Colorful world of a lonely grandma living in Georgia's abandoned village
06 December, 2016
Colorful world of a lonely grandma living in Georgia's  abandoned village
“I have been wearing black since I was 18 years old. First I lost my parents, then my husband died and then my son. Tskere is the remotest village in Khada gorge. It is built on the top of a mountain and I have been living here since I got married. I was 21 back then. Now my children and grandchildren live in bigger cities or other villages that are closer to Pasanauri. I am all alone here all year long. In summer, seven-eight houses are full of people but as soon as it becomes colder, everybody moves to the lower lands and only three people are left: me and the old couple living in another house near here.

In winter almost nobody comes here. When everything becomes covered in snow, only the tractors can climb these steep roads and even they cannot go further than lower bridge. After that, one has to walk. I remember the old times, when people made cattle pave the way and then used sledges. Now everything is empty here. Years ago, there were several 4-grade schools in Tskeri and the children could go there until they turned 9-10 years old. A boarding-school was in Kvesheti and children were then moving there to continue studying. Now we have no schools. Only in Kvesheti there is a public school and people cannot leave their children uneducated, can they? So, that is exactly why they move from here every August. Some of them rent houses, others live in small cabins. That is how desperately they want their children to receive knowledge. That is why some villages like Tskere become emptied.

geotv.ge
Photo courtesy of Salome Tsopurashvili

During autumn, when the cars still manage to drive on these roads, I try to gather everything I need for winter. I am very old already. My legs hurt and I cannot even look after my cattle. So I gather everything before cold weathers begin. My pension is 216 Laris and additional 50 Laris as social assistance. You can only take your money in lower villages, so people living there help me. They keep my money until somebody decides to come up.

I remember, three years ago, I was all alone here the whole winter. During three months there was not a soul here. So I amused myself by knitting carpets
and socks. In the evening, I played panduri. I had no TV then so I talked to myself. That brought the feeling of being alive. I thought then that a little kitten would be fine. I would talk to it and tell it the stories.

I like working with wool: I wash it first and then make thread. Then I paint the threads too. I like different colors, they amuse me, make me happier. I knit the socks during winter and then, when summer comes, I sell them to tourists. Many people come to Tskere. Some of them do not speak Georgian or Russian and it is difficult to make them understand anything. But they take photos of me and it is really amusing. They like what I am doing and buy everything with pleasure. One tourist once bought many pairs of socks and gave me 300 Laris. The foreigners like my wool socks better.
As a permanent resident here, I don’t pay for natural gas in winter. I am only eligible to pay from May till October. But I have no running water here, so I have to walk across the road every time I need to wash my things.

Maybe you’ll be surprised but I have only one thing to ask to God. Whenever he decides it is time for me to go, let him not do it in winter. People will have to walk up these roads and I don’t want to bother them that much."

Author: Maiko Chitaia

Related stories:

The Surreal World from the Eyes of an Ushguli Artist

“New and Old Tusheti” - Meet the woman who preserved and introduced Tushetian handicraft traditions to the world

Print
Other Stories
24-year-old Georgian researcher to lead blockchain technology research center in China
Tamar Menteshashvili is a researcher at the Jiao Tong University, in Shanghai, China.
Disaster that changed the life of Tbilisi - 2 years from June 13 flood
21 people dead and 2 still missing, dozens of animals drowned or killed by police as they roamed the city streets and more than 200 families’ properties damaged
Tram restoration project ready and will cost 130 million euros
'There will be the time when the tram project is highly required' - Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania has told InterPressNews agency.
‘Rustavi 2’ TV Director General resigns
‘Rustavi 2’ TV Director General Nika Gvaramia has left office. The TV Company has confirmed this information.
Georgian Airways Launches Tbilisi-London Flights
From now Tbilisi and London are linked with a new direct flight by Georgian Airways.
Georgian student gets $250 000 scholarship from University of Pennsylvania
Georgian student, Meri Kavtelishvili, who this year graduated from the Komarov School with Gold Medal, has been admitted by four leading universities
“Georgian Association of Social Workers” to present winning projects of CSOs for improved child and family services
The Georgian Association of Social Workers will hold a press-conference on June 2nd, 11:00 to present the winning projects of Georgian CSOs
Georgian student who paints with bacteria earns third place at Microbiology Art Contest
Georgian student of veterinary department, who is famous for creating artworks using bacteria
Patriarch to Georgian emigrants: “I urge you to stay where you are, but at the same time be in your homeland”
The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II addressed Georgian emigrants attending the Diaspora Forum taking place in Tbilisi,
May 17: Anti-Homophobia and Family Purity Day events take place simultaneously in Georgia
May 17th features two different events: one part of the society marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) in Georgia
76 years together – Adjarian couple and their 162 descendants
In the village of Garetke, in Adjara’s Merisi gorge, there live 94-year-old Zekie and 95-year-old Hasan Turmanidzes,
Bicycle Lanes to Be Laid in Tbilisi
Tbilisi will soon boast its own cycle paths and infrastructure, enabling riders to safely navigate the city in specifically modified areas.
Culinary competition demonstrating US-Georgia friendship
On May 5th, 2017, USAID program REAP together with the Culinary Academy hosted an exciting culinary competition marking the 25th anniversary of Georgian and the US friendship.
Smart Kids - Winners of Millenium Innovations Award Visit NASA
The first prize winners of the Millenium Innovations Award, a team of 8th graders called Smart Kids from the Zugdidi
4.7-magnitude earthquake hits Georgia
A 4.7-magnitude quake has hit Georgia. According to the Seismic Monitoring Center, two underground quakes were observed
New Wine Festival to Open on May 13 in Tbilisi Mtatsminda Park
It will be the eighth time that Georgian Wine Club hosts a wine festival, aimed at popularizing Georgian brands, as well as raising awareness and wine culture inside Georgia.
Chips, fizzy drinks and jellies to be restricted in Tbilisi schools
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia has devised recommendations aimed at implementing principles of healthy eating in educational centers.
Comfort stations to be arranged at Tbilisi’s 30 locations
As Tbilisi City Hall has reported, comfort stations will be arranged at 30 locations in Tbilisi.
“I want to confess that for my family you are a saint” - Sheikh Ul Islam to Georgia’s Patriarch
"You may never hear anything like this happen in the world: the Muslim sheikh visits the Christian patriarch, kisses his hand and recognizes him as his elder."
Fast buses may appear in Tbilisi soon
Fast buses moving on separate lines may appear in Tbilisi soon,
Polluters to be fined in Tbilisi from today
Beginning from today, the street inspectors will fine the individuals and legal entities for polluting.
Georgia enlisted in low-risk countries list on ‘Bloomberg Risks Map’
The U.S. Bloomberg edition releases the global risks map assessing the threats world’s countries are facing.
Inside the Lives of Georgia’s Child Brides – National Geographic
Mari, 15, lives in the Adjara region. Most girls her age drop out of school to get married. Her grandmother believes it’s a tradition meant to be passed down.
Inheriting the Future, the Georgian-German Year 2017
On April 21 the Georgian-German Year 2017 will officially begin, with an opening ceremony to be held at Tbilisi City Assembly,
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
24.06.2017
25.06.2017
USD
1
USD
2.4110
2.4110
EUR
1
EUR
2.6921
2.6921
GBP
1
GBP
3.0690
3.0690
RUB
100
RUB
4.0425
4.0425
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
Today Georgia marks the day of a highest significance in the country’s history.
So-called Night Wolves, Russian motorcycle club, has arrived at Vake Park.
In the frames of the media-program conducted by IREX and US Embassy to Georgia,
Ani Tsitsishvili is a 20-year-old student of Georgia’s Agricultural University veterinary department and she’s very fond of microbiology.
More and more Georgian alternative musical bands are emerging on the scene.
Wooden products are gaining popularity on Georgian market, including glasses, watches, bags, etc. A new item was added to that list recently – bows made of natural wood.
Georgian citizens will be able to enter the EU without a visa for short stays, under a new law passed by the Parliament on Thursday, - Official website of European Parliament reports.
The heavy fire has entirely destroyed the building of a trade centre Chidren’s World last night.
The world-famous American musician Moby expressed his support to Georgian rock band The Mins at the nearest Eurovision contest publicly.
In all prisons throughout Georgia a special Christmas service was held.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.4110
EUR
1
EUR
2.6921
GBP
1
GBP
3.0690
RUB
100
RUB
4.0425