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…

mold tastes like dirt and ghosts eat cake

Spring Chicken is quite upset with me.  It has been raining for a few days.  Rain makes mud.  Mud gets stuck in paws and then leaves stains on clothes and tracks on the office’s tile floor.  I am not allowed to keep her inside the cottage and bringing her mud ridden to work would be the end of her office life altogether.  So I leave her behind bars, and she screams at me and shivers in her little cage. Guilt is not a good way to start (multiple) days.  It is also little use to follow them with days of…

satisfying your needs and a fine cultural moment

First of all, let’s satisfy this need right now.  I know you’re all waiting for shriveled wet puppy pictures similar to those of the departed/possibly-eaten Sanity. So, there’s that. Now you’re probably wondering, when I’m not eating Taco Maco, craving Mexican food, plotting to intercept huge shipments of Mexican food things on their way to anywhere, or thinking about how much I NEED MEXICAN FOOD, what do I actually do in Armenia?  Well, I’ll tell you by telling you this: Earlier this week some Armenian teens, a guy from work, and I crammed into a Lada Niva and drove to…

spring, cookie dough and a drum circle

I know, I know.  Wow. Very interesting Brent.  Thrilling.  But lets take a minute and really examine what this photo means.  First of all, in this cookie dough you’ll find vanilla, brown sugar and Nestle milk chocolate morsels, none of which you can find easily, if at all, in Armenia.  This is a cookie dough that brought together ingredients from multiple continents.  This is a cookie dough prompted by caring hands back in the motherland.  This is a cookie dough whose creation was so perfectly timed that it may very well have contributed to the continuation of my Peace Corps…

lunch sanity

I’ve been looking for grants all day.  All day.  One site says it wants to fund human rights projects for Bangladeshi women.  Another wants to dig wells.   Another is dedicating all it’s funds to democracy initiatives in struggling republics.  Fantastic.   But what I need is somebody who’d like to help a bunch of old ladies in a village refurbish an old house and make it into a cultural center/tourist opportunity for interested travelers.  And I’m finding zilch. So after a few hours, I got hungry, looked around for my lunch buddies and found out that I’d have to wait another…