Thursday, August 02, 2007

Babies and Lost


In Georgian villages babysitters are rare, but there's plenty of grandparents. This is good for my house, since my host sister lives in a different village and we have only South American soap operas and the clumsiness of the puppy to entertain us. The near constant presence of grandkids is very welcome indeed. Even though my host mother is only nine years older than I am, she already has two grandkids. The most recent is Romani, a chubby little baby boy who cares for little more than milk.


His big sister Mariami is 1 ½ years old and a lot of fun. Her hobbies include following the puppy about, playing with a watermelon in a bucket of water, and squealing.

I have an ongoing joke with my host father that I know when he’s been drinking heavily or has a grandchild around because it’s the only time he talks and smiles. The new baby means a lot of grandkid time and since my host father hasn’t cut back on his role as toast master for most the neighborhood’s supras, he’s been all smiles as of late.


Babies are universally loved, but here in Georgia they’re the absolute center of the world. If one of the grandkids are around the whole neighborhood seems to drop by on a daily basis. It’s not uncommon for seven people to oversee the baby’s bath.

I really enjoy the little guys, but sadly I haven’t paid as much attention to them since I’ve been a bit distracted as of late. The cause of this the American TV series “Lost.”

While I was in the states, my brother gave me the first two seasons on DVD. For those of you who haven’t seen this series my advice is to avoid it like it was crack, because that’s what it is. Crack.

I do not get caught up in television in America. Aside from SportsCenter and the Daily Show and Seahawks games I don’t watch a lot of television. I don’t say this like I’m too highbrow for TV, I just don’t like feeling obligated to be home at a certain hour to watch my favorite program. And Lost is exactly my greatest fear. This show is rock cocaine. Stay away from it. It is addictive. While I should have been writing a new 6th grade English textbook the past week, I’ve instead been watching episode after episode of this program. Essentially I watched 40 hours of TV in four days. I ate my meals and wasted the best hours of the day and night watching the series on my laptop, trying to figure out just what was going to happen next.

I have never been so ashamed of myself. When I sleep, my dreams are filled with this remote island and it’s weird cast. I’m suddenly running through the jungle, trying to get away from the “others,” helping Mr. Echo and Jack in their various escapades, consoling Michael over the loss of his son, cursing that stupid Shannon and hanging out with Hurley and Charlie.

And now that I’ve watched all the episodes of season 1 and 2, I’m desperately trying to get season 3. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! I think I found another volunteer who downloaded season 3 somehow and I’ve made arrangements to get it. I have to get it. Absolutely have to.

Now I understand why the most productive conversation topic with my more advanced students was this show, which has been showing on Georgian TV. It’s all they could talk about. Their notebooks were covered with stickers from actors of this show. They’d debate long and hard about which guy they thought was better looking, Jack or Sawyer. And I think I’ve found the way to get them to come to class: I show the program in English and get them to discuss it in English. Who said Hollywood was the bane of the planet. It may be the way to get through to these kids, and I’ll get to watch my precious Lost also. Finally, a win-win.



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