President Saakashvili is a rock star. Originally we were told we were going to meet the president. It was not so. The president was giving a speech (on what I am not too sure, I caught the word school. My Kartuli is not very good.) to several towns across the nation. Before he arrived in was a stage show spectacular of Georgian TV stars, Mingrelian singers, even Miss Georgia. The president's helicopter circled the town square a few times before depositing him off sight somewhere. The speech lasted no more than 10 minutes and then the thousands of people climbed back into the buses, the snipers put away their riffles and normalcy resumed in the town.
The real fun is what we got up to after. (The 'we' I refer to is Engela and I, because we live so near.) We met up with 3 other TLG folks and discussed plans to go swimming in Poti over lunch. We didn't have any swimwear with us so we convinced the group to come to our town and go swimming in the mountain river.
The taxi ride down was cramped and relatively uneventful - we did get to practice directions in Kartuli though. The cab dropped us at Engela's and from there we were going to walk until we could flag down a car. The first car to pass, A BMW, stopped and drove us. Life is Grand.
The river we stopped at has a bridge that I would say is close to 10m from the water. We ju as I was assured the water was very deep and we would be fine.
It hurt so much. I feel like I have been hit by a car. It was totally worth it. You fell for so long it stopped feeling real. To soothe our aching bodies we headed to the volcanic hot springs- this time jumping in the back of a logging van. We lay there until we thought our poor host families would be worried. Hitchhiked back into town and called it a night.
What did we learn from today. Hitchhiking is great.