Category Archives: Cross-cultural understanding

Looming Large

You’ll see it as soon as you walk down the stairs in Yerevan’s Silk Road Hotel. I fell for it straight away, for this antique carpet features the blue and rust colors I love to see together. The carpet is … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian art, armenian carpet, art, artsakh carpet, buting handmade carpets, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, shopping, textiles, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, Women, work | Leave a comment

Interred of Tegh

It was snowing but not hard. Tegh’s dirt roads had become mud baths because of the melting slush, but still we decided to drive to the village church on one side of the gorge. Ara had never been to the … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Archaeology, Armenia, Armenian art, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Great weekends, History, Nagorno-Karabakh, Tegh, travel, Village life, Villages of Syunik, war | 2 Comments

Just call for Superman

We’d been eyeing a table piled with box lunches, fresh fruit, and bunches of orchids and hoped this abundance was for us. A mini-bus pulled up at the turning circle and disgorged a bundle of Buddhist monks who immediately began … Continue reading

Posted in bad knees, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, gratitude, Koh Chang, personal failings, snorkeling, Superheroes, Thailand, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Vacation spots | 1 Comment

Spice Girls

Steph went off with Kang, a hoe, and some secateurs to find galangal root and kaffir lime leaves in the jungle. Star and I were wearing sandals unsuitable for scavenging in the rainforest, so we watched butterflies fluttering above the … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Happiness, Koh Chang, Local delicacies, Thai cooking, Thailand | 4 Comments

Even the monks have iphones now: a return visit to Bangkok

Soi 18. Sukhumvit 36. An unremarkable Bangkok alley that we came to believe was the magical creation of Thailand’s Lewis Carroll or CS Lewis. We’d booked a couple of nights in the Rembrandt Hotel to give our spines the chance to … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Bangkok, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, family, fashion, Food, Local delicacies, Mother/daughter dynamic, New Year, packing, shopping, Thailand, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Vacation spots, young women | Leave a comment

On the Mistletoe trail

Mistletoe. Ara didn’t know the word until today. He’d never noticed the parasitical plant before. He’d never heard of its association both with Christmas and kissing. I had wanted to visit a church with 17th century frescoes. It’s a long … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, Apostolic church, Archaeology, Architecture, Armenia, Armenian art, art, Beauty, Christianity, Christmas, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, gratitude, Green Armenia, Happiness, Iran, joy, Lonely this Christmas, Mistletoe, Nature, picnic, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life | 2 Comments

Unkissable this Christmas

It isn’t every vegetarian who willingly accepts an invitation to a Khash breakfast. Khash is a bone marrow broth made with cow’s feet. The feet soaked for twelve hours in a large basin in my kitchen, and then were added … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian Khash, breakfast, Cross-cultural understanding, eating out, family, Food, Great weekends, travel, Village life, Vodka | 1 Comment

In the bleak mid-winter

We weren’t off to a good start, which was a shame as I had been looking forward to this day for weeks. I had imagined driving over mountains and through gorges with Ara, stopping here and there to take pictures … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Blessings, breakfast, chess, Christmas, Church, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Driving, eating out, Education, Food, Goris, gratitude, Happiness, Jingalov hats, joy, kindness, Lonely this Christmas, love, Moonshine, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, picnic, singing, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, visitors, Vodka, welcome, work, Youth | 5 Comments

Of Hope and Hot Water Bottles.

The twenty-somethings in the room honestly had no idea what it was. Grant pulled the owl-patterned, flannel cover away from the neck of the hot water bottle and showed its rubbery lips, and the brass thread for its plastic stopper. … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, Armenia, Christmas, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, family, Food, Great weekends, Homemade decorations, hot water bottle, joy, Local delicacies, New Year, Peace Corps Armenia, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment

One of those days

There are days when it is tempting to hop online and book a flight home. A flight leaving tomorrow. Today was one of those days: A day when the person supposed to be my new counterpart messaged me to say … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Blessings, Chillin', clothes, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Embarrassment, Fire, Food, gratitude, havjng a bad day, Homesickness, online friends, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, resilience, Stress management, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Underwear, Village life, wine, work | Leave a comment