Friday, July 4, 2008

Hey I'm alive living it up in saqartvelo...and i have a picture website which will drastically reduce my need to write about my bizarro life here in georgia. it's a win-win and its another way to perpetuate my laziness.

http://picasaweb.google.com/jessica.c.wallace/Spring08

so there you have it....chock full 'o georgian goodness and a lil peak into my life

Miss yinz over there in 'merica. Hope all is well.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring....sort of


Some of my students after an
english prsentation about the history of chala.
Typical table after a supra


My host sister, neighbor and I in Chiatura, a real town about an hour away


March 8th is international women's day...we had a wild lady supra as evidence of the stovetob dancing













The bridge connecting chala to another village called speti...it collapsed in november and this fine wooden structure has replaced it.




















Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Armenia




So in January I went to Armenia with two of my friends, Ryder and Kelly. We stayed in Yerevan for 3 days. Here are some pictures:

more later on...

The real winter in chala




















Winter in Chala, above is me infront of my school looking dorky. One of the stores in our village and my yard after a day of non-stop snow



My sister and I washing each other's hair...a true bonding experience






Making tacos for the host family...the jury is still out on whether they liked them.

Winter Part 2

I know you have all been waiting on baited breath for this blog entry so I'll get right to it, February is a god awful month anywhere in the world. My village, Chala, has gotten about a total of 2 meters of snow, that'sabout 6 feet for you freedom fry eating, toby keith -listening capitalist pigs who have not discovered the joys of the metric system.Its been a pretty mild winter I have been told as I hastily shove morefirewood into my "pechi" or metal wood burning stove that is in mybedroom. I now have the hands of a 1950s steel worker after severalmishaps with trying to light my pechi, Unfortunately they don't sellthose sweet Dura -flame logs here in Georgia. The pechi is how people in Georgia heat their homes in the winter and you'll find one in everyhouse. My pechi was professionally installed by my neighbor, Mamuka, who took a sledgehammer to my wall to make the hole for the stove pipe, awesome. So when my pechi is not fired up I am hanging with my host family downstairs in the"pechi room." Georgian families spend several HOURS a day in a singlesolitary room together during the winter months, They play cards,knit, watch south american soap operas (big industry here in the postsoviet world) OR wrestle. Yes, wrestle. My host mother and brotheroften have impromptu wrestling matches…oh the joys of culture shock. Ionce was invited to challenge my 14 yr old host sister to a lilwrestling, I declined.What else is going on…I went skiing last month in Bakuriani, one of thetwo skiing towns in Georgia. It was pretty rad. I took a lesson with a man named Igor whose only English consisted of "Ok" and "You are supertalent." I am not a super talent.. Also due to the fact that it was my only exercise in months my entire bodystill hurts. .In other news, I went to Yerevan, in Armenia (No need to pull out the maps,,it's between Georgia and Iran). I am going to be that person who travels to the most random, hole in the wall places and then shamelessly tells uber-pretentious anecdotes about my time there. Yerevan is actually areally great city and CHEAP!!!! It has a strange combo of soviet andmiddle eastern influences so I got to eat some really good Persianfood and there was a falafel stand on ever corner. I also got to take4 hot showers and sleep in a centrally heated building.
In village news….the pipes in the village have frozen so we havent hadwater for about 2 months. Once a week I take the 45min 1970s sovietminibus ride to the town of Sachkhere (goggle map it when you losersare at work/school/home) and go to the "Hygiene House"which is a public bathhouse and for only 3 lari (2 USD) I take a nice30 min hot shower. I have been attending a recent slew of lady supras aka middle aged village women gone wild. A supra is a big wine drinking and meat eating party that can last for half a dozen hours. So anyway I am officially "in"with the neighborhood ladies and often get invited to their supras.Just a quick recap of the last one…my host mother and the 3rd gradeteacher wrestling in the snow, lewd jokes, drinking out of a goat's horn then a bowl then a jug. The lady supra, the Georgian outlet for the housewife. Also, I will be marrying a Georgian man and living the rest of my days in my village…sorry friends, it was good knowing you. A final note, my students still do not know much English, though an 11th grade boy did say, "I am a donkey" in class. It was a true break thru and worthy to a be scene from one of those gritty tough love teacher movies that we all love. I have always thought I resembled michelle phieffer. Well that is all for now.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Winter in Tchala


So big news in tchala is that we got a new roof. My host dad, brother and our handyman neighbors slapped it on in a mere two days. We then had a supra in celebration which lasted 5 hours.




The pictures above are from the christmas concert extravaganza at my school. The boys are from the 3rd form class and the tovelis babua (snow granfather) is from my 11th form class.

These pictures are from my wild new year's eve/day celebration. I think the one with my host dad, sister and grandmother (bebia) sums it up. Yes, they are holding sparklers. As you can see Georgians also decorate a tree but for the New Year instead of Christmas. Christmas here is the 7th of January as people are of the Orthodox faith. They also celebrate the "Old New Year" which is January 15th.

Monday, December 10, 2007