All over the last 2 years in school so many people asked us: "What will you do after school?" and every time I didn't really know what to answer. Others just said: "Oh, I want to study medicine" or "I want to go to the police". Somehow everybody except me seemed to know what they wanted to do in their future. But then I found out about the European Solidarity Corps and decided to apply. So now I knew what I wanted to do, the only problem was that I didn't know whether any organisation would take me for their projects. So people kept on asking "Did they already answer you?" and every time it was either a "No, sorry" or no answer at all until my coordinator at my sending organisation suggested to ask their partner organisation in Georgia. I agreed, but I didn't really have much hope because so many other organisations already said no. Fortunately they were willing to take me and we could apply to the National Agency with our project. But then again it was waiting for what felt like ages if I could really go to Georgia in September or not. At school all the others were talking about our last exams and to which university they sent their applications and in which city they would live after receiving our graduation certificates and how they are already going to preparation courses for their studies...and me? I still waited for a "yes" or a "no" from the National Agency.
So on the first of August I finally got green light from them and my preparations started...quite quickly because I only had 1 month left. That meant 1 month for arranging all the formal things for the year abroad, packing my suitcase...which took quite a long time because I changed my mind on what to take with me like every 3 hours...but also 1 month for saying goodbye to my old life...to waking up in the morning and knowing that school will start in an hour, to going to Basketball practice every Wednesday and Friday and the games on the weekends, to my friends who I will not see the whole next year because they stay in Germany to study or go abroad as well and most importantly to my family. I had 1 month to say goodbye to my greatgrandma, my grandpa, my grandma who I visited every week, my sisters who already moved out a few years ago, so I did not see them very often already and to my parents who did everything for me in the last 18 years and supported me however they could. It felt like saying goodbye to everything I knew and loved.
But on the other hand it was also saying hello to a new country, a new culture, new experiences, new chances to grow and a new start. That's why I was really excited to come to Georgia despite the fact of leaving all the previous mentioned things and people behind for 1 year...and some of my friends seemed to forget as well that there are still telephones and internet here and that I will be back...;)
When arriving at the airport 3 people came to pick me up which already surprised me, but I was happy about it in the first place. So I got into the backseat of the red car and put my seatbelt on. The first new thing for me: you dont have to put your seatbelt on if you're not sitting in the front. In the following days I discovered so many unknown things...the streets of Rustavi, taking the Marshrutka, which is always kind of challenging because you have to try not to fall over and land on somebody else's lap every time you want to sit down or get out^^, tasting Khachapuri and Lobiani,...
After a week of getting used to the great weather, the tasty food and not understanding anything when people tried to talk to me in Georgian or Russian I went to the On-Arrival-Training in Kobuleti with my 2 roommates from Lithuania. That was 5 days of meeting new people, learning about Georgian culture, talking about our projects and after spending one afternoon in Batumi we had our first Supra. That's basically eating a ton of food, drinking wine whenever the Tamada (toastmaster) raises a toast and then go on eating even more food and then drink some more wine. I fully enjoyed the food-part but to the wine-part I will have to get used to because I don't like wine that much, even though I have to admit that the Georgian wine I tasted so far is really better than the one we had at home...but it's still wine. Our trip back to Rustavi in the middle of the night on Monday was very adventurous, so we were very glad when we finally lay in our beds back at the Scout Centre.
In the following days I planned my future tasks like German lessons at a school in New Rustavi or the new Eco-garden for the Scout Centre that we will prepare. Additionally the girls and me moved to a nice flat at the other end of Old Rustavi where we will live for a few weeks until we move in with the other volunteers.
Last Wednesday we went to the house of Aleks' uncle to pick grapes for making wine. I think I never saw so many grapes at once before in my life. That's why it was no surprise that it took us a very long time to finish but thanks to Uncle Gia who let us taste some really good cognac we didn't lose too much motivation. After picking all the grapes and taking pictures as proof that we were there and worked we had homemade Khachapuri which was reaaaally good and we tasted the wine made from the grapes the volunteers of the previous year picked. To complete the day we had a Supra in the evening in a restaurant in New Rustavi.
So that was a lot of new things and I didn't even mention everything that happened in my past month here because then I would still write tomorrow. Every day is just a new adventure and I think it will stay like this for a little while longer.