Linda: first office day

Woke up late and hurriedly got ready for our first day at the office.
The notorious Borjomi water supply problem manifested itself by leaving Marta with a mouth full of toothpaste and nothing to rinse it with.

Vaniko, Natia' s husband drove us to the park administration office and there we were left on our own and went to explore the outdated park museum, which needs an urgent change of exposition- the animals in chloroform cans have completely lost all colour and look like ghostly creatures never seen the sunlight- but it still provides information of park's flora and fauna.

Later Natia and Levan (the other of two visitor centre employees) presented the park' s Visitor Management Plan draft on which we will have to work and finalize a proper planning document. Our three main issues to focus on will be:
1) sustainable tourist product development
2) quality management
3) carrying capacity of the park.
And they would be happy if could also produce an event calendar and communication and marketing plan for the park.
Serious and ample work. Aren' t their expectations from us a bit too high for a three month time frame? Agreed to do more detailed planning two days later when we will finish reading the draft and putting down our comments on it.
That was all the work for the frst day and we decided to take the "education trail"- trail no. 7 starting behind park adminstration building to get the idea of what the trails of the park are like- what signs are there, what kind of infrastructure, how well kept etc. Noticed immediately that many signs, and wooden infrasturcture- benches & tables are broken or damaged, trail railings and steps in steeper places falling apart and waste lying around everywhere, besides, the marking of even this simple short trail failed to direct our way and we strayed off-trail. The nature caught my attention many times and made me curious- different plants that I had not seen before and a large 4cm bright green pearly bug- I would like to explore more about who they are.
Went shopping for food and made "friends" at every shop or market stall, where we stopped by. And at every place were asked, after our nationalities and names- if we are married or not. And the answers depending on the person giving them were either like "I have a nephew your age, also not married..." or like "Georgian guys will steal you!" Weren't we supposed to be too old for being bride-kidnapped? Anyway, seems that marriage is a big issue here.
All in all we feel like the new attraction of the town. Although Georgians are quite close to us in their looks and way of dressing, still we stand out somehow and everyone on the street knows- these are foreigners.
At home decided to turn on my computer for the first time since arrival in Georgia just to find out that it has become completely useless- only one message blinking on the black screen: "Operating system not found". Was blanc from shock myself for a while and then dissapointed greatly- why did I carry it all the way to Borjomi then?
To think about something else engaged myself in cooking a vegetarian lunch from local veggies in our open-air kitchen having to ask every kitchen tool from Vaniko' s father, who is a very sweet grandfather almost always at home providing us help if we require it. Devoted the evening to my internet-addiction- chatting on Skype and replying to e-mails at an internet cafe.

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