Getting Oriented

Gamarjoba readers!

I finally have a semi functional knowledge of Georgian language, since we’ve been spending about 4 hours a day learning how to navigate the throaty “k” sounds, the difference between an aspirated and non-aspirated consonant, and the question intonation. I have to say, I feel pretty good about what I’ve learned so far, and I am going to make an honest effort to get better on my own time.

I even bought a book.

Orientation is coming to an end, and I have mixed feelings about it. Because I arrived in one of the last groups to Tbilisi, I feel like I really missed out on free time. I managed two excursions out of the hotel in 6 days (more on those in my next post), mostly because we had such a packed schedule between Georgian, intercultural training, teaching methodologies, and various legal, academic, and non academic presentations. I have no doubt that all of the information is invaluable, but I would have liked a bit more time in the city. The upside is, the entire country is like 250 miles across from the Black Sea to the Azerbaijani border, so chances are I will be back in Tbilisi before my time here is done.

Goodbye oddly dark hotel that can’t decide if it wants to be modern or classic!

Now for some really exciting news:

I know where I’ll be living for the next 9 months!

Right… About… There!

I am pretty happy with what little information I have right now!
Here are the facts:

  • I will be in the Guria region, in the Chokhatauri district, in a village called Gut’uri.
  • There is no information about Gut’uri on Google.
  • I will teach at Gut’uri public school.
  • My host family includes a host mother, a host father, an adult host brother, a 16 year old host sister, and a host grandmother.
  • They live in a private house.
  • My toilet and shower are indoor.
  • There is no internet at the house (which means I will need to buy a modem).

I get to meet my family tomorrow and drive the length of Georgia with them to my home. I am really excited to see what my village has to offer. The district is home to the Nabeglavi mineral springs, which produce one of two popular mineral water’s in Georgia. Also, Google Earth has showed me only that it is on a river, at a mild elevation, is roughly 10 miles from the nearest city (Ozurgeti) and 30 miles from the Black Sea.

I see river. I see mountains. I see beautiful.

I originally went into this program thinking I wanted to be in a city, but orientation has showed me that village life is really worth the lack of amenities because of the relationships you build with your family and neighbors. It may take me a few days to get my internet set up, so please be patient in waiting for my next post!

Things to look forward to:
– My first impressions of Tbilisi – A series of fun facts learned at orientation – My first days with my family, in my school, and in my village – More on Georgian language –


-Kacie Riann




Bed: The Final Destination

Hello Readers!

Welcome to Georgia, one free bottle of wine for every stamped passport

It turns out, my hotel in Tbilisi has Wifi, which is a great relief because now I can post pictures/blogs and not get too far behind.Also,  the Internet is the perfect activity to keep me awake a bit longer to adjust to the timezone, without requiring a lot of brainpower.

I am EXHAUSTED. The fact that I am a functional human being, and in addition, capable of writing a blog right now, is nothing short of a miracle. In the last 48 hours, I have slept for roughly 10. I flew for 17 of those hours, spent 18  in airports (with a brief visit into Warsaw), and the other 14 has been a flurry of checking into the hotel, sleeping for a bit, then jumping right into orientation.

This clock in Warsaw was a constant reminder of how long it would be until I would sleep again.

I have to admit that I haven’t gotten much of a chance to explore Tbilisi yet. I arrived at my hotel at 5:40 AM, and after having troubles with my room key didn’t get to sleep until 7:00. I slept until about 12:30, and spent lunch, our 3 hour orientation session, and dinner nodding off. I am nearing 10:00 P.M. local time, which was my goal for staying awake, so I am hoping that tomorrow I will be almost entirely adjusted. I have a full day of orientation, but there should be time in the evening for wandering the city.

If I can find the time between my medical check, orientation session, and meals…

I am excited to continue meeting people, which is crazier than I expected. My volunteer group has 109 people, a TLG record high, so  I am incredibly thankful for the name tags. I am also excited for the training and eventually finding out where I will be living and who my host family is.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

For now, I plan to spend 10 hours here

I will try to post pretty frequently since my internet situation is unknown after orientations, until then, good night readers!

-Kacie Riann

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