Category Archives: fear

When your face don’t fit

Last week I was mistaken for the Ambassador of Greece to the Republic of Armenia. I do not know Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H.E. Mrs. Nafsika Nancy Eva Vraila, but clearly she is a woman of astounding beauty, with a keen … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, Diplomacy, fear, life lessons, Peace Corps, Prejudice, Race, resilience, Safety, sexual assault, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Burn Baby Burn

Aleta is the only person I know who can light an Armenian match. These non-incendiary items come in sad, damp boxes, with inadequate strike pads. Attempt to grip an Armenian match firmly, and its shaft will splinter as it connects … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, fear, Fire, Food, gratitude, know thyself, life lessons, personal failings, resilience, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Winter | Leave a comment

In the Driving Seat

The Taxi driver’s intention was to frighten and bully me. He roared away from the train station in Yerevan at speed, grinding his gears as he went. I told him my destination, knowing it was about two kilometers  away. “Granny, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Bullying, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, errors of judgement, fear, know thyself, Language, Language learning, Peace Corps, resilience, Social niceties, travel, Women, Youth | 4 Comments

Peace Corpse Volunteerie: Hacks for Halloween

When presented with a broom I immediately resist any urge to sweep or clean. To me, brooms are strictly for riding. Is it any wonder Halloween is my favorite holiday? Here in Armenia it is the duty of every Peace … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Environment, fear, Food, Games, Halloween, pagan ritual, Peace Corps, travel, Youth | 1 Comment

I don’t know myself at all.

Gazarnaguine they call it here. Carrot orange. The color of my hair ever since I was born. Admittedly my hair– much like the rest of me– has had a little help from the bottle this last twenty-five years, but still … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, bad hair day, Beauty, Belfast, clothes, Cross-cultural understanding, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, fashion, fear, friendship, know thyself, Northern Ireland, red head, Terrorism, Women | 1 Comment

Lunch Potato Dinner Potato

Bile has always been my favorite body fluid, with its Elizabethan associations of vituperation and coruscation. Imagine my distress then, when I learned that, due to a gallbladder silted with more stones than an Armenian gorge, my own bile was … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, fear, friendship, Healthcare, Illness, laundry, Sickness, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, travel, Women | 4 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