I arrived at school just after the first class started - my first class isn't until the second period. I sat down in the teachers' room and enjoyed a few moments of rare quiet in the school - there was no one else in the room. I pulled out my plans for the day to review them and prepare for my classes. After a few minutes, Lika arrived and asked if I had gotten the text she had sent to Tea in the morning. No, I hadn't. It seems that the director the Educational Resource Center had called Lika last night to tell her to tell me about a show happening in Zugdidi today, and she wanted to let me know about it. Lika had texted Tea, but Tea didn't get the message. Lika asked if I didn't want to go? (She learned British English, so often we lose each other in the difference of wording and emphasis.) I looked at her and didn't really know what to say, nor what to ask first. Our conversation was roughly this:
I stammered for a second and said, "What are we talking about?"
She said, "The show."
"Yes, but what is it?"
"A show in Zugdidi at the theater."
"And what is it all about?"
"I don't know. Something with another foreign teacher."
"Okay. You don't know what the show is?"
"No. I don't know."
"Okay - when is it?"
"Today. You'll have to leave for town at 1." My brain was spinning at this one.
"But, I have class then, and I teach the last period, and after school I have my conversation group."
"It's okay. You don't want to go?"
"If I knew what it was, I would be able to say whether or not I wanted to go, but it's hard to make a decision when I don't know what it is. And how can I leave school early when I have classes?"
"It's okay. You should go. Tea can go, too."
So, when Tea came to school, it was decided that she and I would leave school early and go to town for some kind of show that had something to do with another teacher that I don't know.
Just before 1, I was in class with Lika, getting ready to leave when a student came to the room, opened the door, and said that the marshrutka (public transportation) was waiting for me. I grabbed my bag and ran to meet it. Tea was holding it for me. I climbed aboard, and off we went to "The Show."
In Zugdidi, we walked to the theater and arrived at 2 o'clock - the advertised start-time. The steps of the theater were crowded with people - some adults and a lot of students. Tea saw a teacher she knew, and we talked with her for a little bit. She introduced us to her TLG teacher - William from Tennessee. We all talked for about 10 minutes until the doors of the theater were opened. We went in and sat down to wait for the start of the show. We found out that it was a show that one of the Zugdidi schools put together with Georgian songs and dances in a bit of a play that the English classes had put together. We talked while waiting for the show to start.....and talked.....and talked.....and waited......and talked some more. Finally around 2:45, the lights went down, and a lady got up to introduce the show. The play was in both Georgian and English - the students who spoke English did a great job. A couple of men's groups sang the traditional Georgian songs accompanied by a small guitar-like instrument. A couple of student groups performed some traditional dances. It was well-put-together, and the crowd enjoyed it. After the show, we found out that the TLG teacher from that school put the show together and with the semester ending, would be going back to the U.S.
Tea and I walked to the market to get a few things we needed and then went to the bus station to catch the marshrutka back to Shamgona. We piled in and rode in the over-loaded mini-bus back home. We arrived starving - it was 5 o'clock, and we hadn't eaten since breakfast! After a big lunch/dinner, we were both much happier!
Flexibility and spontaneity! Without these I would have missed a nice experience. Although normally I would never consider cutting out of school early to go see something I had just found out about that I knew nothing about, I enjoyed the show and the time with Tea.
And the excursion for Saturday is still "on" - That should yield some more opportunities to practice my mantra as well!