Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First Days

The first days upon arrival in Georgia were a whirlwind.  Once we cleared immigration and picked up our bags the national media was standing at the gate as soon as we cleared what was customs though there was no one to check any of our bags.  We were then loaded on buses and taken to a hotel on the outskirts of Tbilisi.  The hotel is used for sports teams and included a pool hall and ping pong tables.  At night there was a pianist that played at the back of the hotel near the bar. 

Our orientation in Tbilisi included sightseeing and some basic information sessions.  The initial Tbilisi  There are people here from the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia), South Africa, Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Canada, and I would say around half the states in the United States.  We also met the Minister of Education and Science at the Ministry headquarters.  orientation allowed us to get to know each other. (who lives in

Our days in Kutaisi were long and tiring.  Sitting in classrooms for around 8 hours a day left me occasionally feeling beaten down.  The Georgian language classes were very fast paced but included many helpful situations like how to pay and negotiate cabs, how to buy in a market, and how to say hello.  The afternoons were filled with sessions on how the Georgian education system works.  The schools are paid based on the number of students who attend the schools.  I need to find out if there is a school choice system or if there are boundaries for schools.  We were warned that a few Georgian English teachers may worry about our presence taking away from their ability to tutor kids on the side as a way to supplement their income.  I could see that being a possible issue in a small village but in a city that is far more doubtful just based on the student enrollment numbers.  We get to meet our host families tomorrow, apparently my host family is quite large.

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