Travel Georgia: Life in a Georgian Village


Farmer in Kakheti, Georgia

A local farmer in Kakheti, Georgia finishes up a day of work by dragging home some scrap metal.

The easternmost region in Georgia, Kakheti is bordered by the small mountainous province of Tusheti, the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north, the Russian Federation to the northeast, Azerbaijian to the southeast, and the Georgian province of Kartli to the west.

I recently had the opportunity to explore Kakheti while on a business trip to Georgia. I was there to learn about the Teach and Learn in Georgia program, a new education program that is sponsored by the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science. Their goal – to bring 10,000 native English speakers into the country to teach English within the Georgian public school system – is garnering headlines for being one of the most innovative teaching abroad programs on the scene in a long time. Hundreds of ESL teachers are flocking to this tiny Eurasian country to experience life within its borders. As Director of Recruiting for Reach To Teach Recruiting, I spent two weeks in Georgia learning about the program, visiting various public schools throughout the land, and meeting with ESL teachers and their host families.

Life in a Georgian village is not easy. Often there is no running water or electricity for a day or two. Life tends to be slow-paced, with much of the work being done during the months of spring, summer and fall. Winter is a time for rest and for reading, and it’s not uncommon to see neighbors seated outside their homes and enjoying the brisk winter weather.

This tiny village is about a 2o-minute drive from Signagi (Signaghi), an important cultural center within the region. Kakheti, as one of the most visited regions in Georgia, enjoys a fast developing travel infrastructure. Its most visited towns, Sinagi and Telavi, offer a number of small and comfortable hotels. Visitors come to this region to learn more about Georgia’s wine making culture. In addition to being known for its handwoven carpets and wine, Signagi is also blessed with stunning landscapes and historical monuments. The town has recently undergone a fundamental reconstruction program and become and important part of Georgia’s tourist industry.

For more information on teaching in Georgia, please feel free to contact me at carrie@reachtoteachrecruiting.com.

6 thoughts on “Travel Georgia: Life in a Georgian Village

  1. ava

    Hands down, you have the coolest job ever. Interesting article too. Who knew they were making a push to bring in English teachers? I guess now we do..

    Reply
    • Carrie Post author

      Ava,

      Reach To Teach just became an official partner with the Georgian Ministry of Education in December. I guess I should’ve written about the program sooner, but we’ve been swamped getting things set up. Anyways, more updates to follow!

      Reply
  2. JoAnna

    I think Georgia is one of those countries that not many people would even think of visiting, but I love it when they get press. I’ve never been, but I’m definitely intrigued to visit that part of the world.

    Reply
    • Carrie Post author

      Hi Joanna,

      I have to admit, I had a vague idea of where Georgia is placed on the map before I went and that was it. I suspect most people are probably in the same boat. It’s a fascinating country, and I really enjoyed my time there. If John and I were a bit younger, we’d certainly consider volunteering there for a semester!

      Reply
  3. Snarky Tofu

    I must say that I find the Georgia you’ve written about bears little resemblance to that of my own experience, a land of peaches and cotton where strapping cousins are able to drive devil-may-care in a high performance, seemingly indestructible automobile painted with the distinctive colors of the confederacy whose horn plays “land of cotton” to confuse the pursuing constabulary, a foolish endeavor indeed because while the Mountains might get them, the law certainly never will.

    My point, Carrie, is that you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere, and wound up in a different spot than expected, perhaps through use of an outdated guidebook. This can happen to the best of us, and as professionals we shouldn’t be so proud as to admit our mistakes. Please don’t take my criticism as anything other than constructive and friendly. I am, after all, just a good old boy, never meaning no harm.

    Sincerely,
    Joshua Samuel Brown

    Reply

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