Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Rustavi 2's March 2008 video from Ushguli, AT LAST!
The story: I lived in Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia, Europe's highest village, for the winters of 2007-8 and 2008-9, teaching English to all of its 50 schoolchildren for free in exchange for room and board. My first TV event from there was the photos of a set of avalanches which closed the village off for about a month in total. I took the photos, uploaded them to my blog, had a phone interview with Rusiavi 2 TV Channel, and saw it all put together on the next morning's news - very satisfying. The TV people were also interested in how I came to live in Ushguli - not a common occurrance for a foreigner. So they had to come up and film me, and eventually told me that they were on their way "for a couple of days". I jokingly told the villagers, "A couple of days?! It takes a couple of days just to get here and back from Tbilisi! I hope the guys get stuck for a week!" Well, 1 metre of snow later, that's exactly what happened. Once they surrendered themselves to the inevitable, they were able to make such a good little documentary that it was chosen as one of the channel's 10 best programmes of the year! So, at the end of 2008, newly married (civil ceremony, at least), Lali & I were called back to the studio to receive our prize, again on TV. People STILL recognize me in the street in Georgia - "Say, you're that guy who was taking a bath on TV, aren't you?" Well, everyone should be famous for something. Lasha and Levan - great work, still reaping fruit. Keep up the good work!