Rustavi - collecting firewood / Rustawi - Feuerholzsammler, Republic of

I remember this time of the year (end of Jan., beginning of Feb.) in 1997, when we were living in Telavi. The wind was lousy and cold, in march we had high snow (1m).
So what did we heat with? We had a "petchi", an oven made of tin, the same as used throughout the year for cooking. It has one hole on the top. The advantage for cooking is, that you can adjust the heat rather easily, the big disadvantage for heating, that the thin metal didn´t store the heat (for the picture, see this page). Into this oven we lay a large iron hook with many holes, which was connected with the gas-line by a thick black rubber hose.
Then, in February, the Russians cut the gas-pipeline off saying bills hadn´t be paid by Georgia. So I had to buy wood in the center. Wood, that we had to carry up onto the 3rd floor ourselfes (a whole load of a horse-cart!) only to find out it was still damn wet. So when we left the appartement in March, we had a hard time cleaning everything from black grease that had stuck to closets, ceilings, furniture and so on...

These people (grandparents and grandchildren) obviously didn´t have money for fire-wood. I met them near the street (in the back) that links the old part of Rustavi with the new one.

In the next posts I will show you which effects this wild wood-cutting had and still has.

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