Category Uncategorized

Surprise! An Afternoon Flight to Tusheti

Walking up the stairs to the teachers room after the first lesson this morning, I saw my co-teacher standing in the hall, looking very excited. Apparently, Jabo (my host dad) called, having learned that the long-awaited helicopter to Tusheti would be flying today. The idea of this trip has been tossed around a few times […]

Easter, Part 1

I know my way around Christianity fairly well, so I’m comfortable with the fact that easter is about more than egg-laying rabbits and plastic grass. But I never expected to spend so much time in the graveyard. Georgian Easter, unsurprisingly, present an entirely different version of the holiday with which I though I was familiar. […]

Mama Gabrieli

On Saturday I went with a collection of local teachers and friends to the Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi. Like thousands of others, we were going to see the remains of Mama Gabrieli, a famous saint of the Georgian Orthodox Church. I had been hearing all about attempts to brave the crowds of people hoping to […]

Hiking Around Alvani

Anywhere I go, I like to explore new places by walking around, seeing things at pace slow enough to notice details. Georgia has been no exception, and I’ve really been enjoying the arrival of spring here in Kakheti, which brought with it rapid changes in the landscape. Most notably, the color palette seems to expand […]

“It’s good that you are going now. In summer there are many snakes”

Gori had long been on my list of places to visit in Georgia, as soviet kitsch found a place in my heart even before I first ventured east of Berlin. The Stalin Museum seemed the major attraction, but after talking to locals it became clear that the main event would be Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave […]

At School

Zemo Alvani’s “First School” sits directly behind the Stalin monument in the very center of town. However, everyone knows which came first. The original school building, which now houses the first through fourth grades, just celebrated it’s 100th year. A museum on the ground floor of the main, newer building, displays the long history of […]

Looking Around the Village

Two weeks into the new semester, and I’ve not yet spent a weekend in Zemo Alvani. Nonetheless, I meet new people and learn more about my environment every day, so my time here has been anything but boring. I thought you might like to see where I’m living. Here’s a look at the house:   […]