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…

thank you; your gift is a rabbit-eared family

I woke up in a panic this morning. Five days left before I leave Stepanavan. Two of those days will be spent doing a camp in a village near here, so in truth, we’re talking three short days here before I cram everything I own, and something things Peace Corps owns, into a taxi and ride to the capital. Good news, I did not stay sick, and Easter-In-June was a wild success. Bad news, I don’t have time for a good post. I have pictures to get printed, camp materials to gather, unseen waterfalls to find, and flesh and blood…

my peace corps house

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…

ants

Yesterday, a nardi demonstration by my landfather showing that even after two years, he can kick my nardi butt. And this morning, I battled the army of ants living in my door. Ok, fine, my landmom battled them. But she used MY bottle of khandzori katsakh (apple vinegar), and that counts for something, right? She laughed at how I freaked out at their swarming from the door frame, how my feet were dancing all over them, trying to stop their advance into my living room. “It’s the weather, Brent,” she says. “Give me your broom. We’ll sweep them out.” “I…

and counting

Two nights ago I spent hours and hours trying to find a plane ticket, trudging through travel website after travel website like I was chopping through a marsh with a box cutter, looking for the ever elusive, speedy (less than 24 hours), cheap ticket to the States. Three days ago I found out I’ll be leaving a month early, July 15, for home.  Now that feels like a strange word. All this time I’ve been giving that word, ‘home’, to Texas, more and more tentatively as I have felt a change coming on.  After recent time visiting America, I started giving…