Written by Frederik
After two weeks of us in Georgia, it might be time to fill this fancy blog with some content, eh? This time I, Frederik, have the honor of writing about what happened in the past two weeks.
It all began with the landing at Tbilisi Airport. Well, actually it began earlier. I have been taking a direct flight from Prague and as a result of that, I had to cross the black sea. As I looked out of the window, it was all blue below me, but then on the horizon I saw them: the giant mountains of the Caucasus. And then – all of sudden- I was no longer over the black sea, I was in Georgia.
After meeting with my flatmates Daša and Damián, both from Slovakia, I went to bed early, as the next day promised to be exiting. Aleks, our supervisor, gave us an introduction about our future life and work in Georgia. Then we had a tour through the Scout Centre and met all the staff working there. The afternoon we spent on our own exploring the neighborhood and getting in touch with the Georgian practicalities of shopping. The next day we met our neighbors, two other volunteers. Aira from Estonia and Jessica from France. They work at an initiative called “Georgian Youth for Europe” in short GYE, and the Scout Center does joint projects with them often. I the evening it was time for a more casual atmosphere, were Aleks invited us to a traditional Georgian feast, a “Supra”. He brought home made wine and we tried all kinds of Georgian dishes. It was insanely tasteful and fun!
On Friday we met with Tea (yes, that’s a name), our project coordinator and discussed what our tasks for September and October would be. We are going to help out in the Scout Centre, write Erasmus+ projects and do our own clubs. We are mostly offering language clubs which are for English, German and Italian.
Next day all of us went to Tbilisi. And I am not lying if I tell you all that it is a super beautiful city. Even though more than a million people live there, you never lose the feeling of a small city on the hillside. We saw the “mother of Georgia”, a giant statue overseeing the city and also went to a museum with contemporary art from China. It was free! In the evening we went to try out Khinkali, a national Georgian dish. Khinkali are dumplings filled usually with meat, and they are rather tricky to eat properly! Later that evening we went out with some of Airas Georgian friends who she had met on an earlier youth exchange in Estonia. The Sunday we spent mostly as a lazy day.
The new week was then again full with new things. We first finished making our schedule for September and October at the ISCR, and then joined a group of Belgian Scouts who were doing a youth exchange in Georgia. Together we went to Tbilisi again and had a city game there. In the evening Daša and I stuck around and connected with the Belgians, and also learned a few Georgian and Belgian drinking games.
Next morning all five of us volunteers went with the Georgians and Belgians to Pona, where the Georgian scouts had some sort of permanent camp. The next days we did a lot of intercultural activities and also went on a hike to a beautiful waterfall together. These activities included group games, presentations about scouting in our countries and cultural evenings where local food and drinks from both Belgium and Georgia were presented. At times it was a bit slow, but that was mostly due to the heat which was more than 30°C every day! We drove back to Rustavi on Friday evening, and the next morning we started a three hour drive to Khazbegi, a small village in the middle of the Caucasus Mountains. We hiked up a steep hill, which was very exhausting, but the view we hat at the top was just gorgeous and worth all effort. I am going to attach some pictures to this post so you can see also. The evening we had another Supra in Tbilisi, time in a more touristic place than before. On the downside, it was very crowded and loud, on the upside we got to see some Georgian traditional dances. The night went on to be very fun, and again we needed the Sunday to rest and recover from that.