Sea coast town of Kobuleti. We taught all kinds of fun exercises and sports, as well as healthy eating/lifestyle type stuff. There were AWESOME guest speakers, some female doctors and a woman who plays soccer for the Georgian national team and has played all over Europe (first question the girls asked? “Are you married?” GRRR!). It was a really successful, smooth camp and more exercise in those 4 days than I’ve had in the past year in Georgia.

Morning exercises on the beach. Don't they look thrilled?

Some forced post-soccer game sportsmanship.

Kazbegi is a village in the mountain regions north of Tbilisi, and one of the biggest tourist draws in Georgia. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The church and Mt. Kazbek

Mt. Kazbek and the village below.

The church and me. The cars in the background kinda ruin the "ancient church and village nestled in the mountains" scene though.