Category Archives: identity

Our happy, homogenous town

Conversation One. “This is our American volunteer– her name is Liz” “Come in Come in (hugs). Pleased to meet you. What will you have to eat?” “We ate” “But you’ll have something? Chai? Coffee?” “Tea would be nice but don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Bullying, Christianity, Cross-cultural understanding, equality, family, friendship, gay rights, Human rights, identity, Learning, Safety, Syunik Marz, Village life, welcome | Leave a comment

Frump? Harrumph!

I donated some of my everyday clothes to a dressing up box we used at Creative English camp. The game prompts students to layer up in random attire and then name the clothing and the body parts it drapes. Obviously … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, clothes, Emigration, errors of judgement, fashion, identity, Party Games, Summer camp | 1 Comment

Hard lessons through beautiful words

The poor always believe there is room enough for all of us; the very rich never seem to have heard of this. In us there is wisdom of how to share loaves and fishes however few; we do this everyday. I thought Gohar had been hasty. She … Continue reading

Posted in Alice Walker, Armenia, Beauty, Blessings, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, family, Food, gratitude, identity, Language learning, life lessons, National Poetry Recitation Contest, Peace Corps, Poetry, Rich and Poor, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life | 2 Comments

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

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