my texan mother in armenia

Most of the past week I think I’ll save for my novel/memoir/perpetually-put-off-piece-of-literature.  That is both a artistic decision, and a way of avoiding the impossibility of putting into words this past week with me, Mom, and Armenia. But, despite the length, consider this a taste. I saw her at first down the hallway, behind the glass partition, my mother looking much skinnier, a little lost, and washed over with anticipation.  She saw me jumping up above the crowd, waving one arm and holding a bouquet of flowers in the other, this little collection of green, white and lavender, a message…

so ergonomic!

I found these two beautiful mugs in my town for less than $2.  Shipped in from Iran through a company called Family Ship, they were too good to pass up.  I laughed out loud when I saw them while searching for gifts for the new PCV’s who just moved to the region.  I wanted to buy one for each newbie, but as there were only two, I bought one for my PC bestie and, naturally, kept one for myself. Because who’s day doesn’t get a little brighter when they see tiny cartoon giraffe, shuddering and crying out weakly, “My god!”,…

reading the grinds

Every morning our staff gathers around in the break room.  We start our day with tiny cups of coffee made the you-better-not-say-it’s-turkish-IT’S-ARMENIAN! way.  Armenian coffee is thick and dark, and the grinds become a dark, gritty cream at the bottom of every cup.  You don’t drink that creamy bit.  Most people leave it, but occasionally we read the grinds.  Rarely does the event take place as you might hope, with an old lady with a deep wrinkles and hair wrapped in a tattered handkerchief.  But still, it is a fun game to play, to see what the grit says about…