Friday, January 21, 2011

Spontaneous Interview with Georgian Police

Tonight was incredibly surprising. Our last meeting of the evening was mainly about our placements. We were being told what city we would be living in for at least the next six months. Before the announcement the director (who reports directly to the minister of Education) spoke about the program. She then asked that four of us, including me, follow her.
We all follow her out into the freezing cold hallway trying to think of a reason for us being called out. Did we break some rule? We weren't the ones going out every night, so what could we have done wrong? Were we being sent home? Needless to say it was a nerve racking fifty feet.
Our destination was the TLG office in the hotel. There a man, that we had seen earlier observing our Georgian Lessons, was waiting. It turns out that the Police Academy has a couple TLG volunteers for Tbilisi and hoped to add two female teachers to their group. There would be no host family, rather you would live together in an apartment paid for by the academy. You would be teaching adults and not really be working with a co-teacher. Essentially, it was a huge twist on the program we thought we signed up for. He wanted to interview the four of us. One of the fellow volunteers declined because she had really wanted to be with a host family. It just left the three of us.
I volunteered to go first. I knew coming into this program that I would have to be flexible to whatever changes were brought my way. This was definitely a big change! It really wasn't what I had hoped for. I wanted experience in a classroom and an opportunity to learn Georgian in a host family. However, I was willing to take the risk and see what happened. He just asked about my work experience. I forgot to mention volunteer work which was silly of me since it includes most of my teaching experience.
Once I was finished (a whole three minutes later), I waited in the hall outside for the other two girls to go. We chatted and nervously wondered about this change in fate. He told us after the third individual that I was the one not selected. Frankly, I was a bit relieved. I didn't think I would be able to offer my best in the capitol city to a bunch of adult Georgians. I have no experience teaching adults.
I walked back to the meeting room with the director while she called to find out my placement. She told me that I would be in Poti, the second largest port city on the Black Sea, living with the mayor! It sounded fantastic to me. I leave tomorrow to head out to my host family and new home. I can't help but wonder if my host family will like me. I wonder if I can really handle this complicated Georgian language. I wonder if my smiley personality is going to cause problems. I guess we'll find out in less than 24 hours.
Wish me luck!


Anya Burkart said...

Do you have an address yet? If so, send it to me so I can write you!

Not_Very_Sophisticated said...

Danni, this is really cool...the mayor! I wonder what the wife is like? ;)

Pat said...

Just want you to know yes I was following you. Just wasn't sure you'd want the world to know your mom was following you. By the way let me know how not smiling at strangers (or anyone else for that matter) goes. How does a person deliberately not smile. I've been trying to do that and it's really hard and takes a lot of concentration.

Kat said...

Danni that is so exciting!! btw- your smiley personality could never cause problems, its cute especially when trying to communicate sans language - also its waaaay better than being not-smiley. My first host family said I "didnt have emotions and dont feel anything" real nice thing to say in front of the bf, host-mom.

Danni said...

Thanks guys for reading! I'm trying to not smile when walking down the street just so I don't get any awkward Georgian men following me (yep this has happened to a few volunteers already). At school, I smile to my heart's content, and the kids love it.

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