Tuesday, June 29, 2010

all grown up

14 going on 15. An age that drives most parents crazy, I think I was guilty of the same. I talked my parents into letting me date a boy they said I couldn't - and these girls are just coming in to the realm of all that. My neighbor's daughter, Narine, feels more comfortable behind a pair of sunglasses or her own hand, but at the same time is really interested in her own image. I took these today to illustrate that time in a girls life of becoming a woman, and also just to take some for them to have. I know these girls well, they are always gossiping in the street texting on their cell phones and knocking on my door - so it wasn't particularly hard to get them in the frame. They're so grown up.

Monday, June 28, 2010

camera broken

Kids are fun to photograph, they love the camera. But they desperately want to try to take a photo with it, all by themselves, like little adults. I learned a good lesson today - don't let them. My lens already a little broken from my own mistake is now hardly hanging on the body of my camera as it was dropped out of the hands of a little girl today. Ay kez ban, at least I have a trip to the States coming up soon. Repair? I wonder how much $$ I am looking at.

Friday, June 25, 2010

kghstoop continued

It's always nice when other people take pictures of you, for you. I didn't have very many of myself here until Emily came along. Apres akchik, all photos are courtesy of my pal Emily Haas. These are a little added perspective from the trip we made to Mt. Kghstoop. This morning I woke up to a body that has never been so sore, ever. I'm still walking slow and funny....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

mt. kghstoop

Can't pronounce that mountain's name? Take a knife and jam it in your throat and you'll come out saying it right. It's the rocky peak in the distance in the top picture. We almost conquered the reigning mountain at 3,200 and something meters - but it won out in the end. A small group of us started at 7:30 in the morning and climbed about 7,000 ft for 7 hours and reached this jaw dropping mountain village where we camped out for the night in a shepherd's concrete floor shack with intentions to finish the last 2 hours in the morning. But we all slept awful and decided we were satisfied with how close we had gotten to the mountain and descended. We came across this old lady who loaned us her bbq skewers, she had one hell of a dialect that I could hardly understand and told us when we asked how many people live up here, 2 - her and her grandson. Incredible. And so so beautiful, the alpine view, the isolation, the storms, and the clouds that would intermittenly show us the peak of Kghstoop. Check out Emily's blog also, I know she took some great shots of this trip.

Monday, June 21, 2010

sheep jam

I scanned this photo in, that's why it looks a little.....ancient. I've passed a lot of these traffic jams of livestock in the last 2 years, and have always wanted to get a picture. They walk these animals not on small roads, but on the main highways (if you could call them that) through the country. The semi trucks coming from Iran and all kinds of varying degrees of cars must wait and honk to get through this domestic force of a sight. No one thinks it's cool, the drivers are annoyed they have to slow down and weave through animal traffic as are the passengers who make these "ugh"and "aiygh" noises. So this is it, and this particular time there must have been about 4 or 5 hundred sheep on the road. Even the people who scanned this photo in for me asked me why I took this picture. And then they laugh when I tell them how interesting I think it is.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

afternoon hitch hiking

Emily and I hitch hiked back home today and we got lucky and bounced around 4 different rides within a short amount of time. This man was driving from one village to the next and offered us his back seat - the car smelled of fresh bread as he was taking it to be sold. It was a good moment, and so I had to take a photo. Thanks to Emily for looking like a Russian doll, we got rides no problem.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

care for a smoke?

A month or two ago, I can't exactly remember - time is something that escapes me here, Jon and I went for a long walk around Yeghenadzor. We happened to come across this old man and proceeded to get pleasantly drunk with him while he talked our ears off about his life. He poured us homeade vodka, 3 or 4 shots too many, and more or less forced us to drink with him. I watched him talk to a rapidly buzzed Jon while I tried to successfully focus as many pictures as possible, but only one or two came out clear (I have no idea why). We left laughing hard at ourselves and kept talking about how cool and beautiful this old man was. He had a face I briefly fell in love with, and something about his nature was familiar. It's on my list of things to do before leaving....come back to see this one.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I checked the weather in Armenia daily before coming, wincing that it was below 50 in April thinking this was going to be the worst decision. But the cold is like pain, you know you went through it but you can't remember exactly what it felt like because it's gone. And now the heat has come - the rattling sound of afternoon cicadas and sticky morning sweat that assure you it's hot. My bedroom window curtain was blowing from the breeze today and it just looked.....pretty. I've had a good weekend - I hope you have too.