Honorable Mentions

This post is a collection of random things that have happened or have been observed while at camp. Most of them have been happening all throughout the year in various situations. But because of being in this sedentary routine environment, or because I am overdue for a vacation, they have just now reached the point where they simply need to be mentioned. (This will be a long post.)

Kids pooping

One day I was relaxing apart from the kids under a covered area separate from the hotel. I wasn’t looking at or thinking anything in particular.  I noticed a tenant of the hotel took her toddler down the front stairs, and around to the side. She then cradled the kid in a swing like position as she took off the kids’ pants. The kid then proceeded to poop.   …okay.

During my stay here, this has happened by several parent/ toddler combinations. It makes me think twice about walking off the paved paths.

On another day, same seat, I witnessed a toddler walking with her pants down around her legs around the corner of the hotel by herself. She squatted on que, did her business and waddled back around to the front of the hotel. She had a little trouble pulling up her panties and pants, but even did that successfully.

Sunburns and Vodka

My white friends are funny when it comes to the sun. Some have a healthy fear of it, and act accordingly by putting on appropriate lotions and sprays. But most have an invincibility stance they take when going out in the sun for a long period of time, like going to the beach for example. As if to say, ‘I don’t burn easily’, or ‘The sun isn’t THAT hot today’. Georgians are no different. 12 of 16 of the campers burned. 5 (girls) burned painfully bad…or so it looked to me.

This post was inspired by one of my favorite campers, Mari. She was hell bent on getting a tan. And things became super urgent when the first two days of her single week was cloudy and rainy.  So when the first sunny day came, she threw caution to the wind and sun bathed all day. By the next day, she couldn’t move due to the pain of skin burn.

My co counselor, Inga told her she had some skin soother for burns, but Mari dismissed that suggestion very quickly. Instead she went to the market on her own and bought… wait for it…. yogurt.

There are two things that Georgians use as cure-alls. Cha-cha and yogurt.  Cha-cha is used medicinally for aches, colds, scratches, broken bones, etc. Yogurt is used for skin irritations such as bee stings, bug bites, sunburn, etc.

So it wasn’t all that shocking that for the next two days, Mari sat with white cream spread on the exposed parts of her flesh.

Not Understanding What The Kids Say To Each Other

I have come to realize that my greatest tool in terms of effectiveness with students has been first and foremost my ability to simply talk to and communicate with them. Back in the States, no matter the age, I could (and still can) find a common thread to build on.

But here, that tool is taken away from me. It’s weird not having something that you took for granted and used for so long to your benefit. It’s painfully obvious when 1. They are fighting and I try to intervene. I don’t even know what the hell they are arguing about! And to compound the situation, they do not like to ‘tell’ on each other. They handle conflicts amongst themselves (even if they really can’t protect themselves). And simply because they are loud with each other, doesn’t necessarily mean they are in a true destructive argument. So usually when I try to intervene in these situations, real arguments or not, they respond to ‘What’s going on?”, with “Nothing.”  2. I sense that the conversation is getting tense due to side looks in my direction, but again, I don’t have a handle on the thread of conversation to tell someone to stop escalating the matter, because I don’t even know what they are talking about. 3. When they are obviously talking about me.

Toilette paper

First let me reiterate that toilet paper is NOT tissue paper.  Toilette paper is one step up from leaves. It does the job… but that’s the only goal. If you want comfort, tissue paper is the way to go.

I have only seen tissue paper is one hostel, Envoy Hostel. Every other hostel and house stocks toilette paper. But that’s not the point of this entry.

I also mentioned that most bathrooms serve the duel purpose as a shower. I don’t even have to mention the havoc this wreaks on the toilet paper. There simply is no sanctuary. It simply gets soaked. And there is nothing worst than needing to use toilette paper and it’s wet. And I would think this problem has been around long enough to where a solution would have been invented. But I have been here for a year now and time and time again I enter into bathrooms with soggy toilette paper.


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