Category Archives: America

Splash-down in Shady Side

I had not been back in Shady Side for even an hour before I was using a tumble-dryer, an appliance I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. In Armenia, where I spent twenty-seven months serving with Peace Corps, a washing … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Odd One Out, Peace Corps | Leave a comment

Hajo to His Excellency

The outgoing Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Armenia gets what it’s like to be a volunteer. After treating four of us to breakfast in Goris in April, Richard Mills and his wife Leigh Carter had to … Continue reading

Posted in Ambassador Richard M Mills Jr., America, Armenia, armenia’s revolution, Cross-cultural understanding, Damian Gorman, Diplomacy, friendship, Hanna Huntley, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps Armenia, Poet In Residence, Summer camp, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference | Leave a comment

Northern Ireland and Armenia: bordering on —well, what?

Above all else, politicians and peace-builders in Northern Ireland — not two completely overlapping groups— know that people find it hard to change. It is 20 years since the Good Friday agreement and many stumbling blocks to lasting peace and … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Belfast, Borders, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, fear, Learning, life lessons, Millisle, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Northern Ireland, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, Terrorism, Things that make a difference, travel, velvet revolution, war, Women | 3 Comments

What kind of woman are you?

 Armine who works at SOSE sat beside me and translated in a whisper. My toddler Armenian meant I couldn’t say much and anyway a loud-mouthed American braying in her own language wasn’t really what was wanted. But the discussion about … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, family, fashion, feminism, life lessons, sexism, Weddings, Women, work, young women | 2 Comments

Finding our true American voices

I lie in bed reading poems, trying to pick just the right one for a class at our Creative English camp. From the phone beside me miserable news streams from the United States. I come across Walt Whitman’s ” I … Continue reading

Posted in America, America singing, Armenia, BBC, BBC World Service, Borders, Emigration, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, Poetry, Walt Whitman | 2 Comments

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of our Children’s Light

Yesterday everyone I know in America marched. The gay grandads marched. The Arizona teacher raised on an island filled with Armalites marched. The TV producer mom flew home from a shoot to stand in front of the White House and … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, America, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, fear, Fundraising, gratitude, Great weekends, guns, Hanna Huntley, Happiness, march for our lives, Mother/daughter dynamic, National Poetry Recitation Contest, no guns in schools, Peace Corps, philanthropy, Poetry, Safety, Terrorism, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 2 Comments

St Patrick’s Day in Armenia

St. Patrick’s Day in Armenia. Well, now at least there’ll be an entry should anyone else ever Google this phrase, which seems unlikely.  St. Patrick’s Day will not be as big a deal here as it is in my native … Continue reading

Posted in America, American holidays, Armenia, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Ireland, Legends, red head, St. Patrick, travel | 2 Comments