Category Archives: family

How to win an Armenian Cookbook

This cookbook WILL be mine. All I have to do is come up with an Armenian recipe that rocks. The trouble is, I don’t come across much fancy Armenian food, not least because the simple stuff is so good. Most … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian Institute London, Bardez, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, Household tips, Peace Corps, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, Women | Leave a comment

The sacrificial lamb

In the West, gratitude is the go-to emotion for our times, and we–begrudging, resentful and churlish– must learn to sprinkle it like salt to add savor to our lives. Since the end of the bitter and twisted, grasping 1990s, experts … Continue reading

Posted in accident, America, Armenia, Armenian matagh, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, friendship, gratitude, love, pagan ritual, positive psychology, Religion, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment

Forever Blowing Bubbles

Peace Corps staff have seen it all before of course. They know the frustrations Volunteers will feel, and can anticipate dips in energy and enthusiasm across our two year cycle of service. I am a Community Youth Development (CYD) volunteer. … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, art, Cross-cultural understanding, family, joy, Learning, love, Peace Corps, Picsart, Play, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, Women, work, Youth | 2 Comments

Sealed with a Kiss

The woman at the post office had to lend me one of their super-strong plastic sacks and then hail me a taxi. I live only a few hundred yards from Hay Post but my birthday haul of presents was just … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, family, friendship, joy, love, packing, Peace Corps, social media, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 7 Comments

A little help from my friends. Part One

The spiced chickpeas were in one bowl and the eggplant curry in another. The rice was cooked, although not very well. It was clumpy and sticky despite having been soaked and rinsed. Why did I buy basmati? If I can't … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Armenian art, Cooking, Duvet covers, Embarrassment, family, fear, Food, friendship, Great weekends, Illness, Peace Corps, personal failings, Sickness, Things that gladden the heart, travel | 1 Comment

In the Pink at the Raspberry Festival

The mayor was wearing a shiny blue suit with a silvered stripe. He stood out in the heat of the day, not least because almost everyone around him was attired in raspberry pink. The occasion was the Raspberry festival, held … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Belfast, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, love, Northern Ireland, Nostalgia, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka, Women, work | Leave a comment

Taxi Talk

Ara taught himself English from an old phrase book. He was 10 years old and Armenia was at war with Nagorno-Karabakh. His world was an uncertain and dangerous place and Armenia’s economy was in tatters. In 1994 there was nowhere … Continue reading

Posted in apricots, Armenia, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, Drugs, Environment, family, friendship, Great weekends, Household tips, Jermuk, Language learning, Nagorno-Karabakh, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Vacation spots | 1 Comment