Cuttino's Georgian Life

A journal of my Peace Corps service in the Republic of Georgia, 2006-2008.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Spreading the Football Gospel

I have to hand it to my fellow G6 Tom--he managed to accomplish something I never thought possible: Explaining the rules of American football in a manner that a middle school girl could understand. American football is completely foreign to Georgians; most have never seen a game. Tom came from Kutaisi to give a presentation on the game at Gori's American Corner. In the middle of the presentation, he unrolled a hand-drawn football field and shuffled around M&M's on the "field" to illustrate plays and positions.

That seemed to do the trick. He ended the presentation with TV highlights from an NFL game and everyone understood enough to cheer at the touchdown. Of course, a tackle is universally understood. I only wish Tom had brought a ball to start a game up in the street. While he was at it, maybe he could have taught me how to throw a football.

On a side note, I have to say that the American Corner is probably the most effective means of diplomacy here in Georgia. The program is sponsored by the US State Department and it maintains a number of English libriaries in the major cities. It's a great opportunity for Georgians to come in and practice their language skills. The American Corner is also a great place for the Peace Corps volunteers to do special projects. At the Gori branch, we hold an English Club for middle-schoolers, test prep, a course on TOEFL and the GRE, and give presentations on random topics. So, as you're doing your taxes this month, think about how useful it is here in Gori!


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