clunky

I’m here with minutes before work starts thinking about diving into all the details that this Monday holds. Details. So many of them. And my mind does not often seem equipped. You know, it’s hard to move to a new state. Very hard. New banks, new license plates, new cell phone service, new apartment, no furniture, no friends, no clue… about anything. Where is the nearest gas station? Where do I go to find toilet paper? Where did I leave my brain? I had to get photos done for a new passport. The receptionist, right before she snapped the photo,…

texas to minnesota

So, it turns out it takes a long time to get from Texas to Minnesota. Long enough that you can make a thirteen minute video. Making the video kind of gave me someone to talk to for 18 hours which makes me sound crazy, but actually the video helped pass the time. And this morning I put some scraps together. Here you go… just in case you want to watch someone talk to himself.

first saturday morning

My first Saturday morning in Minneapolis. One full week at the American Refugee Committee under my belt. This included reengaging American work culture (Microsoft Outlook is frightening and in general I feel like Lucy with her chocolates conveyor belt), getting to know a lot of new friends, enjoying Somali food for the first time, starting to learn my fourth language (Hdg ban ah’hai! I am a star!), and learning that my new workplace is one that matches my soul. My imagination is running wild with plans for my new apartment (moving in a week from Monday!), plans to make even…

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…

i should live on two sides of the world

I took took my language proficiency index exam in Armenian last week. I scored Advanced-Low, which I feel great about. Still, today is exactly one month until I leave my life in Stepanavan behind, and moments ago I was eating dinner with my co-workers, unable to follow the conversation. I might have, I bet, if I listened very closely. But I instead nodded, I smiled at appropriate times, and as I have done almost daily for two years, I let my mind drift. This drifting is familiar to anyone living around an unfamiliar language, and even after learning to speak…