Triunfo del Amor

No really. Telenovelas every day. From mexico. It’s dubbed. They get two actors (male, female) to dub a low-volume version. You can still hear the spanish.

I am so unbelievably overwhelmed by new life here in buknari. It is CAH-RAZY here. If I’m not married to my co-teacher by the end of the week, I MAY MAKE IT OUT ALIVE. What follows is the nonsense compilation of my fractured experience over the last 48 hours.

So let’s jive, huh? I live with my family, deda and mama (which means Mother and Father because this is backwards-land) and their parents, Babua and Bebia (Grandmother and Grandfather) and the two kids, Temo and Tengo. I tried to explain to tengo that his name means “I have” in spanish but I don’t think he got it. “Makvs! You are makvs in mexico!” This didn’t work. Tengo wrestles. First night in the house was show-and-tell night. Tengo flipped on his hands, and then walked across the room on his palms. Temo speaks ENGLISH, sort of. I’ll say something, and then he’ll say “what?” and then follows our intercultural exchange. The dad is named JAMAL. Mom is Irene. I couldn’t say her real name so it’s Irene. She does all the cooking and telenovela watching b/c gender roles are a big deal here.

I got in late last night, around 9 or so, and they had a big dinner waiting for me. NOT A SUPRA. But an awesome big dinner. Homemade khatchapuri, homemade pickles, homemade cheese…you get the idea. FIGS IN SYRUP. DAMNNNNNNNN that stuff is awesome. I got a tour of the house. It’s a LOT of wood. The woodstove is in the living room, along with the TV, and the couches, and the dinner table, so everyone’s in the living room, all the time.

Uh then Temo woke me up at ten this morning. We went down for breakfast, which was more homemade bread, and asked, “where’s Tengo”

“He at school. We go to school later.”

My immediate though was something like….so…why aren’t you at school? Should I also be at school? Temo called his teacher, Lela, who is also my partner, and so we talked.

Our school is a big pink building. The kids were ECSTATIC to meet me. Lela threw me in front of a class and I was answering a bunch of questions about alaska. All throughout the lesson kids were opening the door to shout “Hello!”

In the teacher’s lounge, they have a woodstove, coffee, a piano, and vodka. I know this, because it is apparently Men’s Day in Georgia today, and I got offered a shot. (Note to Tamara if you are reading: OF COURSE I TURNED IT DOWN, BECAUSE I AM A RESPONSIBLE VOLUNTEER HOW DARE YOU INSINUATE OTHERWISE.)

On the way to Chokhatauri (the thing closest to a metropolitan center in my part of Guria) there were a group of unsupervised cows just wandering, single-file, up the street. They seemed like they had somewhere to be. On the way back, saw some ducks squeezing themselves under a fence.

Then home. Temo never, NEVER stopped exercising, and Tengo’s buddy Gia came over. We took the tablecloth off and played ping pong with an old orange ball and the backsides of our hands.

Food: Fried potatoes. Cow parts; possibly heart. Pickles. Bread.

Scenery: Mountains, snow, dead trees, chickens, cows, ducks, sticks. Buknari.

1 comment
  1. Your stories bring me great joy! I can’t wait to tell my fellow teachers about the vodka in the teachers’ lounge!

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