Spending 10 days in a warm hotel in Tbilisi did absolutely nothing to prepare me for moving to Rustavi. Looking at the statistics, this is the third largest city in Georgia, so I was not prepared for as many changes as those moving to villages. I was wrong. I live in an apartment with my host family, but they do not speak English. There is a line between knowing some English words and understanding even the most basic of statements. My family, sweet as they are, has not crossed that line. It is so frustrating and so lonely when you can’t talk to anyone face to face! And it has only been 2 days! We also lost power four times yesterday and water twice, so that is something new. I am lucky enough to have Internet on the family computer, but I’m hoping to get wifi soon for Skyping, my schoolwork, and to take to school with me. (There is none there, and I can buy a portable hotspot.)
Today was my first day as a teacher, and I am excited to continue! I read aloud too fast (NO surprise there) and I was exhausted after only four classes, but I know that will get better. Some teachers seem excited to work with me, others ignore me a bit, but i’m sure we will all find a rhythm. (I am trying incredibly hard to be positive because the alternative is complete despair.) Compared to most, I am spoiled–my school has heat, windows, printers and copiers. Please be praying for all of us, and especially my friends in the remote villages, as we try to acclimate.
**To put it in perspective, one of my friends walked 40 minutes today to the closest city for internet. And Hannah has an outdoor toilet that is guarded by a vicious dog–she has to have an escort every time!
As Andrew would say, I’m learning Georgian through complete submersion. It’s an adventure!!