Category Archives: joy

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

Comfort Food

When Hanna died, we crawled to Peace Corps HQ in Yerevan, and huddled together damply in a shocked and miserable heap. Olivia and Hannah, two volunteers a couple of years ahead of our cohort, made mac n’ cheese for all … Continue reading

Posted in America, American holidays, Armenia, Armenian art, Cooking, drinking, family, Food, friendship, gratitude, Gyumri, joy, Local delicacies, Moonshine, Sisters, Thanksgiving, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel | 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