Category Archives: joy

How did it change you?

If people ask questions at all, they ask ‘How did it change you?’ At first I was rather sheepish in my answer. Following two-plus years as an international aid volunteer in Armenia, I seemed to have managed re-entry to the … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, drinking, eating out, English, Food, friendship, joy, Language, Language learning, life lessons, Shakespeare, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, United Kingdom | 3 Comments

Pure moments of bubbling joy

At the wedding, we all sang along to the music played by the DJ. The bride and groom were in their sixties, and so all the music was of a certain vintage. The only people under 40 in the room … Continue reading

Posted in Beauty, British food, British Royal Family, cocktails, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, eating out, Food, Gin, joy, love, Northern Ireland, Nostalgia, singing, The Proclaimers, Things that gladden the heart, ulster fry, United Kingdom | Leave a comment

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

Of Hope and Hot Water Bottles.

The twenty-somethings in the room honestly had no idea what it was. Grant pulled the owl-patterned, flannel cover away from the neck of the hot water bottle and showed its rubbery lips, and the brass thread for its plastic stopper. … Continue reading

Posted in American holidays, Armenia, Christmas, cocktails, Cooking, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, family, Food, Great weekends, Homemade decorations, hot water bottle, joy, Local delicacies, New Year, Peace Corps Armenia, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, Vodka | Leave a comment

By Gosh! Great Breakfast!

Hasmik crossed the square and returned with a packet of sugar, bought from the first of three small stores, each of which sell a little bit of everything. We began to hope that our breakfast, first mentioned 30 minutes ago, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Architecture, Armenia, breakfast, Christianity, Church, Cooking, craft activities, Cross-cultural understanding, eating out, Food, Great weekends, joy, Local delicacies, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Women | Leave a comment