What Do Volunteers Do On Weekends? I

Yes, what do volunteers do on weekends? Last week’s Thursday was a national holiday, Mtskhroba, and as I don’t have to work on Fridays, I had a long weekend. Not that I do not want to travel, but I was a bit short on money after the trip to Svaneti, so I just stayed in Batumi, happily welcoming Pik Quinn from Malaysia this time. She mainly wanted to come to see Batumi’s museums, but eventually the weekend had way more to offer than that.

So she texted me Thursday that she wanted to come on Friday, stating that she hopes the weather would be as nice as at that particular day. I texted back that I am looking forward too. And that the weather wasn’t exactly as nice as a couple of dozens of kilometers up the coast. Remember, it’s always raining in Batumi.

So we met up in town and walked to the first museum for the day, the archeological museum of Batumi in Chavchadze Str. It was pretty interesting to see, as it – in separate showcases – showed, how mankind’s techniques and tools, in particular on the territory of Georgia, developed over the last 10.000 years. It’s a pitty though, that the museum is not crowded at all. As we were the only visitors at that time, the service lady unlocked the room and made her son switch on the lights for every showcase and when we passed, he switched them off again. When we left, she locked the room again.

Picture at the wall in the museum

After that Pik Quinn figured she would like to see an exhibition of photos she’d seen the other day when she was in Batumi last. Due to our totally limited orienteering skills, this attempt had to fail though and we ended up walking a bit through the city heading to the nearby market as I wanted to buy a giant umbrella and notebooks for school.

Cruiser in Batumi port

Batumi port II

On our way, Pik Quinn got all excited to see that there is a mosque, so we went there and i sneakingly made a picture from the inside of the mosque’s building and of the door. After that, we went to the apparently close to the port market, climbed up a bridge over the train depot and then went back to the market.

Door of the mosque

Inside the mosque

Stunning Beauty, right? I - Train depots!!

Stunning Beauty, right? II - Train depots!!

We arrived at the market just in time as it started raining. Inside we found a HUGE load of vendors selling fresh meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits etc. After we couldn’t resist anymore and bought two fresh Wiener sausages each, I got myself a GIANT umbrella that is badly needed here in Batumi as I got flooded a couple of times already on my way back from school where a small umbrella is nothing more then a marginal safety net.

That Friday night, I read somewhere, was to be the International Animation Film Festival in the Tbilisi State Drama Theatre. Wait, Tbilisi? Yeah, I got confused as well, but it was listed under Batumi Events. Which means it has to be in that Batumi State Drama Theatre where the Art House Film Festival took place already, right? Additionally to our sausages we grabbed a bit sour cream and an incredibly dry bread in a 24/7 store and went to the theatre just in time to have a picnic before the show was to begin.

Picnic at the back of a golden Lion in front of the Theatre. You can also see the giant umbrella there!

When we went inside there was nothing going on except a few service women standing around. So with our limited Georgian we started a dialogue which went basically like this:

Us: Internationaluri Animaturi Filmebi Festivali aq aris? (Is the international Film Festival taking place here?)

Service Women: Internationaluri Animaturi Filmebi Festival? Ara. (No.)

Us: Errrrrrrrrrrrr… Sad aris Festivali? (Where is it then?)

SW: Mometsit chantebi, kolga da bottli. (Give us your backpacks, umbrella and (just purchased) water bottle.)

Us: Err.. Ki Ki. (What? Ok, yeah why not.)

So they sat us down in the theatre hall, where an apparently Georgian play apparently already has been running for a good 30 minutes. Despite our confusion in the first place, we firstly figured it would be a nice opportunity to rest our exhausted legs after walking around the whole day. After a good 20 minutes, the play started to become fun. We didn’t understand a single word in it, but as it seemed to be a comedy and we were handed a booklet about it, which was in Georgian and in English, we got a slight glance on the story. It was great fun to see the partially ridiculously dressed actors playing this comedy, so we pretty much had a good time.

After that we went home just before the rain started to pour in Batumi again and Pik Quinn revealed her nice German skills by talking to me and my host dad in my mother tongue. What a nice surprise.

As this post is already quite long and the next day was pretty adventurous again, I decided to divide the weekends story in two parts again. Stay tuned. Also the posts title will make much more sense after part two.

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About Paul

Hey, my name is Paul and I will be going to Georgia for one year to assist English language teachers in public schools through the "Teach and Learn with Georgia" program.
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5 Responses to What Do Volunteers Do On Weekends? I

  1. ---> says:

    Does Picoza (as her host father calls her) have a blog? It would be interesting to read.

    Anyway, keep doing good jobs folks, you are great!

    P.S. Did school teachers and teen student girls get used to the fact that you have a girlfriend? 🙂

  2. noirdesir says:

    🙂 wunderbar Dein Blog.

  3. najafsandal says:

    Hi Paul
    I’ve read your blog couple times and enjoyed it, but I see you haven’t updated it for a while. That’s a pity, because I stopped by for some information – that is, information about five TLG teachers in Adjara region, who possibly quit the program.
    Official sources say, three of them were relocated in different regions because they were not comfortable with the climate and had to follow doctors’ advise, and the other two just left because of age. Rumor has it, that these people actually had some school and family related problems (e.g. in one case, family refused to host because of skin-color), which the government does not wish to publicize and hushed.
    Could you possibly provide some information? You wrote in earlier posts, that you live in Batumi, so maybe you could offer some inner perspective.
    thanks 🙂

    • Paul says:

      Hey,
      yeah it is true, I haven’t updated the blog in a long time and I am sorry for that. New posts will follow regularly this year. Regarding your request about those teachers: I am sorry, but I will not give any information about individual teachers, not over the internet nor private. All these employment, health and family related information you heard and requested of me are private and will stay this way, except those people themselves want to release any statement to the public.

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