Saturday, March 28, 2009

pirate of the princesses

I am teaching her Daddy English twice a week in the evenings. And then, after the lesson is over....we play. We play make-up with chapstick and a dried up bottle of nail polish, we whisper secrets to each other that don't make sense, and often times when we're eating she makes fun of the way I speak Armenian. She has quite a range of facial expressions for a three year old, and her personality is wicked and loony. She has been making my Tuesday and Friday nights for awhile now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

next door

My neighbor, Hranush, is keeping her 88 year old mother with her until the warm weather of April arrives. When it does come, and please note how painfully we are waiting for it, this woman will return to her small village and live with her son. She has a face that I find myself being jealous of, and a way of speaking about her Soviet life that I can't help asking more questions just to hear the tough answers. These women watch over my house when I'm not home, keep an eye on the way I am preparing my own garden, share their tools and food with me and are all that an American girl could ask for in an Armenian neighbor. They don't think I'm doing the garden thing right though.....I'm screwing it all up. I probably am.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

backyard kev

My friend Meghan took these pictures of the small party I had at my house last night. Telling stories and playing bad harmonica around the campfire was the American contribution while providing the cutest kid on the block to entertain us with his excitement to see one, was the Armenian. Thank you Meghan for these photos, and for the camera!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

new home

After 9 months of living with Armenian families, I'm on my own now. I don't remember how to cook food very well, but the place is beautiful.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

changing values

Last week the value of the Armenian dram fell significantly against the dollar. It was the conversation to have, and I fell into it almost everywhere I went with everyone I spoke to. Of course I couldn't help the feeling of being looked at like prize meat, like "you're American, you should have lots of money you can spare, your currency is going up while ours is falling." The trick is, as a Peace Corps volunteer I get paid about as much as they do in their currency. When I came here I was surprised how often people talk about the American dollar. It's talked about more than the weather. It is an interesting time to be outside of the U.S., knowing for the first time how much of what we do impacts people across the world. The word for "money" in Armenian is "poh"....and so, I've got no poh people. No poh.

This NY Times article does a good job at shedding some light on the deal.

Monday, March 2, 2009

young love

There is no shortage of it, and everyone's had it before and I myself can remember the feeling of being 16 and pathetically in love. I was riding the metro in Yerevan yesterday evening sitting opposite this young couple. They were all smiles, and I couldn't help smiling too watching them interact in the late afternoon sunlight. I'm hoping the other woman in this picture was thinking and feeling the same, although her expression is the reason I took the picture in the first place.