Hello hello hellooo! Here in Georgia, the weather has finally calmed the f down and it’s all pure sunshine, blooming flowers, and old women verbally noticing how much winter weight I’ve gained. I will now give a semi-boring account of a recent project of mine, so if you are in the 99% of people who read this blog for pictures and jokes, feel free to skip right on over it
Last weekend, my friend and I put on an event for Global Youth Service Day. Our intention was to conduct a mini project management session on the first day and then put on a small-scale project the next. We recruited 20 non-sucky students from grades 7-10 in my town, and the training part actually went really well (once we finally got the third projector to work and swallowed our pride by asking a 7th grader to translate for us)! We walked them through goals and objectives, activity timelines, and budgets. The final product? A concept they called “Happiness Day”. It was kind of vague and we didn’t know what to expect as we wrapped up the first session, so we didn’t have high hopes for the implementation phase on Saturday. Additionally, we told them to be creative because we would only be providing flipchart paper and markers. PS it rained hardcore that night.
We came back the next day expecting a few kids to come back out of pity for the weird Americans. BUT NO. They showed up in full force, towing along their own supplies of dagnab colored pencils, freaking balloons, and other thoughtful shiznit. Some of them had even thought of “happiness” phrases to write on big posters and small handouts. Are these kids truly Georgian? We may never know, but it was a nice surprise.
“Happiness Day” turned out to be a great success. The kids led the way as we meandered around town, asking people what brings them joy and passing out inspirational papers (i.e. creepily detailed smiley faces–seriously, tongue texture was added). Btw the weather was immensely accommodating; I even got my first sunburn (read: Vitamin D) of the year! Yay. At our debrief session afterwards, they genuinely said such things as “Now I know I can do projects to improve my community with my own leadership skills and creativity”. WHAT. WHAT. I kind of think Peace Corps shipped these kids in from over-achiever land so that I would write about it and it would become promotional material. It’s like when you see Peace Corps ads and it’s all white people in African villages planting seeds. I’ll be honest with you, I spend most of my time trying to avoid puking from drinking chacha and it sure as heck doesn’t look as harmonious as the freaking seed planting. But I digress.
Anyway, here are some pictures from Global Youth Service Day in Tkibuli. You can see that these kids were so good at everything, my friend and I had plenty of time to just play with the balloons. Peace Corps, baby.