Category Archives: Cross-cultural understanding

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

A Hykakhan Thanksgiving

I was doing ok until Star mentioned mac’n’cheese with ham, part of her Thanksgiving dinner. All I could taste was the longing. Then she said, with just the faintest hint of accusation, ” If you were home we’d have all … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, apricots, Armenia, Blessings, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, gratitude, Happiness, kindness, Local delicacies, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, Village life, welcome | Leave a comment

I know the lead singer

Mariam had never heard her brother’s band play live. She lives in Goris but the Katil band are based in Yerevan. They’re relatively new but have already toured in Turkey and I think also in Georgia. Sevad is the lead … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian instruments, Armenian music, Cross-cultural understanding, Goris, Great weekends, Katil Band, music, singing | Leave a comment