shnor havor

Today is the first day of September.  Remembering this, I woke up early, ate a bowl of cornflakes and went with camera in hand to congratulate my Armenian landsister on her first day of school.  I had missed her and goofily said, “Shnor havor,” to my landdad as a consolation for missing his daughter’s departure. It should be noted that Armenians congratulate each other for everything. At work I was shnor-havored by my friend Liana because today is Knowledge Day (don’t I feel smarter now!) and shnor-havored by my friend Armen because today is recognized as the first day of…

my advice for the newest peace corps volunteers

Here’s a strange transition:  One minute you’re sitting in America, surrounded by people you cherish, burritos you cherish, Chilli’s franchises, Sonic cherry-limeades, parks, Reese’s peanut butter cups and libraries, the next minute you wake up a year later in a land where summer means removing one of three sweaters, surrounded by signs in foreign script, a group of friends who don’t speak your language, pickled vegetables, and potatoes at every turn.  And also indigestion (I should eat more than cookies for dinner tonight). I’ll hopefully write a post about A Year in Armenia next week.  But this week we’re gearing…

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…

2009makers

Tell me you forgot that I said I’d post a bunch of lists about the decade and the year and resolutions, etc.  I still may post some of them, but a bunch of lists are not really on the way.  However, what is on the way, in just a few sentences actually, is a list of what made up my 2009.  I’d say it was a significant year, on that marked a lot of change, one that solidified some same-olds, and one that will likely be a turning point for me.  So without further ado, my 2009makers: 1. Moving 2009…

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….