Category Archives: America

Traveling hopefully

Looking at the New Year posts of some of my Peace Corps colleagues here in Armenia I realize that they have it pretty tough. Tougher for some of them than I had realized. Reflecting on 2017, they talk about what … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, America, Armenia, Being a Grandmother, Blessings, family, fashion, friendship, gratitude, joy, know thyself, Learning, life lessons, Lonely this Christmas, Mother/daughter dynamic, New Year, Peace Corps, personal failings, resilience, social media, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, work, Writing | 1 Comment

Light Fantastic Toe

Life can be particularly tough here in Armenia for people with disabilities. While the oft-mentioned playing field is not equal in the U.S., there is, in most cases, at least a field on which it is possible to play. Here, … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, dance, disability, International Human Rights Day, life lessons, Mihr theater, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, work | Leave a comment

Comfort Food

When Hanna died, we crawled to Peace Corps HQ in Yerevan, and huddled together damply in a shocked and miserable heap. Olivia and Hannah, two volunteers a couple of years ahead of our cohort, made mac n’ cheese for all … Continue reading

Posted in America, American holidays, Armenia, Armenian art, Cooking, drinking, family, Food, friendship, gratitude, Gyumri, joy, Local delicacies, Moonshine, Sisters, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | Leave a comment

The sacrificial lamb

In the West, gratitude is the go-to emotion for our times, and we–begrudging, resentful and churlish– must learn to sprinkle it like salt to add savor to our lives. Since the end of the bitter and twisted, grasping 1990s, experts … Continue reading

Posted in accident, America, Armenia, Armenian matagh, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, gratitude, love, pagan ritual, positive psychology, Religion, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment

Sealed with a Kiss

The woman at the post office had to lend me one of their super-strong plastic sacks and then hail me a taxi. I live only a few hundred yards from Hay Post but my birthday haul of presents was just … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, family, friendship, joy, love, packing, Peace Corps, social media, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 7 Comments

Lunch Potato Dinner Potato

Bile has always been my favorite body fluid, with its Elizabethan associations of vituperation and coruscation. Imagine my distress then, when I learned that, due to a gallbladder silted with more stones than an Armenian gorge, my own bile was … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, fear, friendship, Healthcare, Illness, laundry, Sickness, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, travel, Women | 4 Comments

At the Shops

Everything in Armenia looks like I built it. Skirting boards stop short of the door trim. Plastic piping pokes through jagged holes in plasterboard and tiling tails off when the money runs out. The whole country is not quite finished … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Candy, Capitalism, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Household tips, Nostalgia, shopping, Social niceties, Village life, Women, work | Leave a comment

So what do you do there anyway?

I spent the 4th of July cutting out pictures of hamburger buns, cheese slices and dill pickles. Black and white pictures, because we don’t have a color printer here. I used the pictures to teach an English conversation class about … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Advice, America, Armenia, Caucausus, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, family, Food, Homebrew, Household tips, Language learning, laundry, Marketing, Moonshine, Mulberries, Peace Corps, personal failings, Press, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka, Women, work, Yogurt | 4 Comments

Awkward

Are you married? No Why not? (Laugh) No one asked me. (This is not true) But you have had a boyfriend? Yes  Do you have a brother? Yes, I have a brother and a sister and I have two children.  … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, family, identity, Language, personal failings, Race, Women | Leave a comment

The Fool English

My infirmities have forced me to spend a lot of time in front of Armenian TV in the last few days and so I can report in detail on the schedule of the network channels.  There are prime time Hayastan … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, art, Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt, Cross-cultural understanding, Film industry, Hollywood, Language, Language learning, Literacy, Shakespeare, Television | Leave a comment