The last blog I ended with the message that I had a lot of work to do. As everyone can see on the dates between this and the last blog, I did not even have time to write a blog for 3 months. This month’s blog will be a little bit longer and I will try to summarize a lot of experiences into one nice big story.
February – Last blog we left at the caynex meeting and the approaching Erasmus+ deadline. Untill the 12th of February everybody in the office focused on their projects and worked until late. This was the first time writing a project for me so it was quite a challenge. After some days of working until late night, pizza for motivation and tears, sweat and blood I managed to submit an application for an youth exchange grant. Fast forward to 3 months later, I found out my project got approved! I will have my first own project in Georgia! It was the best feeling and I am still proud of myself for doing this. After the deadline, the whole office went for a trip to Bakuriani to celebrate the success of submitting the applications and the Caynex birthday! It was snowing super hard, and some decided to go snowboarding/skiing. Me and Michael went exploring everything with the lovely weather around us. Eventually I decided to create a video about the whole experience. I’m still working on it, but I will post it on a future blog! We ended February with a Dutch cultural evening to explore and explain the culture of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to all the people interested. It was a good night with Dutch food, a big presentation, video and even games to play. All in all, one successful month with a lot of work.
March – March started off easy, I started designing all the branding for 2 major projects that Caynex will carry out. This was the first time for me to design actual banners and big branding material, so I got really excited about it and think they turned out great. To see people walking around with a sticker designed by me on their phone gives me an outstanding feeling. After the recommendation of a friend, I decided to print out my photography work that I did those first months in Georgia. Doing this, I noticed how to improve my own photography and it looks amazing to hold the things you create.
Since the whole office was in Poland for a project, me and Michael decided to take a trip to and around Kutaisi. I’ve never been outside of Tbilisi to another big city for exploring instead of a going for a project. This made the trip even more amazing for me, 4 days of exploration, being a tourist and resting. First day in Kutaisi we went around the city and stumbled upon real Georgian hospitality. We were looking at a wine brewery and were deciding if we should buy some wine for the night, when we heard somebody saying something behind us. It was an older Georgian man who invited us into his backyard where 3 of his friends were sitting around a table. They did not speak a word of English and we only knew basic Georgian, but this did not bother anyone though because we understood each other and had some kind of conversation. We got food and self-made wine, and when 2 men started to get a little drunk we all decided to go to bed. This was already an surprising first start of the trip, and got excited for what will happen next. The next day we decided to travel to Tskaltubo, a former spa resort town close to Kutaisi. After the Soviet union fell, this town did not survive so much and a lot of buildings got abandoned which made it a perfect place for Urban Exploring. We went around everywhere and were amazed about how the places looked. We even found some old items which we took back to our house and fixed them up. They are now hanging in our house and everyone always say they look amazing. I decided to film us exploring this place and how we fixed up the items we found, which I also will include in the next blog for you all to see. After going back to Kutaisi and getting some sleep, we decided to go to the next places: Katskhi pillar and Chiatura. Both outstanding places, Katskhi pillar is a big straight up rock with a monastery up top which looks like it could be from the movie Avatar. Chiatura used to be a coal miner town so they had cable cars to go up to the highest points. With my fear of heights I got scared of being in one of the cable cars, but we ended up being in a super old, rusty and (looks like) almost broken down cable car to go up. Not much more happened as we decided to go home to Kutaisi quite early. The next day we went to Gelati monastery 10 km from Kutaisi. There, we just relaxed and read books for maybe 3 hours. Afterwards, we decided to walk back instead of a bus or taxi but not on the normal road. Our hostel owner told us that you can walk on the train tracks for some 10 km and then you are back in Kutaisi. So we did. It was so calming to walk there and we had some mesmerizing views and good conversations. The following days we just worked on fixing up the items we got back from Tskaltubo.
The next weekend Michael went on his on arrival training so I decided impulsively to meet my friends in Rustavi. I stayed there the whole weekend and went hiking with them up the hill/mountain close to it. It was a mesmerizing sight to see the whole of Rustavi from up top while having fun with your friends and listening to some good music.
Next week, I went to Bakuriani for the Mid-Term Meeting. I don’t know how to put this 4-day project in some words for this blog, I’ll just say that I met so many more amazing people, learned more about what to do after my EVS and had a great time. The day I came back from Bakuriani, I met with my friends to sadly say goodbye to them. They finished their EVS and will go back home. Still to this point I miss them all, and don’t know what to do without them here in Georgia. But let’s see what the future brings!
April – This is the month where I’m writing this blog, so we’ve catched up on everything. This months started with my father and sister visiting me! With them, we did a lot of exploring around Georgia and just showing what my life here is like to them. We went to Telavi, Signaghi, Kazbegi and been around everywhere in Tbilisi. To show them my EVS world was an amazing experience and from what I’ve heard they share my love for Georgia.
Because one colleague was on a trip I had to take over some of the workshops we were doing in other cities. At first it frightened me, but I’m happy that I have done it. From what I heard, I did a good job and the youth that we worked with liked it and me so that’s good. The fruits of my Mid-Term Meeting started showing after these workshops. A friend who is doing his EVS in Armenia came to visit us! We met each other at the Mid-term meeting and since it was easter, he had free time and came by. With him we went to Davit Gareji and celebrated easter.
After such hectic months, I feel like everything is coming back on track right now and finally finding my peace again.
This has been a longer blog but I think I updated you on everything now. Hopefully next time I finished my videos and I will not take as long to post another blog.