Thursday, June 19, 2014

ARAOM from My Last Week of School

A Random Assortment of Moments from My Last Week of School

Summer didn’t wait for school to finish. The sun is warm enough to keep the roads from being giant mud puddles even right after a rain, but not so hot that you can’t handle being outside. Cherrie trees are everywhere in the village. One stands right outside of school and has just gotten ripe. I watch out the window while boys climb it, picking off whole branches and sending them down. They like to give cherries to the teachers. We all eat them…even those who yelled at the boys for going up the tree in the first place. 


My co-teacher must add up attendance totals before the end of the week, and, being a Georgian teacher, chooses to do so during class time. She tells me I can take the 3rd grade class outside and play ball. Well, I didn’t know I needed to prepare a lesson, and it is the last week of school, so why not?

When we go outside, we have no ball to play with. A couple of older kids who know a bit of English are outside and help me explain freeze tag to the younger kids, and for a while we play a massive game of it, big kids (including myself) chasing little kids. After that gets old, I try to organize the kids for a game of Duck Duck Goose. Chaos ensues. Most of them aren’t listening and the couple of them who are really aren’t understanding my instructions. By the time I’m trying to think of another game, the third graders have fractured into a number of groups engaging in mini wrestling matches. I give up, sit down, and watch until the bell rings.


Second and third classes are outside playing Georgian dodge ball for their sports period. I have a break this period, so I join them.

In Georgian dodge ball, only one team is dodging at a time. The other divides in two and stands on both sides, throwing a ball back and forth at the group in the middle. If you get hit, you’re out. If you catch the ball, someone who got out comes back in. The kids are excited to see me and beg me to play. The weather feels great and I won’t get to hang out with them much longer, so I can’t really say no.

Between their constant begging me to come back into the pit every time they catch the ball and my own lack of athletic ability, I repeatedly experience the excruciating embarrassment of being pelted by an 8-year-old. But I’m also experiencing their affection and happiness. And these are all the things that color my world. It’s in times like these that I know I’m living a life I want to live.


 By Thursday, my co has done all her counting, and doesn’t come to school. I don’t really mind at this point…classes have been a bit of a joke this week anyway, and I don’t have to hold them without her. So instead I hang out with the 8th and 9th class and everyone else who is attending their “show.” It’s fun little event that all the other teachers show up for, so I guess no one is having class today at all. The two grades form two teams and compete in song/poetry performance, eating spaghetti with no hands, etc. A lot of other students are there to watch as well. I joke and dance with some of my high schoolers while we wait for it to start. I’m thankful for the chance to just enjoy them one last time. I soak in every smile I catch.


On Friday, my friend Mariah comes to visit. I’ve decided not to return next semester, but she has agreed to transfer to Khovle when she returns in September. After my host mom gives us lunch she comes to school with me. Most of the students aren’t there. Most of the teachers aren’t even there. But myself and a couple of girls from 7th class are still determined to carry out plans of surprising a couple of the older boys with a water attack. Mariah agrees to be the camera girl.

It doesn’t take the boys long to figure out what is going on. Especially when I show up with five empty plastic bottles. The surprise attack turns into an all-out war.

The boys got in more attacks. 17-18 year old boys have more strength than me, and I am willing to admit that. They didn’t have much difficulty commandeering our weaponry and using it against us. At one point we tried to escape by climbing a tree, which only ended up trapping us. But whoever won, ALL OF US got soaked, so I can’t say I’m dissatisfied with the outcome.

And besides, it was a fun way to end the day; the week; the semester.


Even if I come back in a year or two as I’m planning, the kids won’t be the same. They’ll be older, some will be graduated, etc. It’s a bittersweet thing…leaving something behind when you know you can’t ever really have it again. I’ll miss it, sure, but I’m thankful that it happened. I’m thankful I was a part of this community for the past few months of my life. I’m thankful that each of these children was a character in this chapter of my story. And I in theirs.

But the chapter is coming to an end. It’s time for a month or so of adventure in Europe, then a final week or two of Georgia, and then back to America.

Next stop: England.

No comments:

Post a Comment