Category Archives: joy

Tayto take Armenia

I was posting a present for my sister when the lady in the post office said she had parcels for me. Not one parcel, but two.  I was surprised. Sure, my birthday is tomorrow but I had not anticipated any … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Blessings, Emilia Simonian, family, Food, food safety, Fundraising, gratitude, joy, Local delicacies, Northern Ireland, Serendipity, Tandragee, Tayto, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, welcome | 2 Comments

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

Swirling for the dyspraxic

My approach to drinking wine is very much like my approach to playing chess. I  am terribly keen, but not very well-informed. This can cause me to make poor decisions, both at the bar, and on the board. While my … Continue reading

Posted in apricots, Armenia, drinking, Education, friendship, joy, Local delicacies, National pride, Soviet Union, wine | Leave a comment

The Joys of (Nearly) Spring: Artistic life in our part of Armenia.

Later this afternoon I will travel in the bumpy backseat of a spring green Lada to meet the young women of Halidzor, a village about 20km from here. The taxi comes courtesy of a former resident of Halidzor who asked … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian art, Armenian writers, art, Beauty, creative writing, Fundraising, joy, Peace Corps, philanthropy, spring, story-telling, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Village life, young women | 1 Comment

Teachable moments in Dubai

I once had a boyfriend who said I could suck the fun out of anything. Fair warning: I am about to give this treatment to Dubai, a place I, perhaps unexpectedly, now adore. Everything you have ever heard about Dubai … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Capitalism, Cross-cultural understanding, Design, drinking, Dubai, eating out, fashion, Food, Islam, joy, Learning, life lessons, Marketing, Middle East, National pride, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, travel, UAE, Vacation spots, Women | 3 Comments

Traveling hopefully

Looking at the New Year posts of some of my Peace Corps colleagues here in Armenia I realize that they have it pretty tough. Tougher for some of them than I had realized. Reflecting on 2017, they talk about what … Continue reading

Posted in 2018, America, Armenia, Being a Grandmother, Blessings, family, fashion, friendship, gratitude, joy, know thyself, Learning, life lessons, Lonely this Christmas, Mother/daughter dynamic, New Year, Peace Corps, personal failings, resilience, social media, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, work, Writing | 1 Comment