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

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's been goin' on.

"The season is over," Georgians keep telling me, in varying degrees of sadness and wistful regret.  And to all appearances, they are right.  September has arrived, and right on cue, the hot muggy summer disapeared, to be replaced with storms and sudden dounpours, cool grey drizzly days with cooler nights, and reward our stocism with the occasional perfect blue sky.  Of course, today has been a day spent on my bed with my laptop on my legs, finishing up reports and such for my police work, completing another TEFL unit, and -- once the internet finally started working again (out for two days!), catching up on email, uploading photos, and now this.  Hey, I keep you folks in mind. :)So, it looks like the days of lazy summer afternoons at Ureki, Grigoleti and Malatqva might have drawn to a close.  This beautiful fall weather (yes, even the rain) is a pretty blessed change from the awful heat, although such an extreme weather change has me worried that winter really might not be too far away now though!

Well, here's some cool stuff that's been happening lately.

Last Thursday, my very excellent friend Patrick marshrutkaed into Poti for the afternoon.  He was in our intake group and had been posted in Tsalenjikha, a village about half an hour outside of Zugdidi.  WAY too short of a visit, but Julie and I took him out to the Beach Bar so he could at least get a glimpse of the Black Sea.  It was really good to see him, and apparently Tsalenjikha is quite beautiful, so I can add that to my list of places to see!

Me, Patrick, and Julie and the Beach Bar
Back on the farm, the host family and I continue to get along like a house on fire.  Thursday night, Nana and Nata made these pretty, yummy things, a kind of Georgian pudding made, of course, from wine.

Nata, Nana, and Izo, making pretty patterns out of red and white.
Touched by Nata's artistry
On Friday, I came back from a quiet dinner and couple of beers with Julie, only to find my family out in front of the house again, living it up.  I of course got called to join them, and the beer never stopped flowing.  We played checkers (Georgian checkers is weird), and some of the dudes played Nardi, which is Georgian backgammon.  They take Nardi pretty seriously, let me tell you.  Even when it started pouring, we just moved under the porch and kept going.  I said goodnight, FINALLY, at around 1:00.  Apparently the guys went until 4 AM or so.  I'm not used to being the one who goes home early from a party!

Nardi tournament
I am very proud of my little orange flower.
Just hangin' out with the dudes...
And... another day, another supra... on Saturday, I got back from running some errands at the Bazari to find my kitchen filled with men, food, and wine.  This is the life some people dream of! :)  More and more dudes just kept filtering through the door, and we gaumarjosed nonstop for four hours.  Actually, they gaumarjosed a lot longer than that, but I excused myself at 11:30, because I was beat.

Men standing up to Gaumarjos.
Ucha, me, and another dude (you can just see his stomach) in a triple Vakhtanguri.
Sunday was pretty quiet, for a change.

Yesterday, Nana made this incredible birthday cake for a neighborhood girl, and then one smaller one for us just for the heck of it.

Nana and Anna
The grapes are from the family's vineyard!

Later on, I met Julie and Mustafa for good food and beers at Oscar's.  Julie is heading to Tbilisi for a few days... before we head off on another truly amazing adventure.  (Stay tuned!  More blog to follow!)  Then I walked home through the cool and quiet night to be greeted by Ucha and company outside the house, who had beer and a pot of kinkhali.

Safe to say that the homesickness and discontent I was feeling about a month ago has dissolved into so much ether.  I'm back to feeling more like I should feel -- that I am one of the luckiest girls in the world to have these people and these experiences.  And there is lots to look forward to on the horizon as well...

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