Friday, December 26, 2008

a time for 2009

Christmas still hasn't been celebrated here, and it won't until the 6th of January. However, the children of Armenia wait patiently for Zmer Papik to arrive with his white polar bears on New Year's Eve. Zmer Papik means "Winter Grandfather" but this unseen character sure does look and respond just like Santa, bringing gifts to the smaller ones who believe. I will be back home in Texas when Christmas comes here, enjoying faces and voices I have not seen or heard in awhile. So I wish us all a good new year, 2009, a year full of new stories, pictures, and moments.

Friday, December 19, 2008

ipod world

This is Vaje. He is roughly 2 years old, and welcomes himself to my room every time he visits. He bursts in and then tiptoes around to see what else he can find that is "new." Yesterday we discovered the iPod. Hmmm...what IS this? Wait a minute, I can hear something through these green things. Hey....this is rocking!

what am i reading?

I'll go ahead and ask the question, and then answer it as well. I just finished Kafka on the Shore, which was an interesting novel. But I am just in the whee-stages of Leif Enger's new book 'So Brave, Young and Handsome.' The little boy's name in the book is "Redstart", so you know it will be an adventure of Southern wide open space well worth savoring. Reading Enger's books reminds me of characters I witnessed in Blanco. Their names were (and still are) ever so perfect. Among the good ones was a smooth talking farrier named Slim, a Mexican laborer who drank the backwash of beer cans named Pancho, and an overweight 5th grade teacher painted in blue and pink eyeshadow named Charlene Cockerham. That's probably just the tip of them, if I thought real hard about it I know I could fetch more. Right now I am spending an abnormal amount of time reading because I no longer have my computer to converse with, and I have no idea how Peace Corps Volunteers even went about this without one. That must've been another world.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I was inside the marshutney bus, waiting for it to fill up to it's never exceeding maximum of 45 people when I caught the eye of this young girl. Then I wedged myself in tightly for the ride to come. Getting a good seat is a smart idea, a seat all to it's own, that you don't have to compromise your leg, lap, or whole body for. As much as I whine, I have come to appreciate how unbothered everyone is while on them. The dependency is high, people have next to no other way to travel within their means, but even if a bus is oozing bodies there is always room for one more. Someone will point to the remaining 4% left of a seat and say "here, right here, sit down."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

28 N and 3 E

Armenia hinges on the gates that open the East and distinguish the West at those geographical points. I often try to make my mind up on what I think, but I never can. It has been heavily politically influenced over time, trying to please all neighbors while protecting the culture and history of its people. The language dates back to the age of dirt and stars, and so does the charm and this face above.

Monday, December 1, 2008

sunday light

The view from a friend's window apartment that looked far more beautiful at the time than this picture can convey, and my good friend "Jon M." at Sunday's dusk.