Hello! Today, me (Ondra) would like to tell you a story that only volunteering life in a cultural clash can write. Warning all the characters are real but everything is just fun!
I travelled with 4 other volunteers to Białystok where we stayed at the flat of three girls-volunteers. The first two days I really felt like at home the hosts hosted us with traditional Georgian meals, the weather was perfect, what more could you wish for?
On the second day afternoon, I found myself alone in a kitchen with 6 girls. When Leila, my friend, starts to speak. Well, it is about a time we found out a wife for Ondrej, I love girls from Georgia and Ondra if you should marry, Georgian girls are perfect for you. She continues, okay we have three girls here, all without boyfriend. Who can make the best Chadžapuri (Georgian tradition food.) Girls nominated Gvantsa.
Okay, Ondrej, so in Azerbaijan we have this tradition that the family of man goes to the house of woman to arrange a wedding. I am your mother now and Ana is volunteering to be mother of Gvantsa.
So, let´s start by counting all the positive qualities of Ondrej. He doesn’t drink, smoke, he drives a car, he has a bachelor degree, cooks a perfect curry, he loves children and wants to have some. Now let’s listen what family of the woman has to offer. Ana: Gvantsa cooks the best Chadžapuri, she is very tidy, has two degrees and has a lot of energy to dance. Gvantsa: “I am 28, I could be his mother.” Leila: Ondra are you okay with 5 years age difference? Ondra: hmm, I don´t mind. Leila: he doesn’t care about the age, thats soo nice of him. So, do you think Gvantsa that you can marry Ondra? Gvantsa: We can be friends. *All girls make disappointed noise. Leila: ahh maybe Gvantsa, that is why you are 28 and you haven’t married yet. Everybody laughs hard for one minute. Leila: okay, we have to look somewhere else. But Kristi tells me that Gvantsa is just shy at the beggining and if I come with flowers the next time it will be a different story.
The conversation shifts to a different topic when with my back I manage to drop a magnet with papers pinned to a fridge. Kvensa moves to collect the things and I help her to pin it back to the fridge when I hear Leila: They are touching heart together, it is sign of their love! All girls laugh. I am like wtf just happen, when I notice that the magnet has a shape of heart.
The night moves on, without anybody talking about it. Girls are still in the kitchen when I go to say goodnight. They: I thought you were sleeping already. Me: You think, I go to sleep without saying goodnight. Leila: Gvantsa you see how much he thinks about you. All girls laugh heavily again. Me: Okay, Leila that is good for today.
Ondra from Our Good School in Katowice
(the project is co-funded by European Solidarity Corps)