This is a quick update.
On Friday night at about 9:30, our host father knocked at our door and excitedly asked us to come outside. He had just received a call which alerted him to the fact that the city was about to "power up" the streetlights (quechebis naturebi) which have been in the process of being installed over the past month or so (which is a very short time by Georgian standards) along our street (which is normally pitch black at night). We all went out and waited for just a few minutes before the streetlights began to flicker and then to slowly increase in intensity (sodium vapor?) until the street was brightly illuminated. Of course, everyone else came out of their houses also, and before long there was a veritable street party going on. It's great! They are supposed to stay on all night, and now we don't have to fear falling in open manholes on our way home after dark!
A second good thing happened almost at the same time. All of a sudden we began to notice the presence of large silver dumpsters along many of the streets. I don't know why they are there or who they are for, but we have been using them to dispose of our garbage over the past few days, and it seems like everyone else is too (they are always full). Maybe the availability of these dumpsters will cause people to burn less garbage, which always includes millions of plastic bottles and bags and causes a foul smell for blocks in every direction.
The third thing is a bad thing. Over the weekend, someone broke into my office and stole two computers. My office is on the 4th floor (walkup) of a building that has locks on all of the doors and separate locked metal gates on the entrances to each of the floors. In addition, there are always 2 security guards on duty in the building 24 hours a day. All I can think of is that it was either an inside job or it happened while the guards were napping. The locked front door to our office was broken down and the computers were carried down four floors on the way out. I guess this experience also settles an issue that Lisa and I have had. In the summer here it gets beastly hot, and we have no air conditioning. I like to sleep with the windows (first floor) of our room open to get what little air there is, but our host family told us that we should keep the windows shut. With another summer approaching, Lisa has been saying that we really need to keep the windows shut this summer (easy for her to say when its not so hot at the moment), but I have been resisting (knowing what it's like). In view of the recent experience at my office, I guess I will just have to give in on this one.