Weekly Photo Challenge: Transient

“Life is but a day;
A fragile dew-drop on its perilous way
From a tree’s summit.” John Keats

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This week’s challenge is Transient
Transient: not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory.

In the grand scheme not much is permanent.

Spring flowers last a month or so.

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Spring flowers

the fire may last a few hours

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fire

the average lifespan of a butterfly is about one month

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a butterfly

a prayer candle lasts maybe an hour

tiny flame

dying flame

the sandcastle will last until the tide comes in

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sandcastle

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Psalm 90 v 10

So, as John Keating says in  Dead Poets Society:

‘Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary’

The Lord’s Prayer in Georgian

After nearly eight years in Georgia, to my embarrassment, I still can’t have a conversation in Georgian, but from my first days here,  I learnt the Lord’s Prayer (მამაო ჩვენო – mamao chveno) by heart. I say it every morning before breakfast, it is usually the only prayer I say in the day, unlike my devout Georgian wife, who spends at least 15 minutes often more, saying her prayers.  One of the conditions my wife had for our marriage was that I should be baptised into the Orthodox Church before the wedding. For this ceremony, I learnt mamao chveno (the Lord’s Prayer) by heart. I know the prayer in English, but when I am saying the Georgian words, it is strange, I do not actually know the meaning of the words as I say them apart from a few like “პური ჩვენი (puri chveni)” meaning “our bread”.

Here is the prayer with transliteration in the Roman alphabet beneath each line.

მამაო ჩვენო, რომელი ხარ ცათა შინა,
mamao chveno, romeli khar tsata shina,
წმინდა იყავნ სახელი შენი,
tsminda iqavn sakheli sheni,
მოვედინ სუფება შენი,
movedin supeva sheni,
იყავნ ნება შენი, ვითარცა ცათა შინა, ეგრეცა ქვეყანასა ზედა.
iqavn neba sheni, vitartsa tsata shina, egretsa kveqanasa zeda.
პური ჩვენი არსობისა მომეც ჩვენ დღეს
puri chveni arsobisa momets chven dghes
და მომიტევენ ჩვენ თანანადებნი ჩვენნი,
da momiteven chven tananadebni chvenni,
ვითარცა ჩვენ მივუტევებთ თანამდებთა მათ ჩვენთა,
vitartsa chven mivutevebt tanamdebta mat chventa,
და ნუ შემიყვანებ ჩვენ განსაცდელსა,
da nu shemiqvaneb chven gansatsdelsa,
არამედ მიხსნენ ჩვენ ბოროტისაგან,
aramed mikhsnen chven borotisagan,

რამეთუ შენი არს სუფევა, ძალი და დიდება,
ramethu sheni ars supheva,dzali da dideba,
სახელითა მამისა და ძისა და სულიწმიდისა,
sakhelitha mamisa da dzisa da sulitsmidisa,
აწ და მარადის და უკუნითი უკუნისამდე.
ats da maradis da ukunithi ukunisamde.

ამინ. – amin

The last lines I have marked in light blue as these aren’t usually said.

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candles in a Georgian church

Carry On Camping in the Rain…

Another weekend, another trip…we were with Adrenalin Hiking Club again. But there wasn’t to be much hiking. We went to the Algeti National Park, 60 km South West of Tbilisi, where a number of hiking clubs were celebrating the beginning of the hiking season. Our transport was a mix of Ford Transit Minibus over the roads, then a Mitsubishi Delica for the off road part.

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Mitsubishi Delica…ideal for transporting a lot of people off road

We made a brief stop en route for those who wished to pick daisies, before heading to the campsite.

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in the daisy field

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camping

I hadn’t camped since my first honeymoon in Norway, way back in 1992. This would be interesting. The clouds, when we arrived looked grey and ominous. As the tents went up the rain started to come down slowly at first, then more heavily. The campsite felt a bit like a music festival, plenty of mud and a bass beat could be heard in the background but the only live music I saw was from singing and acoustic guitars.

The first task was to fetch wood, a reminder of my scouting days, where one of the prime duties at camp was “wood and water”,

The Algeti National Park stretches over the woody southern slopes of the eastern Trialeti range. There was plenty of wood mostly Caucasian Spruce and Nordmann Fir. The rain did look pretty on the pine leaves.

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raindrops on pine leaves

Club Adrenalin trips are known for impressive supras and group photos. Three new members were welcomed to Club Adrenalin: Natali, Mariam and my wife, Khato. The new members were given badges and a T Shirt and had their photo taken with other members.

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Adrenalin Members in club T Shirts

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Khato with Adrenalin flag, T Shirt and badge

The rain didn’t deter the fire makers. The fire was essential for the requisite Mtsvadi (Sashlik). The smell of woodsmoke reminded me very much of Scout Camps a few decades ago.

The rain got heavier, the thunder rumbled, the lightning flashed. We went to bed. The tent walls were damp, a lot of our stuff got wet. In the morning the sun shone and we hung out our wet stuff to dry.

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strange fruit

More feasting this time including grilled mushrooms with sulguni cheese.

There wasn’t much hiking but I did wander about having a look in the forest and at the views.

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in the forest

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a bee seeking nectar and pollen

We left for Tbilisi, early in the afternoon in our trusted Delica.

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off road view through the Delica windscreen

 

 

Interspecies Water Fountain

Outside our block in Varketili (Tbilisi) is a water fountain.

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On a hot summer’s day it is a magnet for thirsty children.

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But it is not just children drawn to the cool water.

horse

Horses get thirsty too, and not just mammals but also our avian friends, the little sparrows like to take a sip now and then.

sparrow

I’ve seen dogs drinking here, too. But have yet to get a photo.

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Weekly Photo Challenge : Heritage

Georgia, my adopted country, has a rich religious heritage. Georgia was the second country to adopt Christianity as the official religion, after Armenia. Religion is important for the majority of the population, despite Stalin and the communists attempts to eradicate religious practices in the Soviet years.
For more interpretations of the theme, click the link: Heritage

An Excursion to Dashbashi Canyon

route to Dashbashi

We assemble at 8am by Marjanshvili Metro, a group of 29 of us with Hiking Club Adrenalin, too big for one minibus, so we will ride out in an additional vehicle, a seven seater Honda Stream. On the map Dashbashi Canyon doesn’t look too far but the roads are twisty and uneven.

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Banners unfurled

It will be a long day. First stop along the route is Manglisi Sioni, an important Georgian architectural monument and one of the oldest Christian centres in Georgia. The first church was built in the 4th Century, today’s cathedral dates back to the seventh century, renovated in 1002.

Arriving around 11am, there was a church service being celebrated but in Georgian churches it is not unusual for people to amble in and out of the church during a service.

Next stop on the journey was Lake Tsalka.

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Lake Tsalka

Near Tsalka lake we visited “Fathers Region a Monastery of Three Priests” with its trout and holy water.

A second lake, Paravani Lake is located 2,073 m (6,801 ft) above sea level and has a surface area of 37.5 km2.

Near to the lake was the Convent of St Nino in Phoka village with a small shop selling artisanal cheese, jam and liquor.

Finally at 6pm we reached our main destination, Dashbashi Canyon. A canyon carved in the volcanic rock by the river Ktsia.

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Dashbashi Canyon

We descended to the river where we gaped at the waterfall and had some fun splashing about in the river.

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waterfall

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No Georgian excursion is complete without a supra (Georgian feast). Having climbed out of the canyon, we gathered around a fire, where Georgian Mtsvadi (Sashlik) was grilled and consumed.

We got home at 1.45 am!