another new year in armenia

On the last night of 2009 I was sitting with my best Peace Corps friend, Zoë, talking late into the evening about New Year’s resolutions.  We almost missed the New Year, and with moments to spare we ran outside with pots and pans to ring in the new year with a metallic clamor. This year I was invited by my friend and co-worker, Gayane, to spend the evening of the 31st with her family.  When I called to confirm the plans, I found out that they had already prepared a room for me to sleep in after we had toasted…

birthday in armenia

A couple of days ago I started a new year of life.  My friend emailed me, said she was excited to be celebrating my 30th birthday with me.  Had I known she was joking, I’m not sure it would have made a difference in my flipping out on her.  Turns out that I’ve been around long enough that my proximity to 30 bothers me.  Or perhaps the idea that my twenties are progessively slipping away is just giving me the willies.  But many people have sad many more interesting things about growing older, and to be honest, barring catastrophe I’ll…

These are the most interesting photos I’ve taken so far.  In a nearby village where our World Vision office does some work, they celebrated Military Day.  Two schools formed teams of high form students and battled in games that included pull-ups, demonstrations of First-Aid knowledge, and gun reassembly.  The day was fantastic actually, culminating in a feast of horovats and numerous toasts to cooperation, children’s growth, and country preservation.  A great day.

the STRANGEST food I’ve ever eaten and other Nor Tari wonders

Yes, we’re already good and settled four days into 2010.  Yes, my American family and friends are already back to work.  BUT NOT HERE!   No no, Nor Tari celebrations are still to be had.  There are hours still to fill with visiting friends, with eating Nor Tari salads, meat pastries, and copious amounts of chocolates and dolmas (not in that order).  It will be 10 days or so until the Hayastan world is back into it’s regular swing, and I am quite enjoying the quiet, hangist way we’re ringing in 2010 here in my currently wet and cold little town….

ho ho horovats

You thought Christmas was like, SO last week.  You are wrong, of course. Last night the World Vision crew hopped into our Ladas and drove up the hill to the old Soviet resort,  Pasionat (transliteration) for our staff Christmas Party, a preemptive event for the real Christian Christmas (re: previous post). The event started with the women setting tables and the men making horovats (Armenian barbeque).  Horovatsing involves touching a LOT of meat, breathing in a LOT of smoke, and taking too many shots of vodka. After the horovats is ready, then begins the meal which last night included a…