Category Archives: Language

Where Worlds Collide

J’s beautiful face is surrounded by the hijab she uses to cover her hair. Her hijab is the only one I have seen in Armenia. J speaks Farsi, Kurdish, Arabic and of course English. She glowed as she talked about … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Christianity, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, International Human Rights Day, Islam, Language, Learning, life lessons, Literacy, Middle East, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Nature, Poetry, Religion, Rt, Syunik Marz, travel, Turkey Armenia relations, war, Wilfred Owen, Writing | 2 Comments

In the Driving Seat

The Taxi driver’s intention was to frighten and bully me. He roared away from the train station in Yerevan at speed, grinding his gears as he went. I told him my destination, knowing it was about two kilometers  away. “Granny, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Bullying, Cross-cultural understanding, Driving, errors of judgement, fear, know thyself, Language, Language learning, Peace Corps, resilience, Social niceties, travel, Women, Youth | 4 Comments

WD-40: Now in Armenia

WD-40 is now in Armenia and could be in a store near every Peace Corps Volunteer in these (squeaky) parts. I predict both a stampede and a sell-out, for Americans who have spent months wrestling with recalcitrant locks, stubborn bolts, … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, gratitude, Household tips, joy, Language, Peace Corps, resilience, shopping, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, WD-40 | 3 Comments

Sunday lunch

The mass at Tatev monastery is a real workout. The service lasts at least two hours, during which the congregation stands. At intervals the faithful must dip to touch the floor, kneel for protracted periods on slabs of stone, and … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Christianity, Church, Cross-cultural understanding, drinking, Food, friendship, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, Religion, Social niceties, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Women | Leave a comment

In the Pink at the Raspberry Festival

The mayor was wearing a shiny blue suit with a silvered stripe. He stood out in the heat of the day, not least because almost everyone around him was attired in raspberry pink. The occasion was the Raspberry festival, held … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Beauty, Belfast, Cross-cultural understanding, family, Food, Great weekends, joy, Language, Language learning, love, Northern Ireland, Nostalgia, Syunik Marz, Things that gladden the heart, travel, Village life, Vodka, Women, work | Leave a comment

Arnica in Armenia?

I was walking back to my hostel when I tripped and fell. I blame a tarpaulin trailing from building site fencing. I slipped on it and ended up splayed on the sidewalk with two torn knees, a twisted wrist, and … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Embarrassment, errors of judgement, falling, fear, Jermuk, Language, personal failings, resilience, travel | 1 Comment

Don’t hold the front page 

There are no newspapers and magazines to be found in Goris. And, now I come to think of it, there were none in the small local shops in my first village–although that was less surprising. In Yerevan, where I know … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Borders, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, Education, General knowledge, Language, Language learning, Media, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Press, Refugees, Syria, Television, The Archers, travel, Writing | Leave a comment