This started as a tiny effort to show you guys my house here in Stepanavan. It became a multi-day ordeal as I waited for each cloudy day’s hour of sunlight to do another take. It became a THING, an event my landsisters and I did every afternoon for almost a week. They loved it, began to tell visitors to their house that they had to help me make a video, that they were my ‘astghiknere’, my little stars. (You can see Greta explaining this to her grandmother in the video.)
I have never felt more myself than I have in this little cottage. It has been a refuge from the cold winter. It has been my favorite reading spot. I have laid out my mattresses for many sleepovers on the cottage floor. I have reveled in morning light coming in through the windows, beckoning me to get out of bed, eat breakfast and read, and then dance my way through daily chores. Every inch of the place feels like me, more than any space ever has. I am the first person to ever live in this house, and right now, for three more weeks, it feels all mine.
(There are a lot of Peace Corps House videos up on Youtube. I like to peruse them and imagine my life around the world. Here’s a friend of mine and her Peace Corps House in Sevan, Armenia. Here’s another friend’s home in Honduras. Take a look around the vids; tell me which ones get you dreaming about life in a new place.)