Football, Pirates and Paradise

To start things off, here (finally) is a picture of my house in Zeda Etseri in Georgia. See the balcony on the second story on the right hand side? That’s where my room is:

Now then, to tell you about a few of the things that have been happening around here lately.

A few weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, everyone in my school walked north along the main road in our village, to our “football stadium” (pictured below) for the first annual inter-village football tournament, held in honor of the one-year anniversary of the death of a 2nd grade student in our school.

Two other English teachers came with their village schools to watch their own teams compete as well. Tony, who hails from New Jersey, came in support of his village Chkaduashi, and Danny, from Australia, came with the Chkhoria school. All the teams played each other, but some schools (including mine) had an older team and a younger team, and some only had one team. So I don’t quite understand how the rankings were determined, but in any case, my team won! And I even got to hold the trophy! (below) while posing with several teachers from my school:

Ah, the sweetness of victory! The father of the child who died, presenting one my students with our trophy:

And after the tournament, we moseyed back to my school, to the teacher’s room, where this spread (below) was set out, a supra also held in honor of the child and his family.

Among those present for the event were a few teachers and headmasters from the participating schools, the three English teachers and some other random villagers.The food was great, the toasts were heartfelt, and us English teachers were made to give toasts as well on every subject: in memory of the child, in honor of his family, to Zeda Etseri’s school, to all schools and all teachers and all children. I attempted parts of the toasts in Georgian, other parts in English which were translated by Nana, one of the English teachers with whom I co-teach every day.

But that was just the start of the weekend.

The next morning, a group of us hopped onto an overcrowded marshutka bound for Batumi, Georgia’s city by the sea and summer fun zone. Of course, it’s October now so the weather was mostly raining or overcast and the Black Sea turbulent and cold. Still, it was really fun.

Mostly because of this:


This is a pirate ship. And our hotel in Batumi. It’s called “Hotel Old Ship”. How legit is that?

Almost as legit as this:


That, my friends, is Coolio, of the 1995 hit rap single “Gangster’s Paradise”. Performing in Batumi, Georgia. Quite possibly one of the most random things I have ever done in my life…besides coming to Georgia, of course.


3 Responses to “Football, Pirates and Paradise”

  1. Very interesting,keep on bloggind 😉

  2. Nice! I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kvemo Kartli region. I’ve seen that ship before in Batumi. It’s clearly legit, but how was it? I’ve always been curious…

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