Category Archives: friendship

Peace Corps: One Year In

I am serving my country abroad, and my country is America. I can’t quite believe it myself. The words conjure pictures of soldiers, brave and resolute in uniform, or Ambassadors, smooth and sophisticated. I am neither of these, and I … Continue reading

Posted in America, Anniversary, Armenia, BBC, Blessings, Caucausus, creative writing, Education, friendship, Fundraising, gratitude, Happiness, life lessons, love, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, straight-talking sister, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, work | 5 Comments

Reasons to be Cheerful: Barekendan

Mariam is baking cakes for 70 children this weekend. The priest at Tatev Monastery asked her to do it to mark Barekendan, the festival of freedom and happiness that presages the start of Lent. Barekendan takes place on the 7th … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Armenia, Barekendan, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Easter, Food, friendship, Happiness, Legends, Lent, travel, Village life | Leave a comment

Walking-Talking Back to Happiness

“Ari, Gayoush, Ari” Arsen screamed into his walkie-talkie “Come, Gayane Come” “Kgam” she bellowed back, and came. It turns out the 4-year-old is much more receptive to her big brother’s commands when they are issued through one of the yellow, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Capitalism, Caucasus Barometer, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, Data Analysis, Design, Dubai, Emigration, family, friendship, gelatin flowers, Happiness, life lessons, love, Play, resilience, Things that gladden the heart, travel, UAE, World Happiness Report | 1 Comment

Traveling hopefully

Looking at the New Year posts of some of my Peace Corps colleagues here in Armenia I realize that they have it pretty tough. Tougher for some of them than I had realized. Reflecting on 2017, they talk about what … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, America, Armenia, Being a Grandmother, Blessings, family, fashion, friendship, gratitude, joy, know thyself, Learning, life lessons, Lonely this Christmas, Mother/daughter dynamic, New Year, Peace Corps, personal failings, resilience, social media, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, work, Writing | 1 Comment

Comfort Food

When Hanna died, we crawled to Peace Corps HQ in Yerevan, and huddled together damply in a shocked and miserable heap. Olivia and Hannah, two volunteers a couple of years ahead of our cohort, made mac n’ cheese for all … Continue reading

Posted in America, American holidays, Armenia, Armenian art, Cooking, drinking, family, Food, friendship, gratitude, Gyumri, joy, Local delicacies, Moonshine, Sisters, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | Leave a comment

Vegetarians: look away

To Gyumri to attend the Cow Head Festival, run by Mr. Digital Pomegranate (not his real name). For me, Caleb and Matt (the two big, bearded Southern gentlemen pictured), the event kicked off at 5pm on Saturday and cost 1000 … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, eating out, Food, friendship, Great weekends, identity, joy, Local delicacies, Marketing, Offal, Peace Corps, travel | 2 Comments

A Killer Recipe

Disclaimer: There follows a recipe both life-enhancing and life threatening. This blog and its author are not responsible for any injuries sustained should you make this soup. I got a bit over-excited at GUM bazar last week and so my … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Armenia, Cooking, Food, friendship, Household tips, life lessons, Peace Corps, personal failings, Things that gladden the heart, travel | 5 Comments