Friday, December 21, 2007

Lanchkhuti Language Concert, err, Competition

My school again hosted the Lanchkhuti Language Competition last weekend. Eighty-five students from all of the Lanchkhuti and surrounding village schools competed in English, French, German, and Russian. Ten PCVs came to help out and judge the English competition (except Heidi who judged German, which was apparently disastrously disorganized. Sorry Heidi.). Three age groups of kids competed first by writing on a topic and then in interviews. The competition went really smoothly and was a lot of fun. I didn’t judge so there would be no controversy over the winners, so I spent most of the morning shooing kids away from the interview room doors, or threatening them not to tell what was in the interview to their friends.

6th and 7th formers writing "themes" at the competition.

Announcing the winners of the competitions, one on which was my host sister Ana standing beside me.
The actual competition is great and all but, let’s be honest, that’s not really what it’s all about. It’s all about the concert afterwards!! We all sat waiting for over an hour for the concert to begin because (of course) we had no electricity and the generator wasn’t working. So we had to wait for someone to bring another generator—then it was showtime. There were a few Georgian songs and dances, but the concert was mostly in English. There was “Let It Be”, “Everything I Do I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams (don’t pretend not to know the words), “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, and some obscure and recent Diana Ross song called “Everytime You Touch Me I Become A Hero” (whatever that means), sung by an 11 year old. But sung quite well.

5th form girls singing "Jingle Bells," Georgia's one Christmas song.
The grand finale though, before the power went out again and everyone just gave up, was a dance solo by an 8 year old. Not a Georgian dance though. The best name I can think of for it is a dirty cheerleader dance. In my shocked counterpart’s words, “it was not very proper.” There was lots of booty shaking and thrusting and rolling and even a short stint on the floor. It was kind of horrifying. I had to assure my director who came (and brought awesome prizes for the kids) that I have not been spending my time here teaching dirty dancing to 8 year old girls. Other than that, everything went great!

A riveting short performance of "The Prince And the Pauper."
As most of you know I’m leaving for Paris in a few days! I’m so excited and feel so blessed that I get to be there for Christmas and New Year’s. And though I know that no one will believe this, I still wish I were going home for the holidays. But since I can’t be home, Paris is a PRETTY GOOD alternative! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s to everyone back home, can’t wait to tell you all about Paris!