Category Archives: life lessons

A life in pictures

I have only myself to blame, which makes the loss of the pictures even more galling. They are all gone: the limited edition William Conor print Sour Apple which I bought from the Linenhall Library in Belfast because it reminded me of … Continue reading

Posted in accident, art, errors of judgement, friendship, grieving, havjng a bad day, life lessons, Lonely this Christmas, loss, moving house, packing | Leave a comment

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

I get by…

Ara came the whole way to Yerevan to pick me up and drive me smoothly back to Goris. I was so glad to see him, I nearly wept. He opened the passenger door and once he got in his own … Continue reading

Posted in accident, Armenia, Blessings, bras, broken wrist, clothes, Cross-cultural understanding, Easter, Embarrassment, family, Food, friendship, Goris, havjng a bad day, health and safety, injury, Jingalov hats, kindness, life lessons, personal failings, resilience, shame, Sickness, Social niceties, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Underwear, You Tube | 9 Comments

Northern Ireland and Armenia: bordering on —well, what?

Above all else, politicians and peace-builders in Northern Ireland — not two completely overlapping groups— know that people find it hard to change. It is 20 years since the Good Friday agreement and many stumbling blocks to lasting peace and … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, Belfast, Borders, Caucausus, Cross-cultural understanding, fear, Learning, life lessons, Millisle, Nagorno-Karabakh, National pride, Northern Ireland, Peace Corps, Peace Corps Armenia, Terrorism, Things that make a difference, travel, velvet revolution, war, Women | 3 Comments

The real thing: not sugar that looks like salt

“Your stories matter” said the poet. “They are how you make yourself known to others. They are a way of stretching out your hand to someone else.” Damian says that the mistake most newbie poets make is that they feel … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Armenian writers, creative writing, Cross-cultural understanding, Damian Gorman, family, Hanna Huntley, know thyself, Learning, life lessons, love of words, National pride, Poet In Residence, Poetry, public speaking, story-telling, Summer camp, Teaching, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, Writing, Writing Workshop, young women, Youth | 2 Comments

Visitors

Yesterday was Merelotz in Armenia— the day when people go to graveyards to honor their dead. Merelotz happens several times a year– always on the Monday after a big public holiday. (Last week we celebrated Constitution day). Offices are closed … Continue reading

Posted in Apostolic church, Armenia, Cross-cultural understanding, death, family, friendship, gratitude, grieving, Hanna Huntley, Happiness, life lessons, Mother/daughter dynamic, pagan ritual, Peace Corps Armenia, Sisters, Things that gladden the heart, Things that make a difference, travel, visitors | Leave a comment

What kind of woman are you?

 Armine who works at SOSE sat beside me and translated in a whisper. My toddler Armenian meant I couldn’t say much and anyway a loud-mouthed American braying in her own language wasn’t really what was wanted. But the discussion about … Continue reading

Posted in America, Armenia, family, fashion, feminism, life lessons, sexism, Weddings, Women, work, young women | 2 Comments