But Georgia has been in financial crisis since independence Amiran and his colleagues at Vashlovani have scarcely been paid for the last few years. The program they have developed depends on a grant from the Global Environmental Facility, channeled through the World Bank.
Amiran himself keeps bees and makes honey to sell in his spare time. "The people who work here do not do so for money" he says. "We love the work. But we do hope for better times and a reasonable wage and we hope visitors will come and help support the area."