Wednesday, June 22, 2011

There is a wonderful group of women here in Tbilisi that we work with in our humanitarian work. They are called The Women of Georgia for Peace and Life. They are energetic and lively and love to help the poor and needy. When they learned that we had not seen any of the sights of Georgia, they picked us up in thier van and we headed out. Our first stop was the newest church in Tbilisi - it is HUGE and beautiful!

Elder Reese with Mia and Rusico.

The grounds are well kept, I loved this olive tree - very symbolic.

This is a statue of one of their beloved Kings. It is in the courtyard of one of the oldest churches. It is also the spot where they dedicated the land of Georgia for the preaching of the gospel in 1999 by Elder Jeffery R. Holland. The first branch was organized 3 years later.

This is the church by the above statue.

Next we walked up to the botanical gardens. It was lovely - lots of paths to walk along. There were lots of flowers and plants. It was very peaceful. We wondered through the area for quite awhile!

A Pond with water lillies.

Of course - my favorite - a beautiful red rose!

E. Reese and I started singing 'little purple pansys touched with yellow gold' when we saw these!

It was a lovely afternoon. We really enjoy the Women of Georgia - and Mzia our interpreter. We love being in Tbilisi. We finished our adventure at a resturant with lots of our Georgian favorites - and we got to take home the doggie bag!

Just a fun picture of me with 3 of the ladies from church - Zina, Dinara and Marina. I can't speak their language - we just smile and hug - it works!

Friday, June 17, 2011

When Georgians eat out - they usually order family style. Lots of dishes are ordered and everyone eats everything untill they are stuffed full. One of our favorite dishes is Khinkali. It is like a big dumpling with meat or cheese or potatoes inside. It is boiled and brought out steaming hot! You pick it up with your fingers (or fork) and carefully bite a hole in the edge. Next you suck out the juice and then eat the khinkali. The goal is to have no juice drip on your plate. E Reese is very good at this.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We love to shop at the Bazaar. We find we usually go here 2 or 3 times a week. We take a big bag that E. Reese gets to carry and we fill it up - mostly with fruits and veggies. We have our favorite spots - our cookie lady (we can't go there anymore - till E. Reese can button his pants!) - then we have our honey and spice guy - the cheese lady etc. Here is a shot of the veggie section.

I love talking to the ladies who work here. I just bought some pomedoris (tomatos) from this old lady. They usually laugh at me when I try to talk in Georgian - but they are happy to see me trying and are very encouraging.

Fun picture showing the prices in Georgian!

Finally, when we get home, I wash all the fruits and veggies in a cleaning solution, dry them and they are ready to eat!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sites of our Neighborhood in Tbilisi

One day I decided to take a walk and see some of the neighborhood. I saw lots of interesting sights. I was mad that I hadn't brought the camera. So I planned another day and this time took the camers and tried to get pictues that would give you a little idea of what it is like here where we live.

This is just a couple of blocks down our street. It was a quite surprise to see the sign the first time. They have a few items of outer ware and only a very few items of camping gear, like half dozen backpacks, some bike items and a selection of fishing gear. I lost my fleece coat liner and was able to find a replacement there.

The rich and the poor. With over 70% unemployment most people live in what are called "Corpses" (You won't find that word in the dictionary or even Google) a name given to the Soviet built apartment buildings. Contrast that with the homes on the bluff. No middle class, just the very poor and the wealthy. Below the mansions is an abandoned horse race track where they were playing rugby and cricket.

I loved the contrast of the more modern home in the background and the older one in the front. Notice how many different building materials are being used, showing how many times it has been "fixed", concrete, brick, wood, adobe type block. They mix their morter with sand full of dirt so the morter doesn't last long.

I loved this door and steps. You see this alot, a building falling apart with these fancy old doors.

They used to have venders all over the sidewalks and streets. About two years ago they passed a law that everyone had to be inside the buildings. This one is spilling into the sidewalk. Enforcement of the law is weak. The food is fresh and good.

This shows a typical "shopping" area. The corpus lower floor apartments were changed into small stores. Every street has a least one dentist, usually more. At least two drug stores and a bank.

Need some hardware items? This is the only hardware "store" I've seen so far. There is quite an assortment of items and parts. But usually only one or two of each kind of item.

Need to make a call? Have an emergency? No public phones. Everyone has a cell phone. A lot of the apartments have a phone. The phone and the number stays with the apartment.

I loved these little narrow walkways and stairs in between some parts of town. Like a labyrinth. I would just start in one and see where they would go. Sometimes I found great shortcuts.

The older men (And sometimes middle age) are always found playing backgammon or dominoes. They play for money and fun. Notice the score keeper? Yep that's an abacus. I see them used everywhere. Even the Post Office I go to uses it.
Who needs a calculator.

I think at one time the city must have been very interesting and had great beauty. I've seen lots of these fancy doorways and canopys. I believe they date back to before the Soviet Union time. Someone told me that Georgians loved to copy the fancy architecture of places like Europe, especially France.

Georgia is know for their balconies. (We have three!) In the summer they love to hang out in them and enjoy the city life. This one looked like something from a movie set.