Since returning from Sri Lanka, I’ve been in hibernation. It’s cold outside and I’ve rarely had anywhere to be, so I’ve been taking full advantage of the downtime and have been more or less hibernating in my house for the past two weeks. As a result, I have been:
-Playing countless games of Uno with my younger host sister, Nutsa. Lately this has resulted in attempting to build card houses once we tire of Uno.
-Introducing Nutsa to all the Disney princess movies. So far we’ve watched Beauty in the Beast and I think Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is next on the list.
-Scaring my whole village by running in a sleeveless shirt in January. Though it has generally been cold, I’ve been saving my runs for days when it’s rather warm and sunny by late morning. Since most Georgians believe in superstitions about getting sick due to various parts of your body being too cold, I have gotten some funny looks when I’m out running without a jacket.
-And of course, not to be a complete waste of space, I have been working hard on various PC projects, including the upcoming two-day training put on by the Life Skills committee at the end of this month.
Though I have spent a lot of time at home, I’ve also been out and about with my host family at several holiday and birthday supras during the past two weeks. I missed the biggest holiday, New Year’s, but was able to celebrate Georgian Christmas (შობა, shoba) and Old New Year’s (dzveli akhali tseli) with my host family. Georgian Christmas is not as big of a deal as American Christmas. My family didn’t do much to celebrate except to make the traditional Christmas dish: khachapuri with hardboiled eggs in addition to cheese inside bread.
Old New Year’s, on the other hand, was a cause for celebration. At 10:30 PM on the night of January 13th, my host family, one of my host dad’s relatives, and I sat down for a small family supra. We had many of the traditional supra foods (cucumber and tomato salad, khachapuri), but also had an entire pig’s head on the table. The pig’s head is an old New Year’s tradition, and my host mom was polite enough to sit me as far away from the head as possible.
The beginning of the New Year’s spread
Until midnight, we ate and toasted with my host dad’s homemade wine. I gave my family gifts I bought for them in Sri Lanka as well as gifts I had sent from the States. They were all very thankful and happy with their gifts. At midnight, we all rushed outside to set of our fireworks and my host dad shot his rifle up into the air, as per tradition. It was quite noisy on our street as our neighbors were all doing the same. I stayed up for another hour or two, toasting some more with my host mom and taking pictures with my host family. It was a really fun night with my host family, though I’m still under the impression that Georgians can out-party me any day.
My host dad’s relative, host dad, host mom, me, and Nutsa (showing off the Barbie I had just given her)
The girls of the family
Nino, me, and Nutsa
Not from New Year’s, but I’m pretty sure Nutsa used all the snow in the yard to make to this snowman