i’ve landed home

Shnor havor Amenor yev Surb Tsnude!  Happy New Year! It’s been a couple of weeks, I know.  But I have a good excuse.  I have had arguably the best collection of days yet in Armenia.  They were not the typical, wonderful Peace Corps lot though they did include visits with Americans and Armenians and cross-cultural exchanges galore.  But the idea of going over them is very very daunting.  It’s definitely book worthy if I ever end up writing one of those. But my Christmas was so unexpectedly wondeful I’ll just have to sum it up in a list (partly because…

privolnoye

Another visit to a village.  Another incredible time with an incredible family which feels like some kind of gift I do not deserve.  But what to do but completely soak it in which, of course, is what I did. This time another PCV and I, plus a Latvian friend of mine from the European Volunteer Service, headed to Privolnoye up in the mountains near the Georgian border.  We met Ruzana, an ethnically Russian woman who returned to her village after a disheartening time trying to make a life in the capital city.  Ruzana runs a hugely successful children’s club which…

my texan mother in armenia

Most of the past week I think I’ll save for my novel/memoir/perpetually-put-off-piece-of-literature.  That is both a artistic decision, and a way of avoiding the impossibility of putting into words this past week with me, Mom, and Armenia. But, despite the length, consider this a taste. I saw her at first down the hallway, behind the glass partition, my mother looking much skinnier, a little lost, and washed over with anticipation.  She saw me jumping up above the crowd, waving one arm and holding a bouquet of flowers in the other, this little collection of green, white and lavender, a message…

in five days

In the last five days I have: -Hosted an American-Armenian friend whose language skills betray the second part of the title but who’s dinosaur shirt and blue tights screamed the first. -With said friend*, munched gobs of fresh fruit in the crumbling form of an old bathhouse at the 1000 year-old ruins just outside of town. -*Commited to hitching back from said ruins.  Surprised at the first takers: a couple bouncing along in their horse and buggy.  The metal shell of the the buggy had clearly held manure not too long ago.  But what’s a little manure between friends? -*Made…

in which a homeless man thinks that i am also a homeless man

So, after you spend time thinking your neighborhood might explode while you stare at beached whales (please see last post), life gives you a little less bitter perspective. I know I’ve said that my town is fairly cool and all, but it’s startling how cool it is compared to Yerevan which is a mere two hours away.  It tends to be twenty degrees warmer there, and yesterday, at about 3pm the capital had surely surpassed the 100 degree mark.  After searching for the right road for a blistering hour, I, of course, fresh from yesterday’s puke-time, had to hike with…