Saturday, 13 September 2008

Our first destination' Shenako'

Here is the heart of Tusheti for some - Shenako, with Nino and Zao's homestead centre left, our home for four wonderful days. Nino is one of the finest cooks in Tusheti while Zao is an excellent host but never take him on when drinking Chacha.

Shenako and a view from a terrace looking down on the village.
This assortment of homes (some ruined, some decaying but inhabited, some restored) is one of the most magical places I have ever been to. A community of wonderful souls whose generosity knows no limit.

The following images are an assortment of pictures Melissa and I took over four days during the village festival.

This is Shenako winter village, with only a couple of inhabited houses, the rest abandoned and rapidly becoming ruined. These are the houses the villagers moved to in the winter months of extreme cold and deep snow (the summer village being too exposed to the elements). Only one couple stay all year round now, the rest leave Tusheti in the winter (October - May) and live elsewhere.

My daughters. India on the right and her younger sister Iona on the left. This picture was taken on the track leading into Shenako

The Church in Shenako has recently been renovated .Our friends Eka and Irma's father played an important role as priest and inspiration for the restoration project With his enthusiasm and help from the village the church has been revitalised. We attended a wedding blessing this summer and I have to admit we all cried , it was a moving sight for everyone . Hats off to everyone in Shenako .

I'm not sure where the eventual and all important financial support came from .If anyone has an idea please leave me a comment and I can give them credit in this account.

Another shot of Nino's home and her cow barn. The following pictures are a selection of Nino ,our host at work, with her cows, making cheese and her life in general.

Nino described her kitchen as something out of the last century and I guess she is right. When we I asked for hot water to wash in, Nino had to boil the water over the fire and not simply turn on a hot tap. A very tough life and it made me think twice about needing hot water.


Ziggy said...

thanks for this interesting blog and the great pictures! i have been to shenako twice, also staying as a guest of david and his family. i was wondering if he or anybody ever mentioned where the first donations for restoring the church came from. as first nobody in the village helped him, but then some austrian support showed up... anyway, good to see that "kennedy" is still on his feeth too.

Chris said...

I know David has felt passionate about the church restoration. I presumed he was working closely with Eka and Irma's father . Mr Chvritidze who as you will know is the priest and has been working hard to impliment the much needed improvements. Where the money came from I have no idea.
Thanks for your feedback.


Somerset Wedding Girl said...

Beautiful views, and it looks like you had the authentic experience!