I had been trying to meet my new host family for several days now. But it was finally set up. I was to be picked up at my school after my camp was done at 5. I asked without thinking, ‘how will they know me’? My co teacher found this to be too funny…and obvious.
I approached the school and there were a lot of adults there, which was unusual. But when I got to the school, I noticed a good-looking kid smiling and walking towards me. He shook my hand and introduced himself as Giorgi and his father (don’t remember his name). Their truck was a two-seater, so Giorgi got in the back. He still was able to speak to his father, though.
Awkwardly, the truck broke down halfway to the house. Not broke down all the way, but it barely got above 15 MPH. …awkward.
As said before, their house was pretty far from school; actually it’s on the outer limits of town. We got to gravel pavement before we stopped. But the house was no less impressive than my current house. Some better things, some not so good things.
The family consists of only a father, mother and son. Both sets of grandparents are deceased. The father has a cement business in town and the mother is a well-respected elementary teacher at my school. The son is going to the 10th grade.
The first thing I observed about them is they don’t ignore each other. The father hears and responds to the son and the son responds to both parents. The second thing I noticed was the mother doesn’t seem to have the propensity to scream at the volume of my current host mom. That’s a good thing.
The living room is not as furnished as the current home. They have one of those double seated garden swings and kitchen table chairs (I think that eat in this room, too. It’s big enough). The television is in a far corner, which is why I think it’s the family area. The floor in this room is cement.
Off the living room is the kitchen. I was highly impressed with this space. It’s an open kitchen, expansive and fully tiled. I even noticed a microwave oven! I could have been mistaken… but I swear it looked like a microwave. The kitchen looked very modern considering. Around the corner was the only bathroom in the house. But I was impressed by it as well. It too, was fully professionally tiled with western toilet. What struck me best about this bathroom, was that it was clean and uncluttered with random items. Everything was as it should be in a bathroom. And clean.
The ‘interior’ stairwell didn’t seem to be completely finished. The bottom level was still gravel and the parameter wall was roughly cemented with cylinder blocks.
The upstairs is constructed of wood. But all the wood is beautifully stained. The area of the house seems to be the same as my current house. But they only have three bedrooms. Past what is to be my bedroom is the upstairs sitting area. All the rooms have door access to the others. So if you were to imagine a walking tour, you would start on the upstairs ‘foyer’, walk into my room, then into the sitting area then on into a long room on the front of the house. Turn left and you reenter the house into the parent’s bedroom. Straight on you go through Giorgi’s bedroom, then out to the ‘foyer’ again.
After the tour, we went downstairs to have a mini supra. Joining us was one of my co English teachers from school. The son could have struggled through as interpreter, but I think she wanted to play that role. The food was all familiar but slightly different, due to the hands that made it. The father does not speak English (and indicated that he didn’t). But was happy enough that I drank wine and Vodka. I think he was also pleased that I was able to share 7 or 8 toasts before I called it quits.
It was decided that I would move most of my things to their home this Sunday. The plan is for me to work at the summer camp for all of July. And perhaps the first two weeks of August. If not, then I will stay with them in August.
It was a pleasant first impression I think for both parties.
The only things that will have to be adjusted and dealt with are the distance from the school, and the lack of a heating system in my room. But if they can do it, so can I.