Hello, reader! My name is Kaspars. As it has been already a week since I’ve been back home, in Latvia, here is my third and final article about my adventures in Georgia. I’ll tell you about my impressions, emotions and achievements.
It all started quite unexpectedly. Last August, only two weeks before my flight to Georgia, I casually found out about this opportunity to be a volunteer and work within the frames of this European Union program. I accepted the challenge, without really weighing the pros and cons.
"What shall I do there?" I asked myself, "Am I going to be able to withstand all that?". After a while these issues transitioned into something concrete and specific. I planned exactly what I was going to do there: teach English, find a guitar and teach children to play, and also teach culinary skills.
I had the plan, and then just had to begin. I do not know why I was dealt this hand and year. I lived in the town of Ozurgeti, where the local EVS volunteers did not excel with a great level of activity (with a few exceptions, of course), so I needed to take that into account. Therefore, from the very start I decided that I’ll do my activities without relying much on the help of others.
From the very beginning, I was surprised by the fact that almost ten people had applied for my English class. I had never done anything like it, so, of course, I was kind of stressed but thanks to good teaching resources and materials along with my charismatic nature, I managed to create very interesting lectures, with the involvement of my students (in a word - interactively).
It felt solid, as if I could do it for the rest of the time. But one fine day we met the manager of the Ozurgeti Department of Culture. So after four or five months, it all led me to the guitar and finally I was able to start guitar lessons, started to participate folk singing class, in which we were accompanied along with local singers, and generate ideas about starting theater projects within local schools (at this point I forgot about cooking, but still kept my culinary skills "warm" for the duration of the whole project as I am simply a cook by my education).
However, I had so much work to do already that I didn’t really have any other choice but to pass my English lessons over to my Polish colleague. So I was able to focus one-hundred -percent on the cultural and musical life – the field which I was interested in the most, which I described in my previous article.
To be honest, the best contacts I had, were certainly with the hosting organization's staff, local people as well as Peace Corps volunteers who accepted me in their circle as one of their own. (With one of the Peace Corps volunteers I already have developed a serious relationship). Yes – really shocking for myself, because I didn’t know of even such organization before. Even in my dreams I did not see that I’ll meet my girlfriend here. However it would be, we are already crafting our future plans together - and for that partly, I am grateful about the possibility to be able to be in Georgia to all those who helped me to realize it.
I am truly joyful about the the ability to travel around Georgia's beautiful natural sites and to draw inspiration and impressions from them, because the land which I come from, is quite flat. And now it is strange, because of the mountains, I saw - I feel like they will forever remain imprinted in my heart. Also, as I heard, more fantastic than mountains can be only mountains.
If Ozurgeti nightlife and leisure possibilities aren’t one of the best, I understood this as an opportunity to learn, for example, a variety of card, board games with friends, because, at least for me, it was never boring and we always found the opportunity to spend our free time apart from voluntary activities, regardless of if it had to be gathering to gaming or discussion evenings, or playing billiards in a newly opened establishment shortly before my departure.
I can not ignore the sincerity that I constantly felt from my hosting organization, regardless of from whom it would come; chairwoman, which provided assistance with project design; coordinator who taught me Georgian; manager, who help me with matters of economic or domestic nature, or my mentor, who was just fun to talk about whatever came to my mind.
MOST THANKS – DIDI MADLOBA TO THEM!! <3
What left the most emotion and memory with the professional field, was certainly my guitar lessons, which I conducted twice a week. Most of the children who came to learn to play guitar, didn’t even know how to lure out a sound in the beginning. It was therefore all the more delightful to be able to play one or two songs together with them before I left.
Also a puppet theater performance, which we prepared together with volunteers from Poland – Kasia and Monika, left a memory of positive emotions. Working together with even smaller children was more fun and productive.
About Georgian children, I can say that they are very open. If at first glance it may seem that culture in this country plays different "tunes" than the Latvian, the children certainly are those who will listen to you and be wanting to learn, in order to take for themselves something quite different from their everyday life- something new for themselves. That also led to the pleasant environment for learning – all thanks to the students and (as well as) teachers charisma and thirst for knowledge.
In total it went very colorfully – as it goes it common life of everyday. There was disappointment and failures, but the joy of small triumphs definitely outweighed all the negative that I happened to experience, and so I have concluded that it is not worth stressing myself out by excessively sinking down into reflections or whatever, but rather committing to the next challenge and conquering it with freshly renewed forces.
How do I feel right now? I am satisfied with my accomplishments and the project in total. Also – I’m going over the ocean next month to start a life together with my girlfriend. And I am excited. That’s how it is.
Huge thanks to EVS program!
Also, thank you for attention!
Yours sincerely ,
In Tukums, Latvia,
Project "European House in Guria: Extended" is realized within the "Erasmus+: Youth in Action” programme that in Latvia is administered by Agency for International Programs for Youth and is financed by European Union. This publication reflects the views only of the author and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.