On the second day we were transported to what seemed like a conference center. It was behind the British embassy on a hillside overlooking the city. The ceremony took place in a tent on the premise. Unfortunately, Georgian absurdity followed us here.
The purpose for the day was primarily to award us with certificates for completing the year. I still don’t understand Georgians and their crazy love for certificates. If you offer a certificate, they will just about do anything. The secondary reason for the conference was for the Minister of Education and other political officials.
So to meet these ends, we got there early to ‘rehearse’. And by that I mean to practice walking to the stage, taking certificate, shaking hands and walking back to seat; ala high school graduation style. We were shocked and amazed that we really honest to God had to actually get up and walk through this.
When the Minister finally came, we started the show. Another party foul was half of the speeches we heard yesterday (and videos) were done AGAIN. By the end, I couldn’t figure out why I was restless. Then it hit me… we all were starving!
Finally it was time to receive the certificates, hence the end of the ceremony. They started calling names from them front (I was in the back). They were almost finished giving out all of the certificates, when it appeared they ran out of certificates! After some consulting, it was declared that the last 25 people who did not receive certificates had renewed their contracts and would receive one next year at the end of their contract. Ugh. I guess I’m falling in love with the certificates, too.
*Only two people from my group are renewing- Sibusy and me.
We were taken to a swank hall space and feed. The food was amazing and the more they bought out, the better it got. We were so hungry. We were like sharks with blood in the water. AND there was free Georgian wine.
It was time to depart. A lot of people were concerned with getting back to their villages from the drop off point. For example, the people in my bus would get to Oz around 10 at night. The marshrutkas would have stopped running by then, so they would have to find a taxi. It would have been more convenient to put us up for one more night and depart in the morning. But I guess that wasn’t thought though.
We said our goodbyes, and watched our friends disperse back to the far reaches of the country.
(I’m In this News Clip. Pause at the 0:21 second mark. See the girl in the red dress top center? Behind her head… to the immediate right… that’s me! Sitting to the left of the girl in the blue blouse.)