Summary: Well, I've extended my contract with TLG so I'm now down on the books as staying here until December.

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Update From Georgia

Donovan Nagel
Written byDonovan Nagel

Well, I’ve extended my contract with TLG so I’m now down on the books as staying here until December.

I think the option’s there for me to remain in Rustavi after the holidays or to get another placement somewhere else in the country.

This contract extension also comes with a free return flight home to Australia for the Summer or anywhere else of equal value if I want.

However, we’re currently applying like mad for jobs elsewhere that pay a decent salary with a commencement date around the end of June/beginning of July and trying to knock off as many interviews as possible in the early part of May.

We’re primarily looking at Turkey and South Korea - Turkey because of its close proximity to Georgia and Europe, and South Korea for its salaries and conveniences.

I actually wouldn’t mind heading to Europe, North America or back home for the holiday and then finish out the year in Georgia after the break, but it’s financially impossible for me to take that option right now.

Even to return home on a holiday would bankrupt me completely (taking into consideration my bank debt and available funds, I have about $200 to my name and some hefty bills coming in every month).


I have no choice whatsoever but to find a job that pays a good salary in order to get myself out of the red and to be able to enjoy myself for the rest of the year.

UPDATE FROM 10 YEARS IN THE FUTURE: Crazy when I read these old posts and see that I had $200 to my name in 2011. Now I’m a millionaire. How life can change in one decade! 😊


Easter was great. A few of us headed out to a village on the border of Abkhazia (Russian occupied territory of Georgia).

We were force-fed Chacha (the Georgian equivalent of Italian Grapa or moonshine) and drank wine out of horns for breakfast, lunch and tea which was an experience that my stomach will never forgive me for.

The family we stayed with are actually from the Abkhazian region but can’t return home because of the occupation.

Needless to say there was a lot of strong, anti-Russian sentiment there.

I’ve been taking Georgian lessons twice a week for a little while now.

I have to say that although Georgian is by far the most difficult language I’ve ever come across (I’ve studied at least 10 languages), I’ve actually managed to pick it up at a rate faster than I did with Arabic in my earlier days.

This is doubly surprising considering the fact that I’ve spent most of my time here surrounded by English-speaking Georgian and foreign friends.

The only possible explanation I can arrive at is that I’m older and more adept at second-language acquisition now than I was back then.

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