Category Archives: Cross-cultural understanding

Tacos and Knuckles, Alive, alive, oh

My six-year old grand-daughter has been staying for a few days. Like almost every other kid in America, she is out of school as part of our communal attempt to contain coronavirus. We bake and cook all day, and Niya … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Ireland, making bread, molly malone, music, National pride, nationality, St. Patrick, story-telling, things kids say, Things that gladden the heart, wheaten bread | 5 Comments

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

Pure moments of bubbling joy

At the wedding, we all sang along to the music played by the DJ. The bride and groom were in their sixties, and so all the music was of a certain vintage. The only people under 40 in the room … Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, British food, British Royal Family, cocktails, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, Food, Gin, joy, love, Northern Ireland, Nostalgia, singing, The Proclaimers, Things that gladden the heart, ulster fry, United Kingdom | Leave a comment

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

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

The Secrets of the Stones

There are 64 Graves –some of them inscribed in Hebrew. They are the only evidence of a small community of Jewish people who lived in South Armenia in the 12th and 13th centuries. Today, Armenia is 98% homogenous. Apart from … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, History, identity, Jewish, Jews in Armenia, Judaism, Karahunj, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Vayots Dzor, Yeghegis | 3 Comments