Category Archives: Great weekends

Glad Tidings of Comfort and Joy?

It is always a white Christmas in my part of Armenia. Last year there was a meter of snow on the ground for the Apostolic celebration of Christ’s birth on January 6, and the first flakes fell back in October. … Continue reading

Posted in America, apricots, Armenia, Beauty, Borders, Christianity, Christmas, Church, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Great weekends, History, identity, Islam, life lessons, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Nostalgia, Peace Corps, Politics, Religion, Soviet Union, Syunik Marz, travel, Village life | 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

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 3

You will not have heard of St. Gregory the Eliminator, because he doesn’t exist. This is a shame, because there are so many occasions when one needs a light-sabre-rattling Star Wars-style Saint, ready to avenge all wrongs. St. Gregory the … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Armenia, Armenian art, Beauty, Christianity, Church, Environment, Great weekends, Karahunj, Khor Virap, Norovank, Sisian, Syunik Marz, Vorotnavank | 3 Comments

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

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