Saturday, September 27, 2008

mini america space

I didn't know before getting myself into this, how attached I am to my "things." My things, are essentially my home. I am still digging out of my suitcase for underwear, pens, ducktape, books, all of the things I wasted too much money on, and the very last of my jolly ranchers. As long as I have all of this to retreat to... I think I'll be fine. I've learned alot about myself in 4 short months, one thing being that no matter where I am, I still don't like waking up early, and another is that I'm alot more "American" than I thought when it comes to walking. I actually do walk fast, and with purpose.

My Pops shared with me a line from a book he is reading. I don't think anything could be truer.

"Even if all needs are satisfied, there is a tendency to feel restless unless we are doing what we think we are capable of doing." --Maslow

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

english class

I didn't learn a second language until I was in high school, and even then it was somewhat of a joke with Senor Vela and his notorious yellow mustache he had from chain smoking. I remember being kicked out of his class one day for passing out gum to everyone before he came in. It was supposed to be a joke, but I got the boot. No chiclet meant No chiclet.

I was able to sneak this picture without too many of them noticing. Armenian kids start learning English in the third grade. It sounds impressive, but the truth is that they only know how to read English. Comprehension is not a priority as many of the teachers aren't concerned if they can or can't comprendo. If a class can run 45 minutes without a reason to start yelling and pinching ears, its a good day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I sat in on an Armenian dance class for young girls the other day. It took a while for them to forget I was taking pictures, I was a big distraction. The traditional dances they practice are ages old, and are usually focused on intricate hand and arm movements. With the Arabic sounding music, it is quite something to watch.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

mt vayk

Me and my site mate Elliot climbed Mt. Vayk this morning. Only lunatic Americans go venturing off up the mountains, and I'm sure I'll go to Armenian hell for sporting these shorts. But the hike was a Hike and the view was incredible, desert mountains have a beauty all to their own.

Fall is finally here, and it brought the most crystal clear blue skies and pitch dark nights plastered with stars....makes me think about high school football games, toting my late Annie dog around in my first pickup truck, my Papa and his dumb pranks, and home.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

a hundred years of....

I've forgotten her name, like alot of people I meet because they are tough to remember, but not her age. 100. I wanted to stuff her in my pocket and take her home with me, ask her questions about her life and the secrets people this age know. I'm sure she's got some story.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

greenhouse proposal

My host family's greenhouse here in Vayk provides them with extra income in the winter and spring months where they sell produce to available markets in Armenia. However, their heating system has been broken for a few months and they will not be able to keep their greenhouse warm this winter without repairing the gas heater. The family is expected to pay around $8,000 to fix it. Armenia suffers from a lack of jobs and a Soviet corrupt society that makes it very difficult to take out loans and sustain small businesses. I believe this family could really benefit from some charitable donations. If you are interested in donating some money to their greenhouse, please contact me at Through Peace Corps' Major Gifts Program, all private donations are 100% tax deductible.