Category Archives: Caucausus

Peace Corps: One Year In

I am serving my country abroad, and my country is America. I can’t quite believe it myself. The words conjure pictures of soldiers, brave and resolute in uniform, or Ambassadors, smooth and sophisticated. I am neither of these, and I … Continue reading

Posted in America, Anniversary, Armenia, BBC, Blessings, Caucausus, creative writing, Education, friendship, Fundraising, gratitude, Happiness, life lessons, love, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, straight-talking sister, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, work | 5 Comments

Walking-Talking Back to Happiness

“Ari, Gayoush, Ari” Arsen screamed into his walkie-talkie “Come, Gayane Come” “Kgam” she bellowed back, and came. It turns out the 4-year-old is much more receptive to her big brother’s commands when they are issued through one of the yellow, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Capitalism, Caucasus Barometer, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, Data Analysis, Design, Dubai, Emigration, family, friendship, gelatin flowers, Happiness, life lessons, love, Play, resilience, Things that gladden the heart, travel, UAE, World Happiness Report | 1 Comment

WD-40: Now in Armenia

WD-40 is now in Armenia and could be in a store near every Peace Corps Volunteer in these (squeaky) parts. I predict both a stampede and a sell-out, for Americans who have spent months wrestling with recalcitrant locks, stubborn bolts, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, gratitude, Household tips, joy, Language, Peace Corps, resilience, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, WD-40 | 3 Comments

Thunder Road

I call it the Thunder Road, although there is nothing loud, scary or stormy about it, and there’s not a Hell’s Angel or Harley Davidson in sight. No sign of Bruce or his bandana either. The road from Sisian to … Continue reading

Posted in Antrim coast, apricots, Archaeology, Armenia, Beauty, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, Giants Causeway, Great weekends, History, joy, Nature, Northern Ireland, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel | 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

Don’t mess with my Toot Toot.

It is time to make toot vodka. Toot is the Armenian name for the mulberry– we have white and dark purple varieties here. The white mulberries, larval-looking but honied in taste, are the most prized. A couple of days ago, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Capitalism, Caucausus, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Food, Homebrew, Moonshine, Mulberries, Peace Corps, Syunik Marz, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment