Category Archives: Armenia

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

How did it change you?

If people ask questions at all, they ask ‘How did it change you?’ At first I was rather sheepish in my answer. Following two-plus years as an international aid volunteer in Armenia, I seemed to have managed re-entry to the … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, drinking, eating out, English, Food, friendship, joy, Language, Language learning, life lessons, Shakespeare, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, United Kingdom | 3 Comments

Welcome back–Belfast

The streets were teeming with teenagers, celebrating the last day of school exams. Many were drunk, although it was not yet six o’clock–or legal drinking age. One girl was wearing a yellow bikini and, over her hips and thighs, a … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian food, Belfast, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Gin, Teens, travel, young women, Youth | 1 Comment

Leaving gracefully — traveling light

My two big bags have been packed for weeks. I have a couple of changes of clothing in my hand luggage. I have kept this deliberately light, due to my still-wonky right wrist. None of this counted for anything when … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, kindness, leaving gifts, saying goodbye, time to go, travel | Leave a comment

Bari Janapar—strolling through Artsakh with Ara

In Vank village in Artsakh they built a wall with all their obsolete number plates after the war was won, and independence declared. The ‘A’ on the old tags stood for Azerbaijan. The Republic of Nagorno Karabakh issued its own … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Cross-cultural understanding, Environment, friendship, Nagorno-Karabakh, Soviet Union, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 3 Comments

Artsakh: a Northern Ireland woman writes

Show your passport and get your handwritten visa as you cross the border from Armenia to the Republic of Artsakh and discover this: some of humankind’s most hellish hating took place in some of the most beautiful landscape in the … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Cross-cultural understanding, Nagorno-Karabakh, Religion, Stalin, travel, war | 3 Comments

Fish and chips in a seaside poke— and other ways to celebrate a royal birthday.

I had not expected to celebrate the birthday of the Queen, or even to be invited to celebrate the birthday of the Queen. It has never happened in the UK, Here in Armenia though, I, about 100 others, and a … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia | 1 Comment