It takes just five minutes to go through the forest and out to the fields.
      Walking
in the village forest
.
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Text and photo
Eistein Guldseth, 2007
   
    Every single tree is filled with declarations of love.  
 
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INITIALLY I REALLY didn’t understand why people wanted to go to this small and not particulary beutiful forest in the middle of the village. But it has certain functions. It’s a free area where anyone can og and do anything they want. Some break bottles, others just want to get away from nagging wives or drunk husbands.The men use to gather here to play cards in the afternoon, or just go there when it's too
 
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hot, because of the large trees, the temperature in the forest is a good ten degrees lower here than around the houses due to the high altitude where sun rather than the air decides the temperature. But in the evening it’s the young ones playground. And it has been like that for a hundred years at least. Every single tree in the forest is full of carved love statements. ”Gia loves Ia, 6/7 1972” and so on. The small forest is like a well written and maintained history book collecting all love affairs and emotional outburst in the village. Still, in the modern era of SMS it holds up as information board for the young ones as a manifest supplement to their more obligations free and short lived SMS. At the same time it is a reminder for all the grown ups of something that once was.

The forest comes to live in the summer nights.
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It was in this forest they held my welcome party, and we use to go there from time to time. Other than that there’s nothing much to say about it, besides that the pigs used makes a mess out of it. But nowadays all pigs are dead due to some major disease that destroyed the pig hold in most of Georgia. That was the year after the bird flue left all chickens and ducks dead. It's during the summer holidays that the forest really comes to live. Then all the young ones come from the big cities to spend their vacation here with their grand parents. There is laghter and giggles everywhere in the forest in the dark nights, and some of the rather "poetic" carvings must surely have been done in the flickering of a candle or in the unpredictable light from the display of a cellphone.



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Great natural light for portraits. This is Irakli.

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100 years of love life in the village inscribed in trees.

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Just walking...
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We met Gurami Mamukas father (left) and Murman
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