Category Archives: Happiness

Spice Girls

Steph went off with Kang, a hoe, and some secateurs to find galangal root and kaffir lime leaves in the jungle. Star and I were wearing sandals unsuitable for scavenging in the rainforest, so we watched butterflies fluttering above the … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, Food, Happiness, Koh Chang, Local delicacies, Thai cooking, Thailand | 4 Comments

Too good to be true?

I had seen the sign for Dan Mai seafood from the main road when we passed in our songtheaw the other day. Today seemed a good time to check it out. The girls had abandoned me for a much ritzier … Continue reading

Posted in Chillin', Cooking, drinking, eating out, Food, gratitude, Happiness, I don't believe it, joy, Language, Local delicacies, Thailand, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, welcome | 3 Comments

On the Mistletoe trail

Mistletoe. Ara didn’t know the word until today. He’d never noticed the parasitical plant before. He’d never heard of its association both with Christmas and kissing. I had wanted to visit a church with 17th century frescoes. It’s a long … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, Apostolic church, Archaeology, Architecture, Armenia, Armenian art, art, Beauty, Christianity, Christmas, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, gratitude, Green Armenia, Happiness, Iran, joy, Lonely this Christmas, Mistletoe, Nature, picnic, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life | 2 Comments

In the bleak mid-winter

We weren’t off to a good start, which was a shame as I had been looking forward to this day for weeks. I had imagined driving over mountains and through gorges with Ara, stopping here and there to take pictures … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Blessings, breakfast, chess, Christmas, Church, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Driving, eating out, Education, Food, Goris, gratitude, Happiness, Jingalov hats, joy, kindness, Lonely this Christmas, love, Moonshine, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, picnic, singing, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, visitors, Vodka, welcome, work, Youth | 5 Comments

A Hykakhan Thanksgiving

I was doing ok until Star mentioned mac’n’cheese with ham, part of her Thanksgiving dinner. All I could taste was the longing. Then she said, with just the faintest hint of accusation, ” If you were home we’d have all … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, apricots, Armenia, Blessings, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, gratitude, Happiness, kindness, Local delicacies, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, Village life, welcome | Leave a comment

Call me Old Fashioned

“Eat something” said the Doctor “and relax. Walk around a bit and then come back in an hour so I can take your blood pressure”. I left Peace Corps’ building in Yerevan and wondered where the nearest food could be … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, cocktails, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, Food, gratitude, Happiness, Peace Corps Armenia, Social niceties, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, welcome | 5 Comments

Visitors

Yesterday was Merelotz in Armenia— the day when people go to graveyards to honor their dead. Merelotz happens several times a year– always on the Monday after a big public holiday. (Last week we celebrated Constitution day). Offices are closed … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, death, family, friendship, gratitude, grieving, Hanna Huntley, Happiness, life lessons, Mother/daughter dynamic, pagan ritual, Peace Corps Armenia, Sisters, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, visitors | Leave a comment

Armenia: it never gets old.

I saw a jackal last week. He or she also saw me and didn’t stick around. I glimpsed a woodpecker-the first I have seen here or anywhere else in the world. I picked some wildflowers that are new to me.– … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Blessings, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, Food, friendship, Games, gratitude, Great weekends, Happiness, joy, Language learning, life lessons, Nature, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, singing, Syunik Marz, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, work, Youth | 3 Comments

School’s out.

I turned up to my village English club this afternoon to find students sadly lacking. “Voch inch” I said to myself like a good Armenian ” it is a lovely day for a walk”. I picked my way down the … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Chillin', Cross-cultural understanding, Food, friendship, Happiness, joy, Language, life lessons, Nature, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, young women | 1 Comment

Easter Basket, Armenian style.

In front of the cathedral old women sold coronets of mimosa and forsythia, and long rods of pussy willow. The young women clamored for the crowns, knowing they’d look cute. There were buckets of daffodils and bunches of hyacinth and … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Armenia, Christianity, Church, Easter, Food, Great weekends, Happiness, Homemade decorations, Lent, Local delicacies, spring, Things that gladden the heart, travel | Leave a comment