Other Peace Corps Volunteers are invaluable friends. There is no one else in the world who will know what it’s like here as well as your PCV friends will. The good ones provide a safe space to vent, miss home, commiserate, and let your American self hang out. When I’m with my PCV friends, I can talk about Obama, Battlestar Gallactica (never thought I would watch that… but necessity is the mother of you-will-watch-anything-when-desparate), and where to buy vanilla in Yerevan. I can complain about host mom quirks and all the stares. And I can dance like I dance, which can certainly incorporate the Armenian arms-only techniques, but is only complete with wobbly feet and old step squad rolls and swings.
The above picture is my friend Liz. She was the first to welcome me to Armenia with, “Oh, you’re the one living with my old host family.” Because we share this host family connection, she calls me ‘Aghbers’, my brother, and we reminisce about Geghtsik’s wild dancing and Armine’s quick temper. I’m currently hoping she’ll cut my hair when I see her this weekend in Yerevan.
And these are some of my close friends, geographically and otherwise. I went up for the weekend to Baghratashin to visit them. Grace made that plate of cookies (I’m cleary very excited, yeah?), as well as lavash chips and 4 layer dip. We watched Perfume, leavened the night with Dodgeball and slept warmly all surrounding each other on mats on the floor. Peace Corps is one of the only places in the world where not only are you not too old for sleepovers, but the activity is expected, comes with the two year package.
I would not survive here without people like this.