How Places Change You

I’ve been thinking a lot about the way places change you. Every place has a rhythm. Every place has breath and movement. Places pull you and push you like waves in an ocean. An ocean wave can cradle and rock you, hold you while you float, ears underwater, eyes at the sky. Waves can whisk you up and roll you onto the sand. Waves can gently pull you out to sea. Perhaps you would fight hard against the waves in one direction or another. Perhaps you would take advantage of the rolling sea and stand up with your friends to…

fall plus nardi

I. Love. Autumn. Bring on the soup. Bring on the sweaters. Bring on fall colors and cozying up. Tomorrow is the big apartment move-in day. I moved up here with my Peace Corps bags and a few boxes, so I’m fairly housewares-less. But right now my dreams are filled with me, on a couch with hot tea, warm bread, and an blanket. I’ve done a lot of wandering around in these first couple of weeks in Minneapolis. I’ve done a lot of sitting in coffee shops, a lot of walking down unknown streets, a lot of wandering into record stores…

wearing armenia

Speaking of Mom and her jewelry talents, she taught me to solder. I had this idea before I left Armenia, and with a little instruction, I made these: I put them together in my first weeks back home. With a few photos, some microscope slides and my mom’s necklace odds & ends, I made a way to wear my Peace Corps experience on my neck. Each of these has a back side with a different picture, and I flip them over throughout the day. From bottom left, clockwise: The first in the corner is a picture of my house on…

missing

Last night I called my landfamily in Armenia. I haven’t in weeks. I knew it would be hard to keep in touch. They don’t have internet. They live in another hemisphere. They wake up when I go to sleep. But still, I saw them everyday for almost two years, and the morning I left made all of us cry until we just couldn’t anymore. I called them sitting in the living room of my Texas home. I heard Serine’s voice, and there it was, the first cry since I landed in Texas over a month ago. They passed the phone…

coming back to america: expected and unexpected

There are so many parts of reentry to America to talk about, and I’ve started to make two lists. Here’s what I have so far: Things that are really not surprising at all: Super Wal-Mart is super terrifying. For two years, I did grocery shopping the Armenian way. I chatted with shopkeepers, had coffee with my bakery ladies, and shook hands with the vegetable man. There were so many things I couldn’t find in Armenia like brown sugar, buffalo wings, or tostada shells. Still, after growing up on America’s industrial food system, it was actually thrilling to know I could…