Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today is Elder David Reese's Birthday!!! We shouted it all over the city!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

During the day we sometimes will hear a person hollering up to our building in a loud sing-song voice. They are usually selling vegetables or some kind of wares. Today I looked out to see what they were selling and saw this man. The Southwick's had told us that a man came around sharpening knives. I hollered down and held out one of our knives. Then I gathered up four of our kitchen knives. I asked the price and between us I finally figured out the price was 4 Lari. Which I figured was very inexpensive. We sort of talked about the blades made of tin instead of steel. Even though we couldn't understand each other , with pointing to tin of a car and a steel post we communicated. I showed him my Leatherman and he said "kargi" (good). He was very thorough and did an excellent job. I tried to pay him 5 Lari and he gave me back the 1 Lari and refused to take it back. The price was the price.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Odds and Ends

Here are just some fun around the city pictures. Can you find me? This is one of the entries into a metro - usually you go down some stairs. The entrances are usually crowed with people selling things - fruits, veggies, flowers and such.
There are 2 different Metro lines. At the spot where the 2 lines meet, they have a huge bazaar (think Galt auction x 10 crowded under plastic tarp!) The isle ways are tiny and they have dozens of the same booths all together - selling the same things at pretty much the same prices. This was one of E. Reese's favorite spots - the candy! Ok - his most favorite was the cookie vendors - he tried several there and now has some favorites. It was really smelly going through the fish area. They also had grains sitting in big burlap sacks. Lots of clothes and shoes booths. It is an amazing place to wander around in!
At the bazaar I was able to find a red plastic table cloth - I am feeling much better about my little kitchen! Now for some red curtains!
A marshutka is a 15 seater van - that often is crammed with 20 - 25 people! It is what we take when our destination is not next to the Metro! Here is E. Reese watching to make sure we don't miss our stop.
Walking along the street to go inspect one of our missionaries apartments, we saw this tree growing up through the middle of the store!
These are the big garbage cans that they have along the streets. We carry our garbage down and toss it in. Every month we pay 10 lari ($7) for this service. So one day we are headed to our apartment and we see a fire coming out of one of them! It so reminded me of the time Christy burned her garbage can with the fireplace ashes - I had to take a picture and laughed about it all the way home!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

OK - we bought 3 more vacuums for our Missionaries apartments. The store was farther away - but closer to the metro, only I had to carry one this time! And yes, it is raining! (so we walked a block to the metro, down the stairs, on the crowded metro with 3 boxes, back up the stairs at the other end, a 2 block walk to our corpus and 4 stories of stairs up to our apartment - Elder Reese doesn't trust the elevator)
My friend Natia, a dentist with 'Doctors Helping Georgia' NGO, invited me to go to International Women's Association (IWA) get together 2 weeks ago. They have 170 members from many different countries that support each other, raise $ for humanitarian causes, have lots of different subgroups (book club, cooking, sewing, English conversation, etc) and most importantly - speak English! I am really enjoying the group - it's good for me to go outside my comfort zone and it let's others know about LDS Charities. They had a Spring Expo craft show last weekend - E. Reese was kind enough to go with me. Reminded me of the years when Mom Reese and I would go to all the craft shows!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We have been very fortunate to have a short term vision specialist come to Georgia. We have spent the last month lining up opthamologists and eye clinics for them to visit on there 2 days here (March 31 & April 1st) So they spend the 2 days interviewing eye doctors and touring their clinics. Then they return to Utah were they compile their information and make a recommendation for a vision project - usually involving training and equipment to be donated to a clinic to help the poor people in Georgia with eye problems. Here is a picture with our specialists, Roger & Bev Harrie (delightful couple - had a great time with them!) and our first doctors.

The first thing Bev noticed when she met E.. Reese was the red spot on his lower eyelid. She pointed it out to her husband and after interviewing the first doctor, he asked if he could use his machine to take a look at E. Reese's eye! So we all watched as he took a close look! All he needed was to use a hot compress twice a day and put in some drops, which the doctor quickly got for us. (he has faithfully done the above and his eyelid is now normal again!)

After seeing the clinic we had a few hours before our next appointment. They asked if we had a school for the blind. Mzia got on the phone and found the only one in Tbilisi. It's beautiful on the outside - but very old and run down on the inside. The teachers seem dedicated and the students well cared for. They did have some computers and we heard a teacher teaching singing to some boys - they even had a small stage for performances!
The School for the blind is trying to send a teacher to 'The Association for People in Need of Special Care' to learn to work with clay - thinking that would be really great for their blind students. So after visiting the school, we had time to go to home mentioned above. We found a delightful big home where there must have been about 25 mentally challenged young adults. We visited the kitchen where they were happily doing the dishes and cleaning up after lunch. Then we went to a big room with tables set up where several were folding paper to make notebooks. They were filling an order from a business. They were a very happy group. Then we went upstairs to a room where they were taking Georgian wool - cleaning it, dyeing it, and shaping it into different items to sell at there Easter Fair. On to another room where the clay sculptures were on display and we talked to the teacher about how she would teach blind students - amazing. We were thinking we were done when she took us outside to another building where a little rowdier group were making candles. Many had down syndrome - so of course we were deeply moved as we thought of Courtney and what a great place this was. They taught social skills and creating things - building self worth. What a great place! Now to see if there is something we can do to help them.

We visited several more clinics. There is a lot that can be done here - and many good doctors that would like to be involved with our charity. I'm glad that I don't have to make the final decision for the project!

We finished off their stay with a traditional Georgian feast. They start with cheese and meats and breads and then they just keep bringing out food. We cautioned our friends to pace themselves! During the meal they have lots of toasts. Everyone gets involved - toasting mostly to family and friendships!

This was one of the last dishes - full of sausages and meat. Behind the candle you can see the Khinkali - a big meatball wrapped in dough and boiled in water - one of our favorites. The pancake looking thing on the plate is a cornbread the E. Reese really likes.

We look forward to seeing Roger and Bev in about 6 months to finish the vision project for Georgia!

So E. Reese has been looking for a stationary store to buy some office supplies. He checked all the streets around our home - nothing. An Elder sent us to Freedom Square where we walked for awhile and found this fun statue outside a museum. It looked like they were doing a conga line - so E. Reese joined in!
Popcorn Popping! It's warming up a little here!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's interesting living without a car. You learn to think of things differently. When we wanted to buy a microwave, we found the one we liked in a store about a 20 min. walk from our home. Luckily Elder Reese is in good shape - he just carried it home. This is a vacuum cleaner that we bought for one of the elders apartments. (Elder Reese found this store - it was much closer to home!) There are lots of little grocery stores on every block, so you can pick up food on your way home. There are no preservatives in the food - so it does need to be bought almost daily.
On March 30 there was a get together for Iza. Cake and soda were served. Here are Elders Reese and Steggel enjoying the chocolate cake - of course!
Mission President Carter set Iza apart as a missionary. His wife made the warm scarf she is wearing. Check out the name tag - she is one proud missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!
She's on her way! We took her to the airport (at 1 in the morning!) with her dad. Scotland is lucky to have Iza - she brings sunshine and joy wherever she goes!
I got to teach in primary last week. All 6 kids came! (usually there are only 2 or 4) We had a fun time - I love working in the primary! They do not do sharing time here - so I am working on showing them how that all works.
Doctor Reese (and his leatherman) successfully took out the 3 stitches on my nose - it is healing well!