Category Archives: gratitude

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

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

The children of Lor?

46 children attend school in the village of Lor in Syunik Marz, Armenia. There are twelve forms, 0-12, with a scant handful of children in each. 46 is fewer children than last year, and more than next year. Worldvision, a … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian art, Armenian writers, Beauty, Cross-cultural understanding, eating out, Education, Emigration, Environment, Food, friendship, gratitude, Great weekends, Halloween, identity, joy, love, National pride, Nature, Peace Corps, Poetry, resilience, Syunik Marz, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, work, Youth | Leave a comment

Seeing Armenia with fresh eyes. Part one

It feels like I spent a week on the waltzers and in truth, I am still a bit giddy. Part of me blames Charles Masraff of Armenian Wine Importers Ltd who introduced me to Trinity 6100 Rose, a most delicious pale … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian art, Armenian writers, art, Beauty, chess, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, Food, friendship, Fundraising, gratitude, Great weekends, History, Jermuk, joy, love, Mount Ararat, National pride, Nature, Peace Corps, Soviet Union, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 2 Comments

I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do

Levon Aronian, 2017 Chess World Cup winner, got married yesterday. The Armenian grandmaster and his Filipina-Australian bride, also a chess champion, had their wedding photos taken at Zvartnots cathedral. I know, because I was there. Chess is Premier League combined … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Armenian art, Beauty, chess, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, gratitude, Great weekends, identity, joy, love, National pride, pagan ritual, sporting achievements, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Weddings, Women | Leave a comment

WD-40: Now in Armenia

WD-40 is now in Armenia and could be in a store near every Peace Corps Volunteer in these (squeaky) parts. I predict both a stampede and a sell-out, for Americans who have spent months wrestling with recalcitrant locks, stubborn bolts, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, gratitude, Household tips, joy, Language, Peace Corps, resilience, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, WD-40 | 3 Comments

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