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…

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…

dream come true

I am currently on a jaunt through Syunik Marz, the southern most region of Armenia, an hour or so from Iran, 9 hours from my home in the North. I am helping a fellow volunteer and best friend with a project in her town. This morning we met a second round of smiling school directors, all eager to pass out our summer camp applications to their students on this last day of school. Walking into schools, hearing this strange, wonderful language fall from my lips, smiling and shaking hands with bright-eyed Armenians, the morning made me remember everything I’ve loved…

somebody, turn off that light at the end of the tunnel

I returned to my Armenian town just days ago. Last time I was here, the night brought quarter size snow flakes, and the morning was covered in it eight inches deep.  I flew southwest where I ate mounds of Mexican and Thai and Vietnamese food, relished in Americanness like drag shows, Just Dance, and Thursday night gatherings around “Parks & Rec”. Now I’m back in Armenia with just a few months before the end of my Peace Corps service, and I’m feeling some things. 1. I so much miss having a group, those friends you see every week for some…

healing

I have never concentrated so hard on walking.  The brace is off as of today.  My shrimpy little leg with the still swollen knee is free like a wobbly newborn calf.  Walking from the hotel to CVS, from the Kennedy Center to Georgetown, I almost yell down at my leg, “CONCENTRATE!”  Left, right, left, right, heel, toe, NO LIMPING.  Relearning to walk is grating my patience. ______ My time in DC is creeping to a close.  I’ve got a list of things to eat, see, watch, and read.  I’ve written down a few items to take back to Armenia.  I’ve…