Father Saba blesses the lelo ball and escorts it to his church

Father Saba offers a toast to lelo; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Father Saba leads the "parade" to St. George's church from from the home where the lelo ball was made; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Father Saba throws the lelo ball to the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Goga Khachidze; various people tried to catch the heavy ball; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

After the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Goga Khachidze, caught the lelo ball, he suggested that I take a turn. Goga explained that I should absorb the momentum of the heavy ball by holding out my arms and then bringing them into my body. I gave him my camera, thinking he’d photograph me catching the ball, but Goga misunderstood; he thought he was holding my camera to protect it. Father Saba lobbed the ball. I caught it. And I fell backwards onto my butt. The force had literally bowled me over. Everyone laughed, including me. I wish I had that photo!

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About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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