"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Deal with Summer

So a couple of comments on my previous post reminded me that I needed to update y'alls on that whole too-good-to-be-true Summer Camp situation.  In what is becoming an all-too-familiar tale, it looks as though there was a breakdown in communication between my recruiting company and the teaching program here in Georgia.  That over-the-moon email that I so enthusiastically quoted prety much has nothing in common with the actual Summer Camp Reality, which includes -- among other things -- my sleeping in a four-person room, on a bunk bed.  Um, Ahem.  Bunk beds are for children who don't know any better, and for prisoners.  I am 31 very grouchy years old.  And while I may have very little control over my daily routine thanks to a lovely host family and an enthusiastic school, I still consider myself a free agent.  And this free agent came to Georgia on a contract that specified accomodations that were definitely not bunk beds.

I ain't goin'.

And it turns out that very probably, I won't have to.  Because there are also significantly fewer Summer Camp slots than there are volunteers.  Which means they're not especially pushing or demanding that volunteers step up.  Also the camps are only for two or three-week slots -- nothing like the whole summer, and located far from Poti, so I'd be leaving the majority of my stuff here, with my host family.  Awkward...  So, long story short, looks like the Camp Dream is a bust.  If something looks too good to be true, it probably is... Someday, maybe I will learn that lesson.

Instead, for the summer I may look to organize a summer school session with my school here in Poti.  But the summer is one very short month away, and nothing has been done other than "That would be a good idea."  I'm still too new and green to really feel comfortable taking the lead on something like this solo.  And, my school is literally a shell.  There is not a television or a CD or DVD player to be had as far as I can tell, and I'd want our sessions to be something resembling fun.  I do have my laptop and iPod, of course... but somehow I kind of don't see this happening.  If I manage to somehow get a kind of rapport with a few students, maybe we could do something here at the house, up in what is my host family's third sitting room -- huge, and 100% unsused, at least that I've seen.  But always the language barrier makes even simple things hard to communicate, and I would feel really wrong even proposing such a thing, especially this soon into our relationship.

The crux of all this is that I apparently have a lot of free time this summer.  In the meantime, though, I am teaching in my regular Poti school.  School will run until June 20, and pick up again September 15.  The Program will keep paying us through the summer apparently, which is really great because with all these days to fill, I can see myself blowing through my savings pretty damn quickly.  I would love to travel somewhere international before September, as I mentioned in my last post, but I've never exactly been a budget traveler before now.  I think I'm going to have to learn some new things here.  Istanbul hostel, here I come?


  1. A former coworker of mine wrote a book on spontaneous tourism that you might enjoy - it turns out there's a copy in electronic format, probably illegally uploaded, but c'est la vie.

    Spontaneous Tourism

  2. You can totally do a 'summer class' and it doesn't have to be anything that resembles what a 'class' is 'supposed' to be! Anything that encourages kids to get together and ask questions, or directed 'self-learning' can count as a 'class.'

    That probably all sounds strange, but (if you can) read up on Montessori, and Sudbury and maybe something will strike you.

    Also...how long does it take to ship things to Georgia? Maybe someone back in the States can thrift up some electronics? (although, I guess that would be nightmarish to ship...)

  3. Oh! Try Air BnB, my friends swear by it. A good alternative to hostels.

  4. Thanks you two! And Chris -- I have yet to see a mailbox or a mail truck in Poti. I still don't know my address. :) There are no street signs. I think... shipping things over is going to be dicey at best.