I don’t think my host mom could have had a bigger smile. (I didn’t know we belonged to each other at first as no one else around spoke English.) But she knew as many words in English, as I know in Georgian, so we figured it out. I carried my bags to my room upstairs, and when I returned, there were a slew of people waiting. There was my host brother, Lado, and his crew of friends. There was the mother, grandfather and their respective best friends. The father pulled up in the car as we were doing introductions. They have two other children who are on vacation until Saturday with the grandmother.
The mom prepared a quick small meal for me and all the men gathered at the table. She specially made some khinkali, which is a traditional Georgian dish. It looks like a big dumpling filled with pork and beef and this broth-like liquid. so yummy. They also brought out the famous Georgian wine. Yummy. The grandfather made three or four toasts to various people and things. (Which is a custom here, but more on that later).
After dinner I met back up with the boys and we chatted for a while, then walked over to two other neighbors who happened to be girls. All of them were schoolmates. We chatted, played badminton and laughed at each other. They all spoke various phases of English from a few words to pretty good. Everyone seemed to receive me well by the end.
All ended well. I have a private room with a twin bed, desk and two armoires. It was a good day.
“We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up ev’rybody and sing”
We Are Family, Sister Sledge