Maia joined TLG in May 2012 and has been working as the Health, Safety, and Support Assistant ever since! With degrees in Food Hygiene and a PhD in Medicine with a specialty in Food Safety, she is perfectly suited for her job here!
Hello Maia, how are you today?
Fine, and how are you, Raughley?
I’m good, I’m good!
I’m sure. (Laughs)
What were you doing prior to working for TLG?
I worked in the Ministry of Health, in the Ministry of Agriculture, in a Consulting Company too.
And what were you doing at those Ministries and Companies?
In The Ministries I was the Chief Expert of Risk Management in the Communication Division. I was also the head of the Food Safety Division.
What are your responsibilities here at TLG?
We work in 3 directions. The first is to help with the volunteer selection process—I mean, as far as medical health is concerned. The second direction is to monitor volunteers’ health. And the third part is to care about their safety. That is, to write general emails about how to prevent problems or how to avoid dangerous or risky things. How to act or what to do when you’re sick.
Okay, and what is a typical work day like for you?
Unfortunately we don’t have a typical day! (Laughs) We can’t plan because sometimes the morning starts and there is something urgent and we have to go and we have to help the volunteer. It makes it difficult to plan in these circumstances.
With Winter coming, what is the most important advice that you would give to a volunteer preparing for the winter months?
My first advice is that all volunteers should take some amount of responsibility for their health. And the second one is that as soon as you find out that you have some health problems it’s better to go to the doctors right away and not to delay. And never take medicine by yourself—don’t self-diagnose or self-medicate. It’s better to go to the doctor and follow their instructions.
If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be, and why?
Why? It’s full of vitamins. It contains iron, which is a very necessary component in our blood. It’s one of the components of Hemoglobin—one of the necessary molecules that enables us to breath and to live. (Laughs) I would especially want to be a yellow peach because it’s even higher in iron. And it’s very tasty!
What is your fondest TLG-related memory?
Fondest? (Pause) (Keti Kharshiladze laughs: You hate this question!) (Laughs) I believe my fondest memory is yet to come!
How has TLG impacted you personally and/or professionally?
Well, I have to communicate with a lot of people, especially foreigners. And all people are individuals and we have to take their personalities, their needs, and their abilities into consideration and to me this adds some very interesting aspects to my life. As for professionally, (pause) it is also interesting because we encounter many different diseases and sometimes it gives us new experiences, too. So it’s interesting.
What is your favorite Georgian holiday?
Holiday? (Pause) when I was at school it was spring holiday because it was—wait no, I hated spring holiday because my birthday was during this time and all my friends were out and it was a disaster for me. But now I like spring! (laughs)
Okay, and last question, what is your favorite kind of khatchapuri?
Oh, Raughley! I am not a cheese-eater, so I have never tried it!
Wow. (pause) Wow. I had no idea. (Pause) Lobiani maybe?
Oh yes, I like all pastries.
Well, thank you very much, Maia!
Thank you as well. You are a good boy.