This blog does not represent the position of the United States government or the Peace Corps as to any matter. All expressions of fact or opinion contained herein are solely those of Mark and Lisa Lebowitz and of no one else.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Developing Country............................

Just a quick note. Georgia really is making progress as a developing country. During the past week or so, workmen have been busy putting up light poles on our street! Yep, we're gonna have streetlights! Of course, one shouldn't get too excited before it actually happens (as exemplified by the new gas heaters that were installed in Lisa's school....the only problem being that there has been no gas and consequently no heat all winter). We're really excited though because at night here it is pitch black on our street and dangerous to walk home. Also, today was the third day in a row that the power did not go off once !!! Usually we lose power at least once and frequently several times every day. I took my camera with me to work today and here are a few pictures for you.

This is the electrical panel for our building, which is located at the base of the stairs heading to my office (4 floors up). Many days when I arrive at work there is a group of people huddled around the box playing with the wires. We frequently check our power by turning all the power off in the office and see if the meter keeps running (which means that someone has tapped our line!).

This is the wall in the stairwell outside my office on the fourth floor. As you can see, there has been some electrical work done there too (it even looks like they may have had a small fire at one time). The pink piece of paper on the wall is an advertisement for the women's health fair which Lisa is spearheading in Zugdidi this weekend.

Here are the streetlights!! We're excited and they look pretty impressive. I just hope they have electricity hooked up to them soon!!

There are lots of used clothing stores in Georgia. Here is one that is on my way to work.

Here's a place where you can buy shesha (pronounced shay-shah), which is wood for your petchi. Lots of people pick up some for the evening fire on their way home at the end of the day.

Here is another used clothing store and a couple of small stores selling general merchandise. There are many, many of these small stores all around town, all selling the same stuff at the same prices.

Here's a fellow who has a stand on a street corner in town. On the table for sale are two bottles of vodka, a carton and a few stray packs of cigarettes. He even has a cup in which there are a bunch of single cigarettes for sale. If you look closely, you can see that his arm is in a sling, consisting of a loop of string wrapped around his neck and forearm.

Here's a car getting pushed to get started. It's a frequent sight. Notice that the driver is one of the pushers too. You really need to develop your technique in order to push the car fast enough, hop into the driver's seat at just the right time, put the car into gear and pop the clutch!!

1 comment:

catherine said...

Hi Mark and Lisa,
That electrical panel is impressive. Good thing there's no juice going through it! Can't imagine what a deal it's going to be when those street lights go on. Like a reverse eclipse.
Love reading about your lives in Georgia. Cath and David