thank you; your gift is a rabbit-eared family

I woke up in a panic this morning. Five days left before I leave Stepanavan. Two of those days will be spent doing a camp in a village near here, so in truth, we’re talking three short days here before I cram everything I own, and something things Peace Corps owns, into a taxi and ride to the capital. Good news, I did not stay sick, and Easter-In-June was a wild success. Bad news, I don’t have time for a good post. I have pictures to get printed, camp materials to gather, unseen waterfalls to find, and flesh and blood…

loneliness, an unavoidable peace corps companion

I’m still sorting through pictures and thoughts about Turkey.  That post will come soon enough.  However, upon landing in my cottage a couple of days ago, my thoughts have moved quickly off of what feels like a dream of water-pipes, Ikea, cheesy bread, and Turkish hipsters. I’m home in Armenia, and after arriving here on Sunday, the first days of the week found me hosting Danelle, a new volunteer who arrived this summer and now works at a kindergarten and at a children’s NGO in a small town by the Georgian border.   We spent some time comparing our experiences which…

backing up to the island

      I happened upon a saved document yesterday, a bit about impressions after a week on Isla Taboga, an island off the coast of Panama City.  I had gone with my friend Travis, and for a couple of weeks it was just the two of us waiting for our other two friends to arrive on the ferry.  It was supposed to end up on my blog exactly two years ago, but because of lack of internet on the island it stayed on my hard drive.  It’s a bit heady, but it took me back to some of those…

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…